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For people, in this case Indians, who spend a considerable part of their lives abroad, what makes for a home? The search for the Identities of the diasporic Indian population prompted Meera Sethi to undertake this series, Foreign Returned.

 

Influenced by her visual backgrounds of medieval India and contemporary contexts, Meera set out to capture mixed identities through time and space, inspired by her own experiences across India, Canada and Australia. Each figure carries objects, images and personal histories of belonging and dislocation. Each figure is searching for something, perhaps it is home, perhaps it is a place to put down the suitcase.

 

Although these are portraits of contemporary wanderers, the clothing is inspired by Rajput and Mughal miniature paintings as this is how the experience of migration from India to the west can be visually depicted. The radical juxtaposition of aspects of one’s self show collapsing of time and space, of identities past and present. By creating a contradiction between what is worn and what is held, the intention is to suggest the ways history interrupts and/or creates our journeys.

 

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Parminder Sandhu (Paul)
Sudha Subramanium (Sue)
Mohammed Abdelrahman (Mo)
Anamika Sengupta (Ann)
K. Swaminathan (Sam)
Mariam Maharaj (Mary)

Extravagance can be deceptive. Three art forms – photography, styling & illustration – are thus merged to create The Bizarreness Called Beauty by Lucky Dubz Trifonas, a visual portrait of the unfavourable side of contemporary fashion industry.

Uncovering Realities

The attempt was to break the veil that exists between the fact and fiction of fashion business. Sexualising and objectifying models are practices that are sustained casually off and through the ramp. Shaking away this indifference, these realities are openly brought to the forefront.

Saying the Truth

Bad dreams, sinful desires and strange fashion statements have been constantly represented throughout the series. Precise photography and loud hairstyles provide a conducive environment to depict these representations.

The Disillusioning

What resulted was a not-so-pretty picture of what is otherwise posed as charming. Pronouncing loudly the uncharismatic in a brave tone, this depiction is a pointed stare into the ugly traditions and practices thriving within the fashion world.

 

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Fashion
Fashion

Consistency is imperative while creating a series. This can be achieved through the use of line style, tone, colour palette, a specific art form, etc. Here is an illustrations series created for The Lily News by Ana Duje, an Argentinean graphic designer and illustrator who currently works between Hong Kong and Barcelona. What makes this unique is the minimalistic art style, the starkness of the white lines and bright pop of colours against the pitch black background.

 

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Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations
Illustrations

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Nature is blessed with a wonderful variety of things and one that captures the eyes of many are the animals. Created in various forms and having unique patterns, Richard Field, illustrates them in his own style using worldwide cultural influences. He elaborates on his nature inspired designs.

inspired
The Dark Owl.
Aiyana
inspired
The Travelling Turtle.
The Night Owl

CG: What is the story behind what you do? How did you discover your talent and how did you work towards making it more than that? What were your inspirations? What were some challenges you had to overcome?

RF: Field-inspired, a play on the words ‘feel inspired’, is my name as an Illustrator. Having been inspired by so many things, it’s nice to do some inspiring of my own. My collection started when I was trying to make a bit of extra cash selling flash sheets to tattoo parlors around South London. Tattooists are always on the look out for new artwork to display in their shops. I used to work on black and white illustrations inspired by a variety of cultures around the world. My Native American, Mãori and folk art inspired illustrations caught the eye of a few people on Facebook and I decided to start adding colours and working on a new collection inspired by some of the nature’s most iconic animals.

inspired
The Bull.
Giraffe
The Aware Wolf
inspired
The Stag Prince.

CG: Animals play a central role in your designs. Can you throw some more light as to why? How did you find inspiration in animals and their patterns?

RF: Isn’t wildlife the most wonderful thing we have on this planet? I’ve definitely chosen the best subject to illustrate. The shapes and patterns that it forms never cease to amaze me. It’s a great achievement to be able to put your own stamp on animals we see so often. I enjoy trying to add a bit of personality to them – the ‘Wise’ Lion or the ‘Truthful’ tiger. Nature is full of so much hidden beauty, the idea is to try to encourage people to take a closer look at the artwork and look beyond to read the halftones and patterns.

inspired
African Buffalo.
The Crowned Crane
The Last Black Macaque
inspired
The Mountain Ram.

CG: Your designs have a striking contrast against black, creating an illuminated look and feel. How does that enhance the design?

RF: In my current collection, I work on black using a similar colour theme across all prints. By using strong, bold colours on black I hope to encourage the user to look closer at the detail. It’s not easy working on black, sometimes the colours can get a bit lost during the printing process – but I love the end result. Hopefully, people like how the artwork jumps off the canvas.

inspired
The African Elephant.
The Last Lion
Zebra
inspired
The Truthful Tiger.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Prasun Mazumdar - Brand
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Experience definitely counts. Prasun Mazumdar is here to share tips with the young, aspiring designers and to guide them in setting-up their own little studio and coverting it in a brand.

Prasun has a mixed take on the new-age designers of the current generation! Some would like to be independent designers and fit into the requirements as they come, some would want to use their remarkable skill to generate a style that is their very own and work as an independent design supplier, with social media helping them get the applause they want and also it would extend to real profits and then there are some who have long-term thinking and plans who wish to and will set up their own studios (brand).

Prasun is a supreme believer of the fact that everyone is different and has different life experiences. Hence the way of approaching a challenge and delivering it varies tremendously from person to person.



Having said this, he still feels that there are certain common aspects needed to be kept in mind to run an independent design studio.

01. Setting-up

The first challenge for setting up a studio is the space, as it has a major role to play in the initial years of a design studio. It considerably influences the evolution of thought process and allows designers to think with a free mind.

 

As for Prasun, personally, the new concepts of co-working space, is not a very ‘design studio’ thing as designers are a crazy breed, they need to talk but they also need to be in complete isolation at times.


02. The Driving Force

The urge and the push to work is the next most important thing. Post setting up the studio, the idea of just doing minimum work should not be the sole or pivotal idea. The project loads go up & down with market trends and requirements but to have the eagerness to do more is always good for a design studio as it keeps the spirit going.



03. Time Management

Managing time is quite a challenge during the days of establishment. Balancing between client and self-projects, allotting a good 20% to 30% of your total time to personal projects proves to be of great help.

04. Client Relationships

Building good and healthy relationship with your clients is always a plus as it helps in carrying the project further even after the defined work is finished. With the designer thinking in depth about the project and the client being ready to accept the suggestions, provided they are practical and propose a profitable angle to their business, it is a win-win situation for both parties, solely built on the established relationship between the two.



05. Eclectic Mix of Skills

For a stronger team and the studio’s organic growth, it is of much value to have a versatile group of designers, rather than having all good at one or similar skills.

Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

Yourself as a Brand! Who doesn’t want to become famous, when everyone knows your name and especially for us designer, it is the basic dream every design student or young artist dream. But behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must-read.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

The human face communicates, even if it’s not talking. The eyes and expressions tell a story like pages of a book. Dominated by emotions and such human elements, Artist Alpa Mistry takes us through some of her depictions.

 

A face is a visual communicator, and thus Alpa’s designs are characterised by the use of facial elements. Because expressions can convey a thousand different stories, her designs use that aspect to portray various feelings and personalities. The use of vibrant colours helps mellow down negative connotations of the central element, bestowing a ‘ying-yang’ dynamism to the final outcome whenever acrylic meets the canvas. What starts as a random unconscious sketch is built upon spontaneously by addition of elements, and at the end you have an artwork that relates back to life.

 

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Face
Glory
Face
Faces
Face
Answers
Face
Colors
Face
The Turban
Coming Together
Connections

Like every mother, Laleh Mohmedi also found it difficult to get her child to eat healthy food. But when she turned her son Jacob’s spelt pancakes into a lion – he absolutely loved eating it! That is when Jacob’s Food Diaries was born! Since then, she creates cartoon-inspired food and become a professional food artist. Laleh collaborated with well-known companies including Disney, Nickelodeon, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Jamie Oliver. Jacob’s Food Diaries has become a platform for parents and children for inspiration to make healthy food fun!

 

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Food
Witch in Snow White
Food
Carl Fredricksen
Food
AMY WINEHOUSE
Coco
Food
MELMAN from MADAGASCAR
Food
DUMBO
Food
TIGGER
Food
EDNA “E” MODE from THE INCREDIBLES 2
Donald Duck Smoothie
George Pig
CAPTIAN HOOK from PETER PAN
PATRICK from Spongebob
ALEX THE LION from MADAGASCAR
GLORIA from MADAGASCAR 3
FREDDY KRUEGER
JOHNNY from SING
Food
OWL AVOCADO CARVING
Food
CARL & ELLIE from UP
THE JOKER (Heath Ledger)
Food
MICKEY & FRIENDS
Food
TYRION LANNISTER from Games of Thrones
Food
PIKACHU from POKÉMON
GENIE (Will Smith) from ALADDIN
Mickey Mouse

The young partners of Design Studio Hawraf, shut down their studio with grace and dignity, and let the world into the inner workings of their business.

When you dream of establishing your own design studio, you’ve got your entry into the industry all planned out. Careful thought is put into the business model, marketing strategy, and everything else required to begin. Right till the boat is sailing, the blue print is in place.

But you would never meticulously plan the ‘shutting down’ of your design studio, right? It just seems so bizarre, especially since the goal always is to expand and soar higher. But the death of design firms and companies is a reality. We see far more businesses disappearing than actually making it big. In such a scenario, wouldn’t it make sense to plan the end of your studio as well, instead of simply fading into the background?

As outlandish as that may sound, the New York-based design studio, Hawraf, did just that.

 

Hawraf was the result of a collaborative relationship between Andrew Herzog, Carly Ayres and Nicky Tesla, who worked together at Google Creative Lab. They founded Hawraf in 2016, and within a short period made quite an impact on the design industry. Hawraf is particularly infamous for its bold and interactive work, and pushing boundaries through lateral design approaches. Hawraf began on the ethos of transparency and increased engagement with users. They believed in being an open book, allowing the whole world to watch as they experimented, failed, learnt, and finally found radical solutions to design problems. An important principle that drove them is questioning conventional solutions and looking for ideas that are most relevant to the problem.

Here is an example of their out-of-the-box ideas. Andrew Herzorg once went around his neighbourhood glueing moss onto fire hydrants and subway stops. It’s a known adage that moss grows on the north side of a wall. As an experiment with wayfinding, Andrew put this idea to practice and pushed the boundaries of traditional design practice.

Design Studio Hawraf

Within no time their design work was recognized and greatly appreciated globally. Andrew was named as one of Print Magazine’s 15 under 30 New Visual Artists, and Carly was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, apart from the very many accolades they received.

Design Studio Hawraf

Yet, early this year the partners announced the end of Hawraf. What is interesting is that their decision to shut down had little to do with the studio success and more to do with their personal goals. After working together and watching the studio unfold and evolve, the partners soon realized that their personal ambitions were misaligned. With this awareness, they took the bold decision to shut down now and go with a bang, instead of struggling to make it work till the business turned sour.

Design Studio Hawraf

But what made this decision truly amazing, is the way they executed their exit. Hawraf was built on the principle of transparency and interaction. Keeping this in mind, they published their internal documents in a public google drive folder, for anyone to refer to.

The public folder serves as a guide to anyone looking to start on their own. Right from proposal decks, to pricing strategy spreadsheets, to do’s and don’ts of company culture, press tips, profits and losses, founders’ values; everything that an entrepreneur would encounter at the start of the venture is addressed in the folder.

In 2016, Hawraf entered the design industry and took the world by storm. And now as they shut down, they leave with equal style.

Design Studio Hawraf
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Maxim Shkret is a freelance digital artist with over 10 years of experience in various advertising agencies. His 3D Portraits are the brilliant confluence of realism and surrealism. In each of the work, the subjects are displayed with a high degree of detailing, yet the layered treatment of the form brings in the ethereal and surreal appearance to the work. The crispness and precision cannot be missed. The sharp edges and smooth textures add to the intense mood of each subject.

 

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3D Portraits
3D Portraits
3D Portraits
3D Portraits
3D Portraits
3D Portraits

Gal Shir is an Israel based self-taught digital artist who creates digital illustrations on iPad Pro using Procreate App and Apple Pencil. He has been freelancing since the age of 16 and later worked with many creative studios/ startups including Promo.

 

He founded Color Hunt, which provides colour palettes with several combinations to make life easy for the creatives. He leads the design at Lemonade, along with consulting and helping entrepreneurs to establish design thinking. Gal has collaborated with brands like Apple, Adobe, LG, Procreate, Affinity, Dribbble, 9GAG, UNILAD, The Bright Side, and more.

 

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