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Vibhav Singh is a Bangalore-based artist and illustrator who has a penchant for storytelling. After gaining popularity in the indie music scene for innovative album arts and event posters now he is keen to take his creative venture, Studio Sideline, forward.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

After working with Achint Thakkar, he collaborated with Anuv on two more artworks, plus he also recently worked with Tejas for his new album “Outlast”, creating four pieces in total. Now, he is keen to take his creative venture, Studio Sideline, forward.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

It all started with the love of reading. When he was growing up, his favourite books were sci-fi and fantasy stories, and he always loved the cover illustrations that came with them. He became increasingly fascinated by the storytelling by these images over the years, and it soon turned into a full-fledged career path.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

He also found music extremely compelling, and in college, he began to make artworks inspired by music. These caught the eye of some people in the indie arts community, and it eventually led him to make posters for Sofar Sounds.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

There has been no looking back ever since. He has been working on a lot of projects with Converse, Kulture Shop, and Netflix—just to name a few. He has even designed cover artworks for some of Audible’s original stories. His collaboration with Converse as part of their Peace campaign, where he was one of the 9 artists selected from around the world.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

As he continued to achieve his artistic dreams, Studio Sideline was born. Four storytellers combine their creativity and skills to bring the kind of stories they always wanted to tell but never had the manpower to pull off. ‘Our vision is to tell stories that have heart, and to execute them at the highest quality,’ says Vibhav.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

What inspired the illustrators to start this company was the large number of people who are returning to illustration as a means of self-expression and storytelling. A range of exciting possibilities has been added to illustration by the digital medium, constantly blurring of lines between illustration, animation, fine art, installation art etc. In fact, movie posters, album covers, and books have been using more illustrated art. 2D animated films are popular once again, as they represent an appreciation for hand-drawn artwork.

Illustration and Storytelling by Vibhav Singh

The secret recipe beyond all this is establishing a successful client-designer relationship. Vibhav’s solution — contracts. Having an idea of the kind of work you do and the way you do it helps to set boundaries for your clients so that everyone knows what to expect.

Setting terms, boundaries, and commercials, preferably in the form of a contract, he recommends that goes a long way.

VibhavSingh-9

Vibhav is still building up his portfolio with unique explorations of storytelling. When asked about what he wants to work on next, he answered, ‘I would love to work on anything that’s narrative-based, primarily book cover illustrations and zines.’

You can uncover the artistic vision of Vibhav Singh creations on his website and follow him along on his visual art pieces on Instagram.

 

And for more exciting behind-the-scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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A Pop art artist with bold choices in patterns and lines, the captivating art of Dhiman Gupta.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

With a keen interest in English Literature and Cinema, Dhiman Gupta channels his vibrant colours and lines in his pop art. Along with a unique sense of style, he captures the audience with his digital pop art creations. Dhiman Gupta gives a sneak peek into his creative process.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

CG. How do you choose the bold and vibrant colour scheme that is a distinctive quality in your illustrations?

Dhiman. Creativity for me is all about courage and audacity. I guess the bold and vibrant colour scheme of my illustrations reflects the same spirit. I call it “a collage of geometric shapes in bold colours”.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

CG. Upon observations, there is a definite keen interest in Hollywood that comes through in your art, where does this stem from?

Dhiman. I guess this stems from my interest in English literature and world cinema.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

CG. What do you want to communicate to the comic book reader community through the “DaBong Diaries”?

Dhiman. I have created ‘DaBong Diaries’ mixing many strange potions from across India. I want to tell stories mixing science and art again keeping India in mind.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

CG. How did it feel to be the only Indian artist shortlisted for the FIDA Fashion Illustration 2020 Awards? Does this create additional pressure to create more innovative illustrations?

Dhiman. I was ecstatic. Yes, it creates additional pressure to match international standards. But then I strongly feel that art dissolves all boundaries and I perform best under deadlines and pressure. So the pressure is quite a good thing for me.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta


CG. With a diverse variety of powerhouse actresses and models featured in your illustrations, which is your favourite piece so far?

Dhiman. I feel Bella Hadid has the most drawable and the most photogenic face amongst all the recognisable faces in recent times. I am sure her face is a visual feast for any artist.

CG. How did the concept of playing with curse words and infusing Shakespearean works into that come from?

Dhiman. I love anything written by William Shakespeare. It has been a lifelong passion. I feel his texts should be made more accessible for the general audience. Curse words seemed to be the easiest thing to start with.

CG. How do you choose which personalities should be the focal point in your illustrations?

Dhiman. It can be anyone. I always have tried to capture a fleeting expression in my illustrations that will live forever

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

CG. Which rendering techniques and software do you use to create bold digital art?

Dhiman. I have been using Adobe Animate Pro (previously Macromedia Flash) for the last 20 years. I have such a great relationship with the software that I can almost draw with my eyes closed 🙂 I am planning to switch to iPad Pro soon to use ProCreate.

CG. Will there be a fourth title to the “DaBong Dairies”?

Dhiman. Oh yes! In my mind, I am ready with at least the next three stories. I will be through with the fourth one by next year.

CG. What kind of work do you want to create next?

Dhiman. I want to establish DaBong as a super detective (he has tremendous potential) and keep communicating ideas/stories through my art.

Pop art by Dhiman Gupta

CG. What words of wisdom would you like to impart to the illustrators just starting their creative journey?

Dhiman. As the famous saying goes “good artists copy, great artists steal”. It is very important to get inspired by the works of various artists from across the world. Only then will we be able to find our style. And that’s the ultimate objective, to have our unique style.

You can discover the diverse portfolio of Dhiman Gupta on his website and follow him along on his creative endeavours on Instagram.

And for more exciting behind the scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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Highlighting illustration aspects such as lighting and colours, Naveen Selvanathan also dwells on his own personal story as an artist.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan

Naveen has made quite a journey as an illustrator since he started out as a professional artist at Sony India. From his early days studying engineering to taking up an animation job post a related course in Chennai to further pursuing a Master’s in Fine Arts in the USA, he has made his way through.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan

Today he’s involved in prestigious projects with Dreamworks in LA, California, currently focused on Puss in Boots 2 for the past couple of years.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan

CG. Please take us through your early days in art – How did it all begin? How did events progress thereafter and how did you experience them?

Naveen. I was always interested in art as a child but I did not know how to make a living as an artist. So, like all of my friends, I studied engineering. However, by the time I finished my engineering course, I realized that I did not want to work as an engineer and that art was my true passion. So I joined a short animation course in Chennai and managed to get a job as an animator. I worked there for a couple of years before moving to the US to pursue my Master of Fine Arts degree.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan

CG. How did you get into DreamWorks Animation and what role did you play there? Please also take us through one or two of your significant projects there.

Naveen. My director for Spiderman into the Spiderverse, Bob Persichetti, invited me to work on his next project, Puss in Boots 2, that he was directing at Dreamworks. That’s how I joined the studio. I have been working there for the past year and a half on the same project.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan


CG. How can one get the balance between lighting and colours right, so that they complement each other well?

Naveen. You have to think about lighting and colours in tandem since lighting decides how an object appears in the painting. A red object may appear orange-based or purple-based, depending on whether it is lit by the evening sun or the cool skylight in the shadows. You have to design your lighting based on what you want to convey through your work. A fashion illustration will be lit very differently from a painting of an action sequence, for example. We can learn a lot about light design by studying movies and photography.

Illustration by Naveen Selvanathan

CG. Can you point out some works or artists that represent this balance well?

Naveen. Among traditional artists, I look up to John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, Kim English, and Matt Bodges for inspiration.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan

CG. Did personally moving to LA show any effect on your work process, results or so? How did it impact you as an illustrator?

Naveen. LA is where the Hollywood animation industry is mostly based. So many of the prominent artists have made it their home. Apart from that, many animation and art conventions take place in LA. Being surrounded by so much talent and having exposure to the industry has definitely improved my work and kept me inspired.

Royal Detective (Disney TV) (Design & Paint)

CG. Please tell us about your time with Disney Interactive Studios – What projects did you work on and what was unique about the work process there?

Naveen. Disney Interactive was a social gaming studio where I worked as an artist doing simple designs for their games. It paid my bills while I attended art workshops in the evenings to improve my portfolio and achieve my true goal of working in feature animation.

Royal Detective (Disney TV) (Design & Paint)

Royal Detective (Disney TV) (Design & Paint)

CG. Is it pressuring to work for big names and projects? How do you handle it?

Naveen. There is more pressure associated with big-name projects as you are surrounded by top talent who produce amazing work. You feel like you have to always be at the top of your game. I handle it by taking it one day at a time and trying to play to my strengths.

Lighting & Colours - Illustration by Naveen Selvananthan

CG. How would you compare two greats such as Dreamworks and Sony, having worked for them both?

Naveen. Sony was the first feature animation studio to give me a chance by hiring me and providing a working visa. So I would forever be grateful to Sony. It was a great learning experience to work on productions there and watch top artists in the industry work. I have to say that the work at Dreamworks is a lot more relaxed because I joined as an experienced artist, not feeling the pressure to prove myself.



CG. Please tell us about your role for Smurfs and elaborate on it from brief to end result.

Naveen. Smurfs was my first feature film. I learned a lot of skills on that project, ranging from painting props and characters to painting locations, as well as lighting and colour keys.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Paint only)

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Paint only)

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Paint only)

CG. How much of a role do lighting and colours play in your work and what techniques do you use to apply them effectively?

Naveen. Lighting and colours play a very important role in my illustrations. I keep my light and shadows in layers so that I can play with the values and keep the overall illustration crisp and graphic.

Illustration by Naveen Selvanathan

CG. What have been your greatest lessons through working with such diverse organisations?

Naveen. I’ve learned that if your foundation is strong, you can survive in any studio and project. Along with that, always being willing to learn new ways and techniques from others, is something that always helps.

CG. Please shed some light on the significance of formal education in your illustration journey and what’s your advice to current art students?

Naveen. I would say, getting trained in the basics of art – such as anatomy, perspective, graphic design, lighting, and colour – is extremely important to enter, survive and thrive in the animation and illustration industry. What you learn is more important than where you learn it.

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Stories lay at the core and crux of most art forms. Depicting the same, NID student Yamini Sujan, elaborates on her own storytelling process through illustration.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!
Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!

Yamini Sujan is an aspiring Animator and illustrator currently studying at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. A keen illustrator focused on storytelling, she finds expression through 2D animation, ‘Ribbon’ and ‘Whilom’ being her pilot classroom projects.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!
Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!

CG. You seem like a dreamer from your work. Is it so? What influences your works most and how?

Yamini. Real-life experiences are the key to most of my works. Small stories that I want to tell. They might be the nostalgic ones or the current issues happening around. I tend to add a few fictional elements to all those experiences. Maybe that’s why I look like a dreamer.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!

CG. Tell us about NID Ahmedabad. How are the experiences as an art student and personally too?

Yamini. NID is beyond words. As I always say, NID is like a home away from home. It has a major role in improving me as an individual. To grow, learn, unlearn, come out of my comfort zone, explore and so much more. Design with more ethics and empathy is what they stand for. Storytelling and the aesthetic part of art is what I chose NID for. I’ve had opportunities to meet very interesting personalities in different fields in the form of guides, faculties and college mates, all of whom I adore.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!

CG. Please tell us about your use of dark shades, vibrant colours and watercolour textures across your illustrations. Please elaborate on the idea.

Yamini. As a kid, I took my initial steps into art through traditional mediums involving water, oil and acrylic colours. That is where the style comes from. Most of my artworks have textures and I’m trying to recreate the feel of these mediums digitally. Traditional art has a huge place in my heart.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!


CG. Which clients and line(s) of work are you keenly looking forward to and what makes you choose them?

Yamini. Currently, I’m more into creating Illustrations and exploring the aesthetic and emotional sides to them. I also wish to create illustrations for books, concept arts, background art and storyboarding. Likewise, I really want to be part of good projects and create my own little stories alongside.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!

CG. Do you intend to study further or not really? What’s your perspective behind the choice?

Yamini. I’m always wanting and willing to learn something new. I currently plan to learn something that enhances my storytelling skills. Literature, sociology and psychology are subjects I’ve always been interested in. They would be a really great way to improve my view of storytelling as, in a way, they’re all connected.

Narrating Stories Through Illustrations!

CG. Which artists would you like to collaborate with, if you were given a wish? What about them draws you?

Yamini. There are so many great artists and studios that I have always wanted to collaborate with. Upamanyu Bhattacharyya is a great person with whom I have always wanted to collaborate with, as I have earlier. He has been my faculty and guide, too. Currently, I’m working on a Children’s book which is sponsored by him and Swati Shelhar. I’ve worked on some background art of his and Kalp’s film, ‘Wade’, too. We always learn something new from Upamanyu and the way he takes care of the artwork – that’s something I always admire. Same with Debjyothi Saha. He is an amazing senior and creates very unique content. There are many more college mates, seniors and emerging filmmakers whom I’d like to work with. Also studios like Ghost animation, Vaibhav Studios, Eeksaurous, Eunoians, Kokkaachi… The list is endless. They all create the best animations in India.

CG. How has your experience been in learning your craft at a premier institute?

Yamini. Studying at NID is an exploration. It gives us the opportunity to explore areas we’ve never tried before. Film-making was never a thing in my farthest dreams. Yet, at the end of the day, I created a small animated film. Learning practically is the main aspect of NID. Several group projects and discussions (inside and outside the class) helped me to grow as a designer and human. Even the small talks we have during chai-time matter. These talks and ideas may turn into films or books one day.



CG. Please take us through your most satisfying project, from start to end.

Yamini. ‘Ribbon’ is the most satisfying project I’ve ever done and is very close to my heart. The project is inspired by some real-life experiences.

Fear always exists in our society – most women can relate to this situation. Eve teasing itself is an outrageous modesty. Somehow, though, it’s so common in our society. That induces insecurities. As a female and most of my friends have experienced some or the other kind of inappropriate behaviour; that is where this story came from. It has real feelings, though it has been set in a fictional background. Most of the elements in it are real.

I was really confused about this project, initially; I didn’t know how people would take it. However, at the end of the project, there were some, including those from my close circle, who talked to me about similar experiences that were pestering them. I was really moved by their responses. They could relate to that fear and come talk to me about it. Catharsis, the flow of emotions, happened. I listened, consoled, gained strength and we connected. It was then that I realized the magic of storytelling and connecting.

CG. Please tell us about your animation films, Whilom and Ribbon.

Yamini. Both Ribbon and Whilom are my classroom projects. Whilom is the first-ever animated film we made. It was a group project of the 4th semester, guided by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, where we learnt the baby steps of film-making. The pre-production stage, production stage and everything involved were new. All six members with different ideas came together with the purpose of creating a unified film. It was an interesting process and learning, on the whole. We split the roles to reduce the amount of work per person.

‘Ribbon’, meanwhile, was an individual project. Guided by Suman Chakraborthy, all the pre-production and production (including sound design) was solely my responsibility. Most of these were new to me but I tried. And Ribbon was born.

This project is really close to my heart! I was so overwhelmed when it got selected for the Bangalore International Short Film Festival and some other festivals too. Most importantly, it is the responses of the viewers that drives me forward. I hope I can create more such films, illustrations and stories.

A Bachelor of Arts graduate from the University of North Bengal, Samir Narayan is a concept artist and illustrator based in Kolkata, India. Rendered with great love and care, Samir’s illustrations are often vibrant and playful with a pinch of humour to entertain the audience.

 

Drawing inspiration from mythology, folklore and everyday life around him, Samir’s carefully illustrated works are mostly crafted in the digital medium.

 

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Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan
Illustrations by Samir Narayan


Illustrations by Samir Narayan

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Illustrations are potent tools of communication. If used wisely, they are capable of creating wonders, especially in the world of branding. Illustrations can profoundly impact the viewer, thus imprinting the brand in a potential customer’s mind. This aspect has edged several marketing specialists to urge upcoming brands to associate themselves with an original illustration. Read further to understand the use of illustration in branding, as explained by the Italian illustrator Monica Alletto.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Space Travel, 2019



The first impression is essential for forming any sort of lasting bond. When it comes to a product, this first impression is established through branding. By definition, branding is a process through which a company ascertains its identity by creating a name, design, and symbol unique to it. This vital process is bought to fruition with cleverly composed, thoughtfully drafted designs, often accompanied by gorgeous illustrations.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Il Miglior Riparo, 2021

It is through the use of such wonderous illustrations that Monica Alletto, a renowned illustrator from Italy, designs illustrations for brands. Born in Palermo, Sicily, Monica graduated in didactics and Pedagogy of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo. Her habitual practice of seeking challenges and continuous self-learning resulted in her signature style where vibrant colours and soft shapes are predominant. Monica boasts a brilliant career that is divided between exhibitions, magazines, agencies and publishing houses.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Gira_Sola, 2019

Her illustrations are a result of her keen observation, experimentation, passion and rigorous practice. “Illustration has always been an important part of my life. It helped me communicate with others while also helping me overcome my walls of insecurities that only became higher with age. Thus, there is no defined beginning for when I started to illustrate. It has always been with me and always will be.”

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Cover Catalogues Margò_2020/2021_ “Bali, Africa, Caribbean and Maldives”

These illustrations are not just another work of art, but a tool of communication, narrating the brand’s story and its ideals. But its function does not end there; “the illustration must also increase the product’s potential, both in terms of appearance and sales to the customer. Shapes, colours and signs must be able to communicate with each other and in turn with the product, with the sole objective of making you understand what you are sponsoring,” explains Monica.

Illustrations by Monica Alletto
Cover Catalogues Margò_2020/2021_“ Maldives”

Hence, one can simply state that communication is a highly crucial aspect of a design. While being a visual treat, the illustration must also engage with the potential consumers and enforce the brand ideals. To communicate these effectively, Monica offers three critical factors to keep in mind during the designing process, and they are, “The theme, the sensation to be showcased and the audience Once these three factors are defined, the chances of success in the production phase will be higher. I want to add a fourth factor, which in my opinion, should never be missing. It is ‘the unexpected’. This factor leaves the possibility of inserting something at random, which might have seemed wrong initially, but can work up to your advantage if analysed and implemented correctly,” elucidated the artist.

Cover Catalogues Margò_2020/2021_ “Greece”

But these factors hardly scratch the surface. To successfully narrate and reflect the brand, the illustrator must first know the brand and product. “It is necessary to talk with those who work closely with the product, enquire its origin, the target audience and possible changes in its future. Understanding the history of the brand is also crucial. These will ensure that the illustration increases the product’s appeal, mirror the brand’s history and hint at innovation.”

BioSicilia soft drinks - Bibite Polara, 2019

Alletto’s signature style is a minimalistic illustration, sketched with simple shapes and a vibrant colour palette. These illustrations deliver a clear message in the simplest form. “These minimal artworks arise from the most complex thoughts. After a thorough analysis of the theme and rigorous brainstorming, a beautiful idea is born. Once all the superfluous things are taken away, the idea is clear and simple,” comments Alletto.

The idea is then implemented through cleverly composed art pieces consisting of basic shapes. “An illustration in its simplest form carries with it a very clear message, even as it leaves some room for personal interpretation. A message becomes apparent only when it is understandable to as many people as possible. Hence, the more universal the form, the higher the read.” The artist further explains their composition process, “A composition works if the elements find their balance and provide a coherent overall picture.

But finding the perfect balance between elements is not immediate. I draw series of drafts; this will take me to the final work. I start with the sketches of all the illustration’s crucial elements and work with them, like a puzzle, until I find the perfect balance for that illustration.”

Monica’s passion for art is profound and asks young artists to let their passion guide them. “When you create something, be it for yourself or a client, your love for what you do should motivate your work. Your passion for your work will help you excel in your field, help you stand out and remain fresh and current. Your art is your mirror; it reflects you. So, always be sincere, and you will learn to love your work.”

Published in Issue 52

The pandemic has brought many different challenges for everyone. But educating our young ones is among the top priority. The issue focused on how design education is still possible while most of us are locked in our homes. We also interacted with illustrators and photographers such as Jasjyot Singh Hans and Anirudh Agarwal, who seem to stand firm with their uniqueness in this time of chaos. Overall this issue serves food for thought with visually stunning creativity on a single platter.

 


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Hazem Ameen breaks down the unity of his illustrations and personality through his creative process and various influences, which do not always exist in the creative sphere.

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
Thiriyal, the bard

Wailing Merfolk

Hazem Ameen Ahsan is a freelance artist from Kerala whose work largely focuses on character art and narrative illustrations. Going by the tag “caninebrush”, a moniker he came up with when he learned that prehistoric people used canine teeth to carve drawings into rock, Hazem discovered digital art through the work of Izzy Medrano (a concept artist who worked on the God of War game series) and realised that being an illustrator was a viable career choice that balanced all his interests.

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
Kali, the dancer

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
Al Manaat, goddess of Fate and Destiny

Looking at Hazem’s gallery of illustrations, all the pieces are rooted in fantasy or mythology with a mystical folk vibe that immediately transports the viewer to a world of creatures and magic with a promise of adventure. On asking him to describe his personal art style, he says, “Every artist has an art style, and it usually is the result of all their collective influences and visual inspirations. I could not explain why my art looks the way it does anymore that can explain what makes me myself.” He does mention that his approach to each project is based on timelines, and a faster method may give rise to a “new style” just due to the circumstances.

A Cave Shrine

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen

While he draws inspiration from other artists, art forms, and video games, the larger sources are books, both fiction and non-fiction. It comes as no surprise when he claims to be influenced by history, mythology, and religion while creating his digital art/ illustrations. As an artist, being obsessive about something that isn’t art is a great way to find a well of inspiration. Aesthetically, fantasy literature such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones has inspired Hazem to create his own worlds through his own cultural sphere, which bridges his interests, giving him a unique voice when contributing to the genre.

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
Padayani, the truth-teller



Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
Al Uzza, goddess of Lust and War

A huge fan of the ideation phase, Hazem visualises his concepts before putting pen to paper to help with any creative blocks. He is a line-drawing centred artist who sketches the entire concept before approaching colour and details, always using any references to help the project flourish. His art career includes working on RPG tabletop games for companies like Paizo, Petersen Games, Chaosium, and Creative Assembly; an online game titled “Vainglory”; and the 3DTotal book series.

Al Laat, goddess of Wisdom and Strategy

A bond in the sea

Hazem holds great appreciation and hopes for the concept art industry in India. While there is always room for growth, he is confident that with the accessibility of art resources today, many Indian artists will use their heritage and distinctiveness in today’s vast global art market to stand out. Only half-joking, the effects of the pandemic had not changed his routine much as “artists have been social- distancing from others long before Covid”. He went on to say, “This pandemic, though terrible for many of those unfortunate, has helped me focus and finish a lot of work, get some jobs and even set up a personal studio.”

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
The Grower

Zaba the flute player

We threw a bit of a curveball question to Hazem, where if aliens invaded and he could only save the world through art – who would he choose to be by his side? He drafted his artist friend (Aniruddha Khanwelkar), who he claims represents the human condition and his mentor, Even Mehl Amundsen who guided Hazem’s journey as an artist. It goes to show that when it’s all said and done, the support of a community and a guide will always be valuable.

Illustrations by Hazem Ameen
Odin, the Alfather

Mermaids of the Reef

Hazem is excited to explore and experiment with different storytelling methods within books, graphic novels, video games, and animated films in the future. We can safely say that we are excited to see more of his fantasy world-building and riveting characters in the days to come.

The Yanuk Priest

Birker and the gang

Published in Issue 52

The pandemic has brought many different challenges for everyone. But educating our young ones is among the top priority. The issue focused on how design education is still possible while most of us are locked in our homes. We also interacted with illustrators and photographers such as Jasjyot Singh Hans and Anirudh Agarwal, who seem to stand firm with their uniqueness in this time of chaos. Overall this issue serves food for thought with visually stunning creativity on a single platter.

 


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We go through many interesting design/ illustration projects each day and find them inspiring enough to be shared further. Projects which have the potential to inspire and spark multiple ideas. So, here are few selected one for this week’s design inspiration, enjoy!

Illustration by Naveen Selvanathan
Illustration by Naveen Selvanathan
Illustration by Naveen Selvanathan
Illustration by Naveen Selvanathan

Illustrations by Naveen Selvanathan

Illustration by Priya Mistry
Illustration by Priya Mistry
Illustration by Priya Mistry

Illustrations by Priya Mistry

Illustrations by Marly Gallardo

Illustrations by Yamini



Digital Illustrations by Smitesh Mistry

Digital Illustrations by Temi Coker

Illustrations by Varun Nair

If you have any of your design/ illustration project or someone else’s, which is equally inspiring for fellow creatives, then share it with us at Contribute@CreativeGaga.com

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Illustrator, Siddhi Ranade, takes us through his thought process and the key aspects that goes into the tale-telling through his illustrations/art. He, thereby, goes on to illuminate the various facets, such as geometry, colour and the nature of the subject; how they contribute to his work, and also why design needs to be time relevant in constantly modifying times.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
STILL A DEBT TO PAY.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
HIDING THE OTHER
HALF. COLOURS.

Every Tool has a Crucial Role.

Geometry, patterns, and symmetry are assets that enhance a certain piece of work. They add to the simplicity and alignment of the illustration. It enables one with various combinations during the execution, Siddhi feels. ‘Line’, though, is the dominating factor for him to get to that exact line that expresses the true meaning of the illustration/art. The ‘Colours’ are next which help him add a mood to it in a more dramatic way that further dominates the existence of the artwork produced.

THE WAIT – THE EXPRESSION.
STROKES.



Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
SURYATRI.

Colour Speaks More Than Words.

When Siddhi does portraits, he usually chooses to derive the colours from the life and experiences of his subjects. Through a brief exchange with the individual, he gets a tone of the colours from the way they talk and behave. “It’s all an entire palette performing in front of me,” he says, “All I have to do is just adjust it a little, and give justice to what I produce with respect to the subject. The colour gives individuality to the expression and the forms, narrating the best message of it.

THE DAY BEFORE
YESTERDAY. DUO.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
KNOWING–UNKNOWING.
TALK TO ME.

Each Subject Varies as a Personality.

We all are made of nature. Every person is made of his own grid of life and experiences, embedded with thoughts. These various moods inspire Siddhi. As an illustrator, he likes to access this inner core and explore more of it. At times, he finds it hard, as the thoughts are a lot different than portraying the person; it is challenging to reflect him or her in the same way. While graphically redesigning the individual, the aspects of reality and the second nature he/she plays as an illustration/art need to be balanced with care. Tackling this becomes more of what he loves to do. That can be done in colours and textures, which add more to the subject.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
BELLADONNA – NEVER
BETRAY A BEAUTIFUL LADY.



Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
ABHINAYA – THE
EXPRESSION.
STROKES.

Time Renews the Visual Tale.

Almost everything can be graphically illustrated and redesigned, but there is a need to reach to all those complex and tangled up expressions of real life that can be solved and enhanced in a minimalistic way. With a healthy visual bank, so as to find reference to the various aspects of life, as also to innovate, it is an integral part of a designer’s life to modify and update as the industry needs. Hence, changing the visual output is the need of time. The content remains the same, though the expression and the visual impact changes, which is the exciting and beautiful part of tale-telling.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling
A CLOSED DOOR,
AN OPEN WINDOW.
MIDNIGHT

Published in Issue 38

With this issue, we try to explore different views from many well-known studio owners and senior designers. While Anthony Lopez of Lopez Design shared tips on what a studio looks for in a designer, Mohar Ray from Codesign highlights the key aspects that play a significant role and make the difference in whether you are hired or not as a promising designer. Also, this issue has an insightful article on ‘Branding with reason and love’ from Itu Chaudhuri, founder ICD (Itu Chaudhuri Design) along with Siddhi Ranade, explaining his tools of story telling through his unique style of illustrations. This issue is a must read for a talented graduate to a branding expert. Order you copy and enjoy reading it!

 


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Packaging has been for long an ignored discipline of design. But the trend has changed nowadays, and it is becoming an exciting space for designers to showcase their artistic and innovative skills. Graphic design studio, Impprintz, derives inspiration from the products to add to the experience of the buyer and user. Here, Simran Sahi and Rahul Sureka talk to Creative Gaga about how they successful packaging!

Packaging for Carees Soap

Packaging for Carees Soap

Packaging for Gift Boxes Blue Tokai

CG: Your designs seem to follow a geometric formula and are pretty systematically arranged. Is that your design style, or does packaging follow a standard formula that clients ask you to apply?

Impprintz. The idea is to keep things simple yet delightful. With packaging, it’s not an anomaly to face a series of variants within the same product range. Therefore, the challenge lies in creating something different while maintaining a strong cohesive visual family. Another vital element for packaging designers to be mindful of is information architecture which helps buyers navigate systematically through the communication.

Packaging for The Little Pondicherrian

successful packaging
Incense Gift Packs.

successful packaging
Incense Gift Packs.

CG: According to you, what makes a successful packaging design? You use a varied sense of bright and attractive motifs. Is that what you feel makes a product stand out on a shelf with other competitive brands?

Impprintz. The inspiration for packaging is more or less derived from the product and its unique attributes. Packaging design can be successful on various levels and often requires a combination of attributes like its ability to attract, engage and inform. Simultaneously, it must also deliver a tactile experience with the apt choice of material and optimum fabrication, a well-thought-out functionality, and the difference and joy in it. Of course, the well-designed and attractive packaging on the shelf is going to grab your attention.

Packaging for Popular Essentials Flours

Packaging for Popular Essentials Flours

successful packaging
Pondicherry Collection
Incense.



successful packaging
Pondicherry Collection
Incense.

Seasonings by Milagro

CG: How is packaging different in today’s times? Apart from just a pack that people throw away, how do you get your designs to serve a greater purpose? Or is the purpose only to lure people and then packaging design loses its purpose as soon as the product is purchased?

Impprintz. The primary purpose of any successful packaging is to protect the product. By using vibrant and positive colour schemes, artistic illustrations and imagery and durable materials, packaging can prove to be an informative, enriching, and educative experience even in the process of selling/buying the product.

Mason&Co Limited Edition

successful packaging
Indigenous organic boxer
shorts.

Zuka Chocolate Bars

CG: How is packaging for an incense stick different from say, a bottle? Do you believe it’s the same thought process and concepts that need to be exercised or does packaging design vary from project to project?

Impprintz. In terms of process, all packaging design projects begin with a similar set of questions and critical analysis, but then they begin to take shape within their own parameters. Each project has its unique requirements, vision, communication, market segment, timelines and fabrication possibilities. What never changes is the spirit to deliver the best; more than what the client asks for.

successful packaging
Special Incense Packs.



MasonCo Diwali Packs

CG: And finally, what advice would you give people who want to take up packaging design and make a difference?

Impprintz. Packaging design is a field in itself. It is a container of creative storytelling where two-dimensional design meets the third dimension. It is important to promote people, products, and concepts that you believe in. Keep trying new methods and ideas; there is always more to learn.

successful packaging
Mason & Co chocolate bars.

successful packaging
Mason & Co chocolate bars.

Packaging for Herbs by Milagro

successful packaging
Massage Oil Boxes.

Published in Issue 26

Packaging is the first vital step towards enchanting the audience. Who doesn’t like a cute box or a trendy bottle? With this issue, Creative Gaga lets the cat out of the box to reveal the world of packaging design. Featuring various local and international designers like Petar Pavlov from Macedonia and Brandziac from Russia, Elephant Design and Impprintz from Pune, the issue promises to be a keepsake for many.

 


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