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Shaivalini Kumar

Always Start with a Sketch

Even though a lot of our work happens digitally, It’s important to establish a basic structure of what you wish to create! Physically sketching out the illustration is always a good practice.


Ideate

While ideating, create mood-boards, mind maps and write down everything that seems enticing. Narrow down on what you wish to create gradually and you’ll get your core idea.


Get Inspiration

Gathering inspiration is an important part of the process. Inspiration can also come from the smallest of things be it a conversation, a person, a place or a thought.


Build a Story

A trick can be used while illustrating characters is writing a short story around them, that entails details about the character’s personality traits. It makes the process of illustrating the character much more engaging.

Be Informed

Reading about areas outside of design is important for gathering content and making your illustration relatable to a larger number of people.


Experiment

Sometimes spontaneous decision to experiment with colours, textures, shapes and forms, can lead to unpredictable outcome, which can be interesting and unique.


Trial Runs

It’s okay to start from scratch, even multiple times. You may often end- up starting all over – but that contributes to making the final illustration much more refined and closer to what your core idea.

Render and Detail

Once you establish your base illustration, adding hints of details that are complementary to the forms will bring more life to what you have drawn.


Get Feedback

It’s always good to see what people feel about your creation and process, by getting feedback on your work you may be able to identify points that you might have missed out.


Practice

A lot! As you know, practice can make you perfect!

Published in Issue 30

We interviewed the branding experts, who are behind some of the very successful brands. Lopez Design, have shared the story behind the recently developed branding of ‘Bihar Museum‘ and also shared the basics of brand creation in the ‘Gyaan’ section. Young visual communication designer like Shaivalini Kumar shared her love for the letter design while experienced graphic designer Anup Shah dwelled upon his passion for calligraphy. In brief, this issue is packed with branding and typography design experts who can help you solve the mystery of the brand creation!

 

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Marvis Toothpaste brand asked the illustrator, Alpel Dostal, to create 5 artworks that resonated with their brand speak. The resulting illustrations are surreal creating an illusion of melting objects. The style depicts luxury juxtaposed with sophistication in a dreamy manner. The colours are minimal and understated thus adding to the overall look.

 

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Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this digital age, an illustration is worth many more. One of the most evocative forms of communication, illustrations perform the crucial task of both informing and entertaining an audience through widespread integration in published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations, video games, and films.

Illustrations are an outlet of creative communication that captures the imagination of our era. From humble drawings made on paper, these have evolved into digital art-pieces that are developed on gadgets like Cintique, Wacom, I-pads, Surface pro pads and so on. Not only are these mediums easier to use, but they also lend artists more creative freedom through evolved tools that assist experimentation in newer ideas and style.

Illustrations are changing the way we view the world. Children born in the late 80s or 90’s grew up with the dawn of the Internet. They were present in a world that progressed from hand-held phones to smartphones; a world that transcended into hyper-connectivity. The immersion of the current generation in digital devices has propelled us forward and also altered the way we communicate forever. For baby-boomers technology feels pervasive, but for children, it’s available in welcome abundance. Illustrations are an integral part of this world. Digital art is all around us and will be for generations to come.

Below, we have discussed how illustrations have played a crucial role in easing the digital transformation and the widespread impact can be gauged from the changed human habits. This, in turn, has impacted the working of businesses largely. Let’s dig in:

Illustrations

1. Changing Human Habits 

Visual communication overcomes the barrier of language and is, therefore, palatable to a larger audience. Compounded with the fact that in the current day and age the average person looks at their mobile 100 times a day, we have digital art as the single largest commander of attention span ever known to man. Illustrations are instrumental to this change. Today it’s all about storytelling and making an impact through visual design; let’s observe how illustration has morphed our communication:

Illustrations

Expressions

Today, we see a sort of resurgence of the archaic era wherein expressed emotions were preferred to their verbal form. Smiley faces and visual dialogue fill up a conversation more than actual words do. Ruled by emojis, stickers, and gifs, the expression has become extremely easy in online conversations. All of this is created by illustrations that practically experiment to provide the world with an endless plethora of options for creative communication.


Illustrations

Learnings

In a world as fast-paced as the one we live in today, hours spent reading have taken a backseat. Visuals summarize text to make learning faster and simpler, in a matter of seconds. Children’s storybooks or detailed infographics – visuals communicate it all. Digital illustrators are skilled in being able to depict all kinds of information through these visuals.


Illustrations

Entertainment

The gaming industry, cartoons, and movies have witnessed a major shift in the style and quality of the graphics and animations used. Each movie or TV series character we watch and fall in love with, from superheroes to sci-fi personalities, is shaped by a brilliant team of illustrators. The gaming world was taken by a storm with the introduction of PUBG, an online multiplayer game. The visuals used became widely popular owing to high quality and attention to detail, which can be completely attributed to the team of visual thinkers and artists that worked together to give the idea its shape and form.


2. Changing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

With changed human habits the way businesses operate and communicate has also changed dramatically.

Illustrations

Marketing

Illustrations are instrumental in the growth of the marketing industry. With the growth of users of depictive media, businesses have gone visual, and have created digital products. Graphic elements are being used to create strong brand recall through thought-provoking and memorable imagery, so as to enhance the success rate of the representation of products and services. Illustrations that stand out have the power to provoke consumer actions that result in conversions. Every advert performs the primary function of familiarizing the consumers with different facets of the product, however, only those that can appeal to human emotions can be rendered truly memorable. Therefore, graphic design and illustrations are the most effective for the cause. Visual advertisements in print (billboards, newspapers, magazines) or on digital platforms (social media, blogs, online publications) can truly compound the impact of good content and rake in revenue.


Illustrations

Data Visualization

The presentation of data in a pictorial format enables decision-makers to see analytics presented visually so that they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. Interactive visualization coupled with technology in the form of charts and graphs provides for insightful details to tell a compelling story. Combining illustrations, facts, and text, infographics are created to narrate a story, visually. From tech-intensive businesses to B2C businesses like Swiggy – everyone has taken to utilizing design and illustration to optimize their productivity.


Illustrations

Digital Branding, Customisation and Personalisation

With the constant evolution of technology, our business communications are also changing rapidly. We are looking into micro-level personalizations and interactions. Every business house today uses illustrations to be able to relate and emote with their target audience. A unique digital identity is created with the help of customized illustrations. Digital content heavily uses graphics for higher identifiability for the consumers. From simple icons to complex illustrations – skilled illustrators create them all, using many elements to personalize business communications.

Illustration Trends for 2019

Pop art as seen in the 1970s has been revisited extensively in design in 2018, introducing the world to new possibilities of visual communication. With creativity and visuals defining company values, companies are opting to strengthen customer interactions using pop art in digital design.

 

The bold and distinctive pop art illustration styles we explored, will be visible in web and mobile applications, games, movies, branding and advertising, e-cards, kindle, and much more. Packaging too has evolved to incorporate trendy designs and consumer trends.

Illustrations
Illustrations

1. The Comic Book Style

This style is typically composed of strong black outlines, realistic sketches of people and dramatically strong colors. The most influential element in this style, however, is the halftone pattern, which is a dotted texture used to depict light and shadows.

 

Application: It is most suited for usage in posters for marketing and advertising, and for storytelling applications such as e-comics, Kindle books, etc.


Illustrations
Illustrations

2. The Photo-Montage Style 

Using cutouts of separate images to compose a new picture, this style allows for different objects to assimilate into a whole new image! It can even make the use of magazine and newspaper clippings to allow contrasting elements to fuse into one unique image.

 

Application: It is mostly used in greeting cards, stationery products, and banners for branding and communication across digital and print platforms. It also has good use under ‘About Us’ section on websites.


Illustrations
Illustrations

3. The Glitch Effect

This effect is created by using duplicated images and placing them at different positions and angles. Different hues play with each other to create a kind of ‘glitchy’ interference. The glitch effect has a wide range of uses.

 

Application: Print media, gift wrappers, mobile wallpapers, and music albums, digital platforms with informal communication.


Illustrations
Illustrations

4. The Image-Illo Blender

A blend of photographs and illustrations, this style creatively helps in expression and exudes a contemporary aesthetic.

 

Application: It is used in album art design, website, and app design, branding, magazines, and fashion.


Conclusion

Storytelling is better told with visuals for higher engagement. Illustrations hold the attention of a reader and etch them into the reader’s memory for a long time to come. The illustration is one of the most important forms of visual communication: it informs and observes, delights and decorates, instructs and inspires. The future of pop art in the design world is bright and evolving, and 2019 is set to see it make a revolutionary come-back.

Article by Ghazal Qadri and Aakansha Menon, Illustrators at Lollypop Design Studio

Visual artist, Manasi Parikh, while looking into her illustrations, expresses and exemplifies how one’s best nature automatically reflects in one’s work when it is an expression and extension of the true, inner-self.

Mansi Parikh - Digital Illustrations
Ghar
Racoon in a Cocoon
Moti Aunty

CG. What is your design philosophy, and what are your everyday inspirations?

Manasi: People and animals, their behaviour, quirks and stories amuse me a lot. I love observing how people react to things, their relationships and interactions with themselves and their surroundings, and how everything in the world weaves together to create social fabric as it exists.

 

I enjoy interpreting small stories around me and documenting them through my drawings. By creating art, I endeavour to understand my place in the world and discover ways to contribute to it.

What happens in the forest
Seven Brides for seven Princes
Drop

CG. How do you manage to find humour in everyday life?

Manasi: I’m a rather serious person, the one mostly laughing at jokes than cracking them. But now that I think of it, I loved reading joke books as a kid. I’d always read the comics in the papers and never bother with the rest. I guess, a light-hearted approach to life was always something I gravitated towards since my childhood, and that somehow shows up in my work without me realising it.

 

For me, life is so full of difficult things that, when something makes me giggle, I secretly want to trap that moment and keep it safe for later.

Prince Shamsher Jung
Takes Two
TRE

CG. Are your designs particularly dedicated towards children as an audience?

Manasi: I love children’s books and collect lots of them, too. I keep telling myself that I’m building a library for kids I might have in the future, but, to be honest, they’re really just for me. What’s special about children’s books is how they need to be the most simplified version of something – which I believe is so difficult to arrive at, but so beautiful once it’s done.

 

One of my favourites is a book called, The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, which communicates the pain and grief associated with death in the most touching way. I guess it was my love for this medium that showed in my work. Clients who connected with that vibe approached me for more of that. It’s never really been a conscious effort to work in or make things relevant in a particular segment. It all just fell into place, organically.

Illustration of best friend and Manasi
Swallow me whole
Flip

CG. What more do you plan to do with your illustrations? What would be your advice to those who doubt their talent?

Manasi: I’d love for my illustrations to travel to newer canvasses, over time. Most of my work in the past few years has been created in isolation from the world, on my work table, and I’ve been itching to get out of the studio more. At this point, I’d be happy to take on projects that allow me to interact with things, people and experiences while getting work done.

 

I’m also consciously reducing digital work and shifting to hand done. It’s a scary decision to make in a time when digital is growing so fast, but I’ve decided to stick to what makes me happy, and trust it to take me somewhere – which is what I’d tell people in doubt too! Also, there’s no time for doubt really.

 

Just do! Like Dory says in Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming!”

Conversation
Shelter

Published in Issue 38

Each year around this time, many fresh young talented designers come out as design graduates to join the best of studios and agencies. Despite many find the perfect fit for their talent but still majority faces many dilemmas and questions. So 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.

 

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Each illustration or work of design is a new process and a new insight. From the wide variety of design work that Creative Gaga feature each year, at the end of the year we take a moment to acknowledge all of them by highlighting top 10 featured Illustrators of 2017. Here we go.

Featured Illustrator - Nithin Rao Kumblekar

1. Nithin Rao Kumblekar

Nithin Rao Kumblekar is not only an illustrator but also an Art Director and Concept Artist who has illustrated for and brands such as OLX, Century Ply, and the likes, apart from having worked on a vast range of projects. In this assignment, conceived and executed for AVP, a pet food company catering to the likes of household dogs and cats. He represents a direct connection between these adored domestic companions and their very beloved treats, thus portraying the animals directly interacting with AVP in a fun, colourful and real-like animated setting.

More Project Illustrations are here


Featured Illustrator - Mukesh Singh

2. Mukesh Singh

Khyber Nights is a life-like and realistic story of survival, love and loss. Based on the unruly frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass during the Soviet war with Afghanistan in the late 80’s. This cover art for the intense tale was created by Marvel artist, Mukesh Singh, in an effort to summarise a gripping narrative that is about sisterhood and brotherhood winning over the politics of war. Using a strong sense of lighting and character expressions, he does indeed capture the tale in the frame.

Mukesh’s more illustrations are here


happiness-Lavanya Naidu

3. Lavanya Naidu

A graduate of the National Institute of Design, Lavanya Naidu is an Animator and Illustrator. Her style of work is a representation and expression of focusing on producing work that is personally challenging and cherished, rather than just going about creating ‘what is required as per the brief’. She uses a very fun and lively colour scheme that is both vibrant and subtle, very much like the characters, environments, settings, and characters she chooses to portray.

Featured Article:

Induce Happiness with Your Work!


Create Your Style

4. Bhaskar Rac

Bhaskar Rac is a self-employed Concept and 3D artist. A graduate of Delhi College of Art (Applied Art), he works extensively in character development, 3D sculpting, and the likes. As someone who trusts in honing one’s own style, instead of trying to imitate fashionable cult or style, nurturing and developing refreshing ideas is his primary intention. Here, he simply starts off with initial sketches, further gathering all the related references, structuring, line drawings and then rendering. Likewise, he finds a balance between minimalism and amplification through colours, emotions, lines, contours and the likes in order to capture the main essence of the subject.


5. Anna Dittmann

Graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia,  Anna Dittmann is a freelance digital illustrator who tries to evoke different emotions through her portraits. Here, using subtle facets with natural fundamentals, she manages to capture the emotions of the viewer, thus mainly tapping into and drawing their attention to it. Gaining insight and motivation from movement and raw shapes by blending nonfigurative conceptual and innate elements, she created this soothing piece through an amalgamation of fictional and realistic elements. Using pastels, watercolours, and oils here, she tries to capture an impulsiveness in the artwork.


Ancient Future

6. Omar Gilani

From Peshawar, Pakistan, Omar Gilani is a Double-Masters in Robotics from Washington DC and has an eye for discovering the modern in the ancient, something that is purely a matter of enhanced or evolved vision. And, so, his desire to renew the old and transform what is considered obsolete or irrelevant into the opposition stems from his work, ‘Desret Warrior Aunty’. He predominantly uses lighting to determine the initial composition of a piece. Importantly, dividing the canvas into simple black and white shapes to see if all the various aspects are harmonious helps him achieve the final piece which is full of colour and life-like vibrancy.


Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling

7. Siddhi Ranade

With a Commercial Arts from L. S. Raheja School of Arts, Mumbai, Siddhi Ranade trusts that geometry, colour and the subject are crucial features. As someone who feels that design needs to be time relevant in constantly modifying times, he pays attention to every tool that he uses in the making of his work. Over here, for example, geometry, pattern, and proportion in symmetry are not just advantageous but the very fundamentals. ‘Line’, for example, is the primary factor to achieve without any compromise. Colours finally add a mood to it in a more theatrical and impressive way that further dictates or overpowers the final piece.


8. Juan Casini

Juan Casini is a designer of multiple disciplines who experiments and works through various mediums. He trusts that ‘nature is art in its purest form’, and thus takes a lot of inspiration from it, thereby representing elements of nature through a lot of his designs. For example, over here, he tries to create a powerful and stimulating experience for the audience. In an effort to keep the level of expression rather intense, he goes on to add multiple layers of detail while experimenting with the colour palette. What that helps him achieve is that, no matter what the product is about, the eyes of the viewer can be positively held by the artwork.

Featured Article:

Living the Nomad life


9. Rohan Dahotre

Rohan Dahotre is an illustrator who feels strongly about nature and gains inspiration from the beauty of it. The core of his work lies in making the complexities of nature simple – for example, turning complex organic forms into simple shapes. Experimenting with pictures from the wild – mainly animals – and giving them a new visual representation and overall look, he tries to display the real beauty that resides within the amazing bounty of forest animals, all so that people learn to appreciate and better treat and respect them and their habitat.


Indian thelas

10. Ranganath Krishnamani

Ranganath Krishnamani is a designer specialising in Illustration, User Experience and Art Direction. This piece of artwork is a personal or self-initiated project through which he finds connection with his own origin in the south Indian city of Bangalore in Karnataka, India. Through the means of this series, he intends to portray some of the most interesting and intriguing selling-carts from across the Indian subcontinent. The basic idea stems from his nostalgic memories of him running out onto the street upon recognising the arrival of assorted carts and their bearings, something commonly found through most of India.

Animator and Illustrator, Lavanya Naidu, expresses how one can find more room to grow, not only professionally but also personally, by focusing on producing work that is rather challenging and cherishing at the same time.

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Art made for TEDx Bangalore’s annual event.

CG. All your illustrations are fun, represent happiness. How do you choose your characters and topics of illustration?

LN. I try to be an optimist about most things in life. I guess my work too in many ways, reflects the same. I want to be able to induce happiness in my audience, I want to be able to share that positive energy. A lot of my work, characters and environments are based on simple joys and human emotion. I draw inspiration from my relationships; my friendships; the people (and sometimes animals) I see around; everyday moments worth freezing on canvas; worth appreciating and taking a second look at.

An illustration created for a friend celebrating her relationship.

CG. You use a very lively colour scheme that is, both, vibrant and subtle. Could you please tell us how you arrive at it?

LN. My colour scheme has developed over time, and still has a long way to go! I began asking myself why does the sky have to be blue when it really isn’t always blue? There are a myriad of colours that we can play with. I began experimenting with different palettes, and started understanding how the absence and presence of light changes colour. It’s an ongoing journey, and tremendous fun!

A Flamingo in My Garden. A beautiful diversity of birds of the Indian subcontinent come together in this lovely story. By Deepak Dalal, illustrations by Lavanya Naidu.

CG. What is your approach towards acquiring clients, and how do you fulfill their needs?

LN. I have been extremely lucky to have had some wonderful clients. Most of my clients have approached me, having had looked at my work on Behance or my blog. I make sure to keep all of my pages updated with new projects, as soon as I can. I respect another person’s time and money as I would expect that in return, so it is of utmost importance that I deliver on or before a reasonable deadline. I usually take on work that I know, I would love to do, so that I can be true to that commitment. Professionalism is key, it helps you filter out the unnecessities and focus on the actual task at hand.

Flamingo in My Garden. A beautiful diversity of birds of the Indian subcontinent come together in this lovely story. By Deepak Dalal, illustrations by Lavanya Naidu.
The Dark Glen. Cover art for Tinkle Comics. What started off as a cover, soon turned into a comic inside as well!

CG. What do you feel is the balance between marketing, portfolio and quality of work when it comes to acquiring work? Do you think there’s anything more a designer needs to do?

LN. We live in an age where there is endless choice, and it gets harder and harder to make an impact on your audience. Our attention spans are fleeting. However, if you love what you do, and you can put that into your work, people can feel it. If, instead of focusing solely on staying relevant, we can focus on producing work that challenges us and that we are passionate about, it gives us more room to grow both personally as well as professionally.

Something fishy. No Smoke Without Fire – a personal short animation film. Background explorations for an upcoming personal short in progress.

I would say that quality of work is usually the most important aspect when acquiring work, followed by sharing it on different forums, where peers and professionals can see and critique your work, as well as sharing it on more public forums where people can relate and experience your work too. The learning never stops, so ask questions and keep at it.

The Bookworm. A personal illustration dedicated to my best friend, a voracious reader, even in dim lighting.
Lulu and Jazz Sticker set for Google Allo. Sticker pack for Google’s new messaging service. Project commissioned by 'Anyways London'.

CG. What inspires your style of work?

LN. I am an avid observer and am stimulated by those around me; by everyday interactions, sometimes more complex emotion, or relevant subjects around the world that resonate with me. There is so much we have in common, so much to share, so much that can bring us together, that is what inspires me.

To the Future. Personal art dedicated to my best friend and our enormous love for dogs.
CreativeGaga.com 27 Issue 37 You Came. Personal work Concept art for an upcoming personal animation film.
client

Published in Issue 37

Recent demonisation and changing Taxes has pushed most of us in planning our finances more seriously. So to answer some of the basic questions for designers, freelancers and creative studios, we interviewed some of the creative legends to guide and share their wisdom. The issue includes interactions with Preeti Vyas from VGC on ‘How to pitch for clients or retain the existing one’ and Ashish Deshpande from Elephant on ‘Challenges of working with a startup’, along with some best freelancers like Archan Nair, Shreya Shetty and Paul Sandip, sharing their knowledge of working with various clients. Also, Sachin Puthran from Thatzit.com gave a 10-point no-nonsense guide for studios to handle their finances. A must read, if you are planning for the financial year ahead or worried about your handling your money matter, this issue can give you much-needed insight and guide you to a better financial health of your business or freelancing.

So don’t wait, just order your copy NOW!

 

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Ruchita Bhoir is an artist governed by passion and bound by loyalty. Obsessed with good music, she draws inspiration from lyrics and goes on to develop the imagery. Find out how she expresses her uniqueness on good days and bad.

Being inspired by the glamorous industry of fashion at a very early age, Ruchita learned a great deal of how to develop her personal style and hence to make a statement. The addition of flowers as her signature has put her on the map as someone who is confident to make her own distinctiveness stand out!

She and so many others live a dual life: digital designer by day and doodling artist by night. To keep the creative juices flowing, it is a sort of mandatory practice to continue a sketch a day. Though the growing trend of digital art has put good old hand sketching on the back seat; however Ruchita believes in the international trend followed by brands like Vogue and Chanel of marketing their products through sketches and illustrations which renders a very classy look.

Finding Real Joy.

Inspired by the song, Runaway by Aurora Aksnes, this artwork urges its viewers to take a break from daily routines and embrace nature, in order to find a happy life as opposed to moments of joy.

Self Portrait.

Ruchita’s signature flowers obviously make their way into her portrait; scale and colour of the same to be noted!

The Inevitable Visit.

Positively portraying death and softening the entire process with a balance of colours, while sticking to the ‘typical grim reaper comes for you’ concept. While death and with it the visit of the reaper is inevitable, the entire process should be perceived as a transformation losing your body and moving ahead with your soul.

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