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Roshan Gawand, a freelance illustrator and design owner at Gangsta Paradise Tattoo, from getting inspired from his daily Pinterest feed to moving his flashbacks to his canvas, shares his process of creating art and how he succeeded in this industry.

Collecting guava from guava garden

CG. Could you tell us about yourself, how you got into art and illustration, and your tattoo studio Gangsta Paradise?

Roshan. I am an Illustrator based in Navi Mumbai. I have done my Graduation Studies from L. S. Raheja School of Art as a commercial artist. I spent most of my childhood in a village and lived in an ordinary family. I feel the painting does not only colour on canvas, it is an expression of the artist. I keep expressing my thoughts through different artworks. I love to explore different colour schemes. As an artist, I never stop making myself better from all angles. My journey as a tattoo artist started during my college days. I used to earn money for myself by working as a freelance tattoo artist. This is how I earned my very first salary. Step by step I developed my skills and here I am today owning the Gangsta Paradise Tattoo and Art Studio located in Panvel.

Illustration by Roshan Gawand
Indian village girl and her Matka

CG. Could you describe your primary illustration style? Which mediums do you like to work with?

Roshan. I really like to work on Procreate. It gives me the ability to quickly bring my thoughts to life. I also like to create art with watercolours, it takes me back to where I started my art journey.

Illustration by Roshan Gawand
Partner, this artwork showcases the commitment and trust between a camel and his keeper.

CG. Some of your work depicts themes of nature and rural culture. What motivates you to illustrate village life?

Roshan. I was born and brought up in the village only. Even now I live like an hour away from my hometown, so I have a warm spot in my heart for my native place. That’s where all of my motivation
comes from.

Illustration by Roshan Gawand
Nothing is better than a cow grazing in a large open field.

CG. The series has a very unique use of colour – cooler colour temperature, vibrant, and abstract in some uses. Could you give us some insight into your approach?

Roshan. To me, colours are like a new way of living life, so I try to incorporate that happiness, joy and new way of life in my paintings. Human eyes are easily drawn to bright and vibrant colours, so I try that aspect in my artworks. People have started accepting these colour patterns nowadays.

Lotus, a Lotus flower, rooted in mud, surrounded by water and somehow finds a way to bloom

CG. Tell us about your process when creating illustrations. How do you approach concept development?

Roshan. Whenever I see something interesting, I always try to click a picture and keep it on my phone. Most of my inspirations come from the actual scenes and experiences around me. For some ideas, I try to search for some inspirations on Pinterest as well. It gives me the ability to play around with the ideas that I carry in my mind.

Illustration by Roshan Gawand
A girl who he saw everyday on his way to school, with two sheep in her hands.

CG. Where do you draw inspiration from when creating work with no source material?

Roshan. So whenever I do not have source material I do stick to my inner ideas and memories that I carry from time to native experiences. I start with a simple scribble over the blank page and then just continue drawing instinctively as my thought process allows me to move my hand.

Illustration by Roshan Gawand
Mirror - Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you”

CG. How do you approach work for your tattoo studio? Do you create only custom work?

Roshan. I would say most of my tattoos are custom work as per the client’s requirements. And the rest of the tattoos are from references that my clients bring along with them.

The soul of India lives in its villages. Reminiscing old times, when farmers and their families spent time milking the cows, bonding with them

CG. What is your opinion about the appeal of tattoos in general?

Roshan. People are more drawn to tattoos nowadays. They like to get tattoos as a mark of special memories from their life. This COVID situation has impacted the footfalls in the studio but I am sure that once everything goes back to normal, more people will start coming to the tattoo studios.

CG. Are there any other areas where you would like to apply your creative skills?

Roshan. I am into wall arts, watercolour paintings and dot work tattoos and I have done a couple of wall painting projects.

Indian Summer Rituals. The lady sitting in this artwork is shown cutting chillies

CG. We’ve discovered a way to animate tattoos on people and a person wants you to tattoo them in your signature art style. What do you develop?

Roshan. I would really love to tattoo my signature style on a person. I can already think of many ways I can make it look like a masterpiece. Just tell me when and where!

Illustration by Roshan Gawand
Wheel of life, taking inspiration from childhood experiences, when an outlander would ask for a lift from native villager

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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Portrait artist Mohan Sonawane shares his wisdom on the art of portraiture, revealing the secrets to capturing the essence of the individual.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
A digital rendition of the Indian Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor

CG. Could you kindly recall your artist journey, the pleasures and pains of the path?

Mohan. I never imagined I would reach such heights in art as I have today. Art was my favourite subject as a child, and due to my family’s financial condition, I had to work part-time to purchase my art materials. As I progressed, my art teacher recommended ATD. During that program, I have suggested the JJ School of Art, where I pursued a program for Applied Arts. My time in Mumbai was testing and arduous; I was alone in the vast city and had to fend for myself. Apart from this, commuting took up most of my day, leaving very little time to study. Nevertheless, this period taught me several important life lessons that I cherish even today.

An illustration capturing the likeness of a Sadhu painted digitally

The most unforgettable moment, however, is the time I won a bronze medal during the final year of my under graduation. This path has been strenuous, and I have been rejected several times, but I wouldn’t have reached where I am today if I hadn’t faced those failures.

CG. What/who is your muse? What inspires you to take up the pen/pencil/stylus every day and sketch?

Mohan. Since I did not have strong financial support from my family, I had to work very hard to be self-sufficient. My desire to be independent is the fuel for my work.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
An illustration capturing the likeness of an Old Man painted digitally

CG. Your work primarily consists of portraits. What inspired you to take up portrait painting?

Mohan. Artist Vasudev Kamat’s paintings inspired me to take up portraiture. I create all kinds of art, but portraiture has been my favourite ever since I was in JD Art painting.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
A digital painting of Freida Pinto

CG. Could you kindly share the process behind your photo selection for your portraits? Are there any specific criteria that one must consider when selecting photographs for portrait painting?

Mohan. Photo selection is a critical aspect of portraiture. One must carefully hand-pick a photograph that has sufficient depth and ample lighting. The right picture can result in a vibrant portrait and shine a light on all of your hard work.

An illustration capturing the likeness of a Rajasthani old man painted digitally

CG. How do you design the background and assemble the colour palette for a piece? What are the critical aspects that one must look into while picking colours for a portrait?

Mohan. Background plays a vital role in a portrait because the right background can make your artwork stand out. The colour selection for the background depends majorly on the subject and their skin tone. I shift from light and dark colours depending on the mood and subject of the piece.

A digital rendition of the actor Aiden Shaw

CG. How do you determine the best angle and light for a portrait (assuming that there is no photograph to refer to), especially since all of us possess a “good” and “bad” side (in terms of photography angle)?

Mohan. Knowing your anatomy can save you here since an artist well versed in anatomy can create any pose with ease. Depth in the artwork can be brought about through shading. However, a reference photograph can help ease the process.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
A digital rendition of the actor Rowan atkinson in his famous avatar as Mr.Bean

CG. Apart from realistic portraits, you have also mastered the art of caricatures. What are the similarities and differences in the artistic process for both? Does your process vary in terms of sketching and painting?

Mohan. Be it a realistic portrait or caricature, it is vital to know your anatomy. However, in lifelike portraits, we need to maintain the character, and in caricatures, we need to exaggerate the subject’s features. Therefore, we follow the rules of anatomy rather strictly for portraits. Otherwise, the painting and sketching process essentially remains the same.

CG. Your artworks have a significant variation in style and flair. How do you set a particular style for an artwork? Which is your most preferred style?

Mohan. I decide the style for an artwork based on the character and concept of the work. My go-to is the “one eye” style, which I have followed in several of my works.

CG. How do you choose the subjects of your painting? Could you elaborate on the portrait painting process? What are your preferred software and medium?

Mohan. Before beginning my painting process, I study the subject carefully and harvest ideas during the reference study phase. Quick gesture drawings provide a good understanding of the subject. Then, with the base secure, I proceed to draft the final sketch. Upon completing the final illustration, I work on the base colour for the skin tone and proceed to add darker shades and complete the work with finer details. The result is finalised only after the colour correction process, where I tweak the colours and check colour balance. As for my prefered software and medium, they are Adobe Photoshop and Watercolours, respectively.

CG. Who is your greatest inspiration and/or role model/mentor from the field of art?

Mohan. Artist Vasudeo Kamath is my role model, and his paintings are my source of inspiration. I have learnt a lot about portraiture by studying his works.

CG. Could you share a few words of wisdom with aspiring artists on the art of portrait painting?

Mohan. If you want to perfect the art of portraiture, then develop keen observation and sketch regularly. It is crucial to practice from live studies as much as possible.



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If you want to make a mark as an illustrator or looking for someone to work on your next project. No need to search for hours and go into endless profiles to find inspiring Indian illustrators. We present to you the best of the best Indian illustrators from a long list of Instagram illustrators of India who you must follow…

An illustrator, graphic designer, and drummer based in Mumbai. Part of two Mumbai-based metal bands Providence and Gutslit, Aaron is a self-taught artist who works in both traditional and digital mediums adding Eerie and Gothic elements to his artworks. With over 14k followers on Instagram, he also goes by the name Kidsquidy.


Aaron has teamed up with MTV India as their senior designer in the past. His work includes creations for several band albums and merchandise for the songs like ‘Squishy and Spongy’ by the band Primitiv.

2. Abhilash Narayanan

Abilash Narayanan has worked on several national and international projects including animated Indian movie ‘Hanuman Returns’ with the direction team of Anurag Kashyap. This Instagram artist is an animator, director and designer who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum in 1999.


Abhilash is currently freelancing for pre-production designs, concepts and content development while illustrating for children’s publications and pursuing personal projects.

Author and artist Aditya N. Chari have accomplished specialisation in several types of illustrations with his in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and character designing that helped him write his successful books ‘Figure Study Made Easy’, and ‘Portrait Techniques Made Easy’.


Aditya has obtained his degree from Sir J. J. Institute for Applied Arts, Mumbai and worked with various agencies and brands including MTV Asia, Leo Burnett, Forbes India Magazine, ISCKON and did character conceptualisation for the film Bahubali and several other televised serials.

Lover of art since childhood, artist and illustrator Alicia Souza who has a significant fan following on Instagram. She lives in Bangalore with her family of 5 including a dog and a guinea pig. She has worked for various companies in the like The Telegraph, Tanishq, Mondelez- Cadbury, Yahoo, The Hindu, Wipro, Google, IIMB, Cornetto, Ashoka Foundation, Penguin, Grand Mercure, and Myntra. Alicia also sells merchandise designed by her.

Visual artist Annada N. Menon had been working in corporate as a visual designer after which she shifted to freelancing to let her art progress at its natural pace. Her portfolio holds thoughtfully created posters, album art and book illustrations which are all inspired by her surroundings and expression of emotion.


Currently based in Pune she studied at the at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore. Menon has drawn amusing illustrations like ‘The Chonky Animals’ series with comical animals in different forms.

Taking inspiration from mysteries revolving around our existence and the interconnectedness of our thoughts, emotions and the universal chain of reaction which we witness from the micro to macro level, self-taught visual artist, illustrator and digital artist Archan Nair draws semi-abstract and surreal creations.


Archan, with 93K Instagram followers is based out of Berlin, Germany. He has collaborated with various companies such as Nike, Canon, Netflix, Samsung and GQ. Read his journey to becoming a brand in the Design Industry.

7. Ayush Kalra

Illustrator Ayush Kalra is a final year student of Pearl Academy, New Delhi with over 50K Instagram followers. His illustrations are inspired by artists all over the world with bold colours and intricate details. Currently working as a freelance artist he had his illustrations published in Bollywood magazine ‘Fitlook’.


Ayush has also illustrated a children’s book and worked on a few album covers in the past making his portfolio richer.

Finding inspiration from books, illustrator Chaaya Prabhat draws magnificent illustrations with wildlife and nature. Although she currently lives in Chennai, she had spent three years in Hong Kong where she explored the lengths and breadth of art.


With Post Graduation in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design Prabhat possesses over 50k Instagram and has worked with The Times of India, Penguin House UK, Hachette and Facebook.

9. Dhwani Trivedi

The profound lover of fantasy, Dhwani Trivedi is based in Mumbai and works as a graphic designer and illustrator, who grew up with comics, stories and books. To bring her imaginations to life, she began wielding pen and pencils marking her entry into the realm of art, making fathomless illustrations.


A Visual Communication graduate, Trivedi has worked with various companies including several animation studios in Mumbai for a range of projects such as branding, character design and illustrations for animated videos.

10. Fathima Hakkim

The charming personality, Fathima Hakkim is an architect, artist and visualiser possessing 53K Instagram followers. She has inspired thousands with her art and public speaking. Every creation by her has a story of her struggles and the psyche of life behind them


Currently living in Bangalore she graduated from Bishop Jerome School of Architecture. Hakkim has been featured in books and has also illustrated for multiple children’s publications.

11. Febin Raj

Illustrator, Febin Raj, can do it all with his passion for fine arts, from capturing the beauty of travel in calming illustrations to drawing the vigour of creativity in artworks. Febin is presently living in Thrissur, Kerala, striving to bring the beauty of watercolours to his digitally created works with minimal sceneries and wicked hues.


He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Arts from the College of Fine Arts, Thrissur and has over 15K Instagram followers. Raj is also an avid traveller, which is visible in his artworks and works as a Visual Designer at CasaOne.

12. Gaurav Basu

Gaurav Basu, professionally known as Acid Toad, is a graphic artist based in Bangalore who draws dark, psychedelic artworks, often influenced from the bizarre. Gaurav is also an active musician and lead of his band, Inner Sanctum.


He went to The College of Fine Arts at Chitrakala Parishad in Bangalore, where he completed his Bachelor’s of Visual Arts. This talented metal-head has worked with several renowned bands in India and also co-owns Bangalore based design studio, Krack’s Inc.

Harshvardhan Kadam, a muralist, artist and illustrator with over 14K Instagram followers describes his job as bringing colour to people’s lives. He hails from a family of artists and his journey into art began as a child.


Together with his brother, Kadam began their studio Inkbrushnme after realising walls as a potential medium for storytelling to diverse audiences. They have now painted over a hundred murals across the country and abroad, few of which can be found in Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Jaipur and France.

14. Hazem Ameen

With a desire to weave stories out of paint, Hazem Ameen is a 24-year-old artist based in Kerala, with 12K+ Instagram followers. He captures the essence of his imagination with light, colours and form. Upon realising that he could not receive his heart’s desire through college education, Hazem quit college and started freelancing, although he had enrolled in 3Dsense Media School, Singapore for deepening his knowledge in the field.


He has worked with several companies such as Paizo Inc, the role-playing game Pathfinder, etc. Now, he is back in Kerala working as a freelance illustrator.


Hrishiraj Vradhaman Gawali is a creative storyteller and cartoonist who began his career as an illustrator. His passion for art motivated him to modify to new techniques such as digital painting. Hrishiraj nevertheless enjoys painting on canvas and sketchbooks, with pastels, watercolour and countless other mediums.


The storyteller draws taking, inspiration from life around him and his artworks are a reflection of society itself. He is currently working on the ‘Upcoming Bollywood Project’.

16. Jasjyot Singh Hans

The lover of the neon mix of fashion, music and pop culture Jasjyot Singh Hans is an illustrator who has worked with many national and international companies including Google, The New York Times, Elle India and Sabyasachi Couture. His works revolve around self-love, body image and sexuality.


With his 24K+ Instagram followers, he uses his platform to spread body positivity and has studied animation film design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and has an MFA in Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore.

Graduated in animation, Lavanya Naidu found happiness in illustrating children’s books and has illustrated over 50 of them. She is based in Melbourne and has worked as a pre-production design supervisor and animator on the animated series The Stranger Chores and is currently working on an animated feature film and a short film.


Lavanya has graduated from The National Institute of Design and Gobelins l’Ecole de l’Image, Paris and is the designer, animator and conceptualizer of several children’s educational mobile applications,

Mumbai based founder and director of LOCOPOPO Lokesh Karekar is specialised in illustration and design and was featured in the prestigious ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list in 2015. He has worked for design firms like Grandmother India and Alok Nanda in the past.


Karekar also treasures experimenting with new tools and techniques like paper-art, collage, clay-modelling and others. His illustrations include bold compositions and a variety of line-art inspired by local culture, and his personal travel experiences.

19. Maromi Sagi

With over 51K+ Instagram followers Ankita or popularly known as Maromi Sagi is a freelance digital artist based in Kolkata who quit her job at an IT firm to plunge into the world of art. She worked tirelessly to master the profession with the help of several books, art blogs and YouTube videos.


Her artworks give form to the abstract, such as emotions and memories. She is currently working for many US-based companies after deciding to learn Adobe Photoshop and receiving several commissions to paint digital portraits.

Medha Srivastava, award-winning cosplayer, illustrator, concept artist and game artist is graduated in Animation and Film Making from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune and has over 17K followers on Instagram. She worked as a game artist in Dhruva Interactive, Bangalore.


With her bold colour choice and context, she spouts about social issues on her social media platform inspiring change in society.

Co-founder of Mechico Design, Meroo Seth is a graphic designer, specialising in branding, packaging, and typography. With her 10.6K Instagram followers, she shares her artworks with bright colours, neat linear lines and geometric shapes.


Based out of Mumbai, Seth has a peculiar liking for modern illustrations. The believer of sharing stories through art makes her process of illustrating fun yet serious.

Concept artist and illustrator Mohan Sonawane have received various awards for his excellence in the field of illustration and graphic designing. With over 20K Instagram followers he lives in Mumbai.


Mohan has also designed various games and made many amazing portraits. He graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J.J Institute of Applied Arts.

Living in Bangalore, Muhammed Sajid works as a Creative Designer at Dunzo. His works are inspired by culture and nature. Coming from Calicut, Sajid is drawn towards nature since greenery is tied to his childhood. He is comfortable with both traditional and digital mediums of art and can adapt to changes rather quickly.


Sajid obtained a degree in Bachelors of Fine Arts from Trivandrum Fine Arts College, Kerala. His fluid style has helped him reach out to a large audience including on Instagram, with 53K followers.

Nithin Kumblekar, freelancing illustrator captures texture and emotions brilliantly. He initially began his career as an Art Director for an advertising agency, which he quit to pursue a career in freelancing. He has amassed tremendous experience, having worked for several advertising agencies such as McCann, Ogilvy and Triton.


Kumblekar graduated from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, in the year 2005 and he has also illustrated for several national and international campaigns for companies such as Hollard, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Pepsi, Brittania, Vodafone and Expedia.

With 33K+ followers on Instagram, illustrator Nikhil Shinde is an Automotive Engineer by academics but an artist at heart. The illustrator currently lives in Mumbai, India. His illustrations are emotive, sepia-toned with big eyes and are inspired by different characters, mermaids and real life.


Shinde started his career in the art field back in 2010 and is a victor at drawing from scratch. As a designer, he contributes to the art style and personality with the creation of both real and non-real characters.


Currently residing in Helsinki, Finland, Parvati Pillai is a freelance illustrator and designer. With her passionate storytelling using illustrations to narrate her tales and express her ideas, Parvati has gained over 14K Instagram followers. Her artworks are marked by their simplicity and vibrancy, all inspired by her observant nature and love for travel.


Currently pursuing her Masters’ in Visual Communication Design at Aalto University, Finland, her experience spans from social enterprises to design studios and legal design firms. Parvati has also worked for several established companies including Chumbak, where she worked for two years as the Head of Designs.

Taking inspiration from mythological stories, animated films, colours, culture and heritage, illustrator and graphic designer Pavan D Rajurkar’s works are contemporary and a result of constant experimentation and exploration. His love and appreciation for Indian art forms and culture have helped him find his style and artistic identity.


Rajurkar holds over 10K followers on Instagram and is a Post Graduate in Animation Film Design from NID, Ahmedabad. He has worked for numerous advertising agencies such as JWT, Interface, RK Swamy, BBDO, DDB Mudra, Radio Mirchi and several others in Mumbai and abroad.

28. Prateek Vatash

Creator of vivid and vibrant artworks, Prateek Vatash is based in Bangalore. He has specialised in 3D and 2D techniques and is a genius at combining them to form his aberrant illustrations. He shares his artworks with his 25K Instagram followers, which incorporate bright neon colours and unique textures.


A graduate in Visual Communication and Graphic Art from Srishti Institute of Art, he also has an interest in various fields such as typography, architecture and interior design and has worked with several distinguished companies across the globe such as Apple, Adobe and Wacom

With his 25-year career span, design entrepreneur, artist and motorcycle nomad, Prakash Thombre never fails to capture views during his travel-times and later uses them as references to create the masterpieces seen in his portfolio. A believer in finding spontaneous narratives in real-life personalities and developing them on his canvas, Thombre holds over 60K+ Instagram followers.


Transmitting real life onto the canvas through his various sketches of everyday personalities takes deep observation of the costumes, facial features, gestures, posture, etc of the person. Moreover, about the style of sketching and colouring, the nature of lighting and the likes depends on the time and place.

The founder of Liquidink Design Studio, Ranganath Krishnamani is a talented designer, illustrator and artist, with over twenty years of expertise. With 63k Instagram followers, the Bangalorean relishes travelling and learning new tools and techniques. He artfully captures the heritage, culture and the mundane life in his sketchbooks and illustrations.


Krishnamani obtained his Masters in Fine Arts from Chitra Kala Parishat in 2000. His creative studio has specialised in designing engaging user experience and illustrating visuals for compelling narratives for several globally renowned companies such as Google, Adobe, Facebook, Adidas, Creative Mornings and Invision.

Artist and illustrator Rahul Khobragade is based in Mumbai and designing and art have remained with him since his childhood, shaping his thoughts, views and perspective of the world itself. He often draws inspiration from nature, where he gathers young ideas in regards to forms, structure and tones. He has currently shifted to full-time work as an illustrator at Anarock, Mumbai.


Rahul obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Government College of Art and Design, Nagpur and has gained plenty of experience as a freelance illustrator.

A passionate wildlife illustrator based in Pune, Rohan Dahotre, does not fail to capture the wild on paper with flair and grace. He enjoys illustrating animals, birds and all things wild and strives to raise awareness on several issues about wildlife, especially regarding their conservation and welfare on his Instagram with 14K followers.


Rohan completed his graduate studies in Animation from the Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. He has designed logos and illustrations for various programs such as ‘Save the Great Indian Bustard’.

Currently studying Animation and Film Design at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, illustrator and designer, Rohan Bhatia with the help of his illustrations and graphics, narrates stories and weaves tales. His innate curiosity allows him to experiment with various mediums and surfaces, including walls.


Together with his brother, he has recently built a brand, ‘The Right Brothers’ and has attended several comic conventions, both nationally and internationally, showcasing his work in many of them.

Self-taught contemporary artist, Sajid Wajid Shaikh specialises in illustration and design. His exaggerated styles and colours, together with the use of basic shapes, communicate a strong message to its onlookers. He tends to take inspiration from music and fine art to create unique works and has shared them with his 17K+ followers on Instagram


Mastering the visual language of shapes, forms, compositions and colours, Sajid runs an independent design and illustration studio, 46&2 and has worked with a plethora of renowned clients from around the world, such as Google, Facebook, Air Canada, Paypal, HP, Yahoo and Adidas.


35. SAMji

With over 66K+ followers on Instagram illustrator, SAMji loves creating pop-culture and futuristic designs and splurging vibrant colours on the canvas. His first step into the realm of art was through the field of animation but after several years of exploration, he realised that his true love lies in the field of illustrations and thus began his career as a freelance illustrator.


SAMji took up BFA in Applied Art but dropped out in his third years, thus not receiving any formal education in art.

Saurabh Chandekar’s affiliation towards arts began as a child, hailing from an artistic family he was brought up surrounded by music, theatre and drawing, this played a significant role in his life. He is a creative director, illustrator, painter and founder of design studio Aaiba Design.


Saurabh earned a diploma in Commercial Art from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya and started working in a designing firm in Pune. He has worked for several renowned companies such as Vespa, Lifebuoy and Starbucks.

Artist and muralist Shahul Kollengode hails from the beautiful green town of Palakkad, Kerala but is now based in Dubai, UAE. The untutored artist began drifting his way from canvas to murals and is the founder of 100W Production. With 16K+ Instagram followers, he boasts a plethora of experience in the art industry.


Shahul’s vibrant murals have found their way to several notable spots and he was commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed, Prime Minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai to feature his work at the World Art Dubai.

Shaivalini Kumar, a Visual Communication Designer primarily works with illustration and typography. A firm believer of the fact that extraordinary designs are created by finding magic in the ordinary and mundane, Kumar specializes in ‘illustrated type‘, an avenue of type design that combines the fields of illustration and graphic design.


With 21K+ Instagram followers, she is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and has worked with various companies such as Google, Chumbak and Microsoft. Kumar is also the co-founder of the art studio SuperNova in Los Angeles, USA.

Coming from the river city of Benaras illustrator, Shital Verma draws portraits adorned with varying strokes. His pencil turned blank papers into lifestyle magazine design, page scribbles, children’s books, graphics, info-graphics, ad campaigns, packaging design, storyboards, digital illustration, logo designs and even digital Illustration. His artworks have been regarded by several celebrities.


Graduate in Fine Arts from Banaras Hindu University he has worked with Dainik Jagran, Nav Bharat Times, Mindworks Globael Media and DNA Mumbai.

Illustrator and TEDx speaker Sri Priyatham has been working in the realm of art for over a decade. He is inclined towards pop culture which is reflected in his art on his Instagram with 20K+ followers. Sri has also hosted multiple across the country and some of his collaborators include IIT-M, Tech Incubators and co-working spaces based out of South India.


He has been featured in various print media across India. Sri has worked with companies like Netflix USA, Zee Studios, Microsoft-Redmond and Wacom.

41. Svabhu Kohli

Visual artist and storyteller Svabhu Kohli is an independent multidisciplinary artist based in Goa with over 11K Instagram followers. This multi-faceted artist has specialised in creative direction, art direction, immersive art, film, projection mapping, installation art, design, illustration and storytelling. He draws artworks inspired nature, mysticism, magic and mechanics.


He also raises his voice for various social issues and has designed for singer Ziggy Alberts.

Based in Mumbai, digital artist and caricaturist, Uday Mohite has over 68K Instagram followers. He has an experience in the field of art of over a decade and has drawn various caricatures of celebrities and sceneries.


A graduate of Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Uday has worked in several leading newspapers, including DNA and MID-DAY.

43. Vishnu PR

An illustrator and artist based in Bangalore, Vishnu PR is specialised in digital art with over 12K+ Instagram followers. He pays immense attention to details, textures and colours. Vishnu has reached an almost photographic level of perfection with his fierce passion.


He graduated in Applied Arts from RLV College of Music and Fine arts in Kerala and has also worked as an art director at Loud Chilli Studios, with a focus on graphic design.

Working strenuously to perfect his craft and exploring several mediums and styles regularly, Mumbai based artist and illustrator, Yogesh Bhushare possesses 11.4K Instagram followers. His style majorly involves doodling and college. Currently, Yogesh works at a digital marketing and advertising agency as a creative group head- design.


He graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts from D.Y. Patil College of Applied Arts and Crafts, Pune and has worked for companies like Leo Burnett and Taproot.

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Sri Priyatham takes us through his beautiful journey of establishing himself as a freelance illustrator in the digitalised world of today. Here, he also highlights the merits and demerits of being a freelancer.

Earning his very first commission from his bedroom turned studio, Priyatham took to freelancing by metamorphosing his passion into profession, without having to leave the comfort of his home. An ardent believer of a conventional lifestyle without weekends, he feels not working under someone allows a free-flowing lifestyle and an individuals’ diversified growth.

Starting is Important

Facebook as a medium has worked wonders for Priyatham since his very start as an art student and a budding freelancer, for his communications, promotions and commissions. The outburst of other social platforms like Instagram, Reddit and Imgur helped him extend his reach to the continents of America, Europe and Australia to earn his clientele.

It is up to you!

Preferring freelancing over a day-job, Priyatham feels that freelancing is an individuals’ choice to make. An efficiently flexible working method, freelancing lets a professional explore and expand his horizon, to develop and revamp his personal skill-set, much-needed for survival.

Having its own positives and negatives, freelancing can be quite challenging. Time flexibility and absence of a pressure factor, unlike day-jobs, calls for a lot of self-motivation and commitment to deliver within the self-created deadline. Freelancing gets one working throughout the week, devoid of weekends and a social-life, unlike the conventional lifestyle. Inconsistent income and unrealistic price negotiations are some short-comings of this profession.

Also, a lot of fake freelancer-artist profiles in the market lead to a generalization of genuine and false artists in the same category, leading to a region-specific freelance deficiency.

The Freelancer Way!

To enter into the freelance market, one needs to befriend and fellow freelancers through collaborations and social media. Acquainting to existing standards, price charts and market likes and dislikes. To be in the limelight and attract future-potential clients, a freelancer needs to promote himself and his work by nominalising prices and offering discounts, creating promotional content and upgrading the portfolio with new-refreshing content, besides delivering ongoing projects in time!

Illustrating by blending creativity with trends and expressing it by #hash-tagging and wordplay is a smart tool to grow the followers list. But to translate the ‘following’ into ‘buying’, (or convert the followers into clients,) a freelancer needs to maintain high-quality standards.

Apart from being an illustrator, Priyatham is a movie-buff and a trendy reader. The variety of reads on Reddit and Quora serve as an inspiration for him to illustrate and sketching his favorite actors and film-makers motivates him. He is happy that his passion for art is an obsession!

Reaching out to the budding freelancers, Priyatham says that this is a slow process and requires consistency to be successful. One should be inspired and draw every day, just how you breathe, in-order to be better than yesterday. Making social profiles public and communicating and presenting yourself in the best way to mark your presence in the digital world is most needed in todays’ era.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead


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