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Advertising is one such arena where one can achieve as much as they’d like; provided, that they’ve got the skills, talent and of course the courage. Nasheet Shadani, believes it’s for every illustrator to make the most of this opportunity and create magical pieces that can manifest themselves as memorable communications.

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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India
Advertising
Poster for Vodafone India

If the Idea is the Soul of Any Work Then Illustration is the Body.

It is common belief that it’s tough for a fresh college graduate to walk in with a portfolio and land into advertising directly. Common notions are that one needs ‘contacts’ and ‘references’. That’s not true. A good portfolio is the key into this exciting world, provided that the work contains not only cool designs and illustrations, but strong and unique ideas behind them as well. Once you make your way in, the world is yours. And for an illustrator, it’s a very exciting place. There is a bit of illustration in everything you create, whether it’s a logo design, typography, calligraphy or even a photo shoot.

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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India
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Poster for Vodafone India
Advertising

Love Problems More Than Solutions.

Pablo Picasso once said, “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things”. Once a new style is cracked, the job is done. Then it’s all about moving on to explore something new. It’s important to go for the best style that suits the brief rather than retro fitting what you are good at. It also depends on the brief, if the best solution is a minimal vector graphic then why waste energy and time in creating intricate miniature art?

Poster for Vodafone India
Poster for Vodafone India
Dancer Meets Potter, Dancer Meets Puppet. Surajkund Mela theme is used to invite people on behalf of Vodafone using vivid and vibrant illustrations.

Do the Doodle.

Whatever is the result, it all starts with a doodle. Never sit on the computer directly. It is always better to think, let your subconscious work on the problem then transfer your thoughts into paper and use that doodle as a building block. Remember that even though we’ve got incredible programs and software at our disposal, they can’t do the thinking; they cannot generate ideas. Surrounding yourself with interesting and creative things can help inspire. Whether it’s things you collect from your travels or simply dig deep into the rich Indian culture, design and artistic forms are all around us.

The Elves and the Shoemaker, Santa’s Gift and Wicked Harry.

What’s Stopping You?

Short deadlines, overnight work, client’s not so friendly feedback and budget issues are few things that, sometimes, stop us in doing great work. But it ultimately depends on the kind of brand you’re working with. There are clients like Vodafone who love illustrations and there are other clients who are more focused on photo shoots or stock images. Can you imagine Amul advertising without those funny illustrative ads? Once you figure out that illustration is the best answer to this brief then the real job starts to convince the client on the benefit of using illustration in that particular case. Illustration in advertising is very different from illustrations elsewhere. Here, every single line must serve a purpose and should add to that overall message.

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ORIYA, URDU, MALAYALAM. A campaign to promote the dying art of calligraphy.
Advertising
COUPLE. A print ad to show the ill effects of bad breath in a funny way.
Advertising
Illustration for Taxi Fabric

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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Whether real life or reel life, we are surrounded by interesting characters. Some pass us by, but some get stuck in the mind and hearts. It’s no different for caricature expert Shijo Varghese, who wanted to draw Captain Jack Sparrow’s illustration for his eye-catchy attitude and appearance. Here he takes us on a step by step guide on how he achieved to create a beautiful illustration.

Illustration

Step 01

Drawing Detailing.

After finalising the subject, a bunch of pictures were collected to study elements like facial features, expressions, actions etc. After a reference picture was selected, an outline sketch is drawn using a Faber Castell mechanical pencil 0.5 on an 85 GSM paper. It’s better to start with the nose, the central element in any face, and then draw everything else around it. After the outlines are finalised, it’s time for detailing. Detailing always starts from the eyes. The hatching technique is used according to the shape, which are generally a group of straight lines. Once that’s achieved, it’s break time. That means, leaving the artwork alone for a few hours and returning to it. If all looks fine, it is then scanned as a 300 dpi JPEG.

Illustration

Step 02

Colouring.

Once the image is scanned, it is then opened in Photoshop CS5 for colouring. Keep in mind that the drawing (illustration) is placed on top of the layer as multiply and lock and a neutral tone is filled below the drawing layer, which serves as a foundation.

Illustration

Step 03

This is followed by creating another layer above the neutral colour layer. This layer is used for detailed colouring along with soft and hard round brushes.

Illustration

Step 04

Colouring is the critical part that is used to bring the character to life. A vast majority of time is then spent on fine-tuning the depth of colour using neutral tones because that’s what the subject demands.

Illustration

Step 05

More character and drama is created using a hard rounded brush in 30-50% opacity.

Illustration
Illustration

Step 06

The last step involves the addition of highlights to finalise the image.

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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The beauty of women is pure and refreshing; every man would agree. Spanish illustrator, Gabriel Moreno, is no different. Charmed by the raw beauty and behaviour of the female form, his artworks capture them through graphic and elegant imagery to make a mark in advertising. He talks to us to tell us more.

PREMIUM McWRAP
The Beauty of Women
San Gavino Mural

CG. Your illustrations and designs are very eye-catchy. How would you describe your style as?

Gabriel. I’d say my style is best described as based in the fine arts but with digital platforms in mind. When you grow up drawing, it just develops naturally. In some facets it’s academic and in others it’s personality. When I choose a subject, I envision whether it will go well with this style that I’ve developed, letting the style define itself.

CD Cover
COCA-COLA PACKAGING
FIAT500 CHINA

CG. What came first, the desire to work as an illustrator or as an advertising professional? How did you marry both? What were/are your inspirations?

Gabriel. The desire to be an illustrator was always first. As far as how I married them, when you desire to work as an illustrator I believe it’s like any other marriage. Sometimes you are on a high and sometimes you find the best way to stay together. Most of the time, the profession is completely fulfilling. Some days I’m more motivated to create than others. Therefore, I have my more artistic “hands-on” days and my less “hands-on” artistic days.

CITRUS AND MANDARINE

The inspirations depend on whether the work is commissioned or personal. If the work is commissioned, the inspiration comes from the subject matter provided by the agency and/or client. If the work is personal, the response is much easier.

 

The inspirations come from women. I’ve always watched women and how they move, their beauty, how they interact with the public, how they interact with themselves, and most importantly how to translate that beauty into my own work in a way that enlivens both them and the visions I have of them.

Giraffe
Hare Edition
DONKEY

CG. Spain’s a very cultural and exquisite country. What Spanish elements do you incorporate in your designs, if at all any? How do you tweak your designs and illustrations according to international brands/clients?

Gabriel. Well, I come from Spain. So, in essence, Spanish culture naturally comes out of me in many ways. I suppose I can say that many of the women that I draw are from Andalusia and others have Spanish traits. However, the main elements that I look for are the eyes and mouth.

 

Many women have beautiful features and it’s just as easy for me to be intrigued by women from India, Italy, Greece, etc. I don’t necessarily feel that any of my work portrays “Spanish” characteristics bounded in culture or a particular Spanish method of approaching art.

COVER ILLUSTRATION
EROTIC STORIES BY JUAN JOSÉ MILLÁS

Regarding the international brands and clients, I adapt to the models given to me in order to professionally carry out the commission. There are always tweaks that need to be made to my style to correctly approach the subject matter. However, the style is the style. It deals more with how I want the visual aesthetic to turn out for the commission.

VODKA CRUISER
SOLO EXHIBITION

CG. What advice would you give to budding enthusiasts out there? What are your future goals and dreams that you wish to conquer?

Gabriel. I respond to this question by stating that you have to create a lot of work, and just keep creating. However, upon presenting your work in terms of achieving professional recognition, it’s best to have those 25 works that show who you most are. They must be your best work and transmit what you’ll bring to the art world. I have no dreams of conquering, I just wish to continue working in the illustration field for as long as possible.

Series of illustrations for the brand of shoes called Vögele

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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Go back to when you were a child. Do you remember noticing something that couldn’t be explained and made your own interpretations and stories? Illustrator Vijyakumar Arumugam works with that strategy. “Breaking down real elements and combining them to create imaginary characters and stories is what’s exciting”, he says. He talks more on his style and how it fits into his real life illustrating profession with imagination.

Real Life Inspires the Imagination
Ganesha
Real Life Inspires the Imagination
MS Dhoni
YAZHI

Imagination is Inspired By Reality

In actual, the imaginary characters are derived from the real ones. So the more one draws and observes from real life, it becomes that much easier to execute the imaginary ones. It’s an amalgamation of animals, birds, reptiles, and characters you know of in the world we live in.

 

You can spread the wings of your imagination, travel wherever you want to, meet the wizards, speak to the fairies, fight with the giant eagles, eat with the deadliest predators of an unknown planet. The best technique to execute a character always is to sketch, doodle and passionately explore what you really want to create. As the wise men say, ‘when you seek for it, it seeks for you!’

RATI
MADANAA.
KAAMDEV

It’s a One Man Story

One character is good enough to tell a story. The pose is in, the emotions on the face, what is it wearing or carrying and its environment. And the composition and all these would bring about a story in everyone’s mind when they look at a character.

 

It is special because perception is subjective and everyone will perceive the same character differently and would also have a different story in their mind.

THE AWAKENING
URSULA
MAHISHASURAMADHINI

Versatility is Attractive

This stands true for a designer and his/her artwork as well. Because commercial work is based mostly on what a client wants, which varies every time, versatility is an attribute a designer should try and possess. And of course, when you’re working for yourself, you can wish to be and achieve anything.

 

It’s important to use your talent and skill, like a fortune-teller who can read a hand, to present to the world what they do not know or have not seen. Being intuitive, mythical and intricate for example are some elements that a designer might work with through his artwork. The goal is to connect with the audience and have them resonate with your thoughts and imagination.

THE ZEN WAY
RAVICHANDRAN ASHWIN

For Every ‘Ying’ There is a ‘Yang’

Most illustrators would claim in having a professional and a personal side. Some might like to create real-life characters whereas some might find their pencil sketching mythological characters. Every artist has an evolutionary arch that is very unique based on his work and life experiences and which ultimately swings the illustrator towards versatility. Though most prefer to work in a particular style, it’s always advisable to keep an open mind to explore other styles.

HILFY.
MS Dhoni

Do Whatever it Takes to Create Good Work

Illustrators should keep building their personal projects and exercise their freedom. Many illustrators are unhappy even after getting much work and adequate money. The reason could be the kind of work that they do actually contradicts the kind of work they want to do.

 

We have to find time for our own personal space and projects. Working for hours day and night might make it tough. In such situations, be straightforward and ask for the time it takes to deliver good quality work. We have to realize that every time we put out a work, we are setting a standard and people are going to be introduced to new aesthetics and it better be a good one.

Amitabh Bachchan
A CELEBRATION

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

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Gabriel Moreno

Based in Madrid, Gabriel Moreno is best known for his work in advertising and whose illustrations have been frequently featured in leading publications. A BFA graduate from the Universidad de Sevilla, he has worked with international clients like Coca-Cola, Nike USA, Rolex and Victoria’s Secret in addition to developing his personal line of art.


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Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

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Vijayakumar Arumugam

Vijayakumar Arumugam is an illustrator from Chennai. With a B.Sc. in Visual Communication from Loyola college and a Post-Graduation in Animation Film Design from NID, he worked in advertising for 3 years before launching himself independently in Mumbai.


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Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

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The barriers have broken and the people unified, all thanks to the World Wide Web. This, for designers is nothing less than a revolution. British freelance graphic designer, Chloe Galea, who now lives in Berlin, has made the most of this invention to provide modern designs for clients situated worldwide. Here, in a conversation with Creative Gaga, she tells us more about how she reaches out to the wider audience with her design and technology.

CG: Your designs seem very systematic, columned and well-organised. Is this your style? How do you and your design sense and techniques change when designing for the web, as compared to other canvases?

Chloë: Order and space are vital components in digital designing. I think it is aesthetics that I appreciate in many aspects of my life. As my flat is certainly bright, airy and decorated in a fairly limited palette. Plus, I think that my continued interest in print and editorial design has meant that I am always working with grids and looking at how best to structure the content I am given. The basics don’t change much when it comes to designing for digital or web either. The style still employs a grid, where careful attention is paid to typography and its hierarchy. At the same time, it is vital to strike a visual balance that makes the design look right. There are obviously different restraints that must be taken into account when working on print or digital design, but other than these technicalities, nothing much changes.

CG: Being European, where art and design are culturally embedded and dates back to memorable artists and evergreen creations; how are brands, clients and audience taking to the present web activity?

Chloë: It’s like homogeneous mixture, where it’s hard to separate both. There are certainly a few established brands I have worked with in London that have struggled to keep up with all the new technological and social developments. But I think everyone knows just how important it is now to have an intelligent curated presence online, to actively engage with the audience and stay up-to-date with the latest digital and web trends. That all said, the print isn’t going anywhere; it is ever evolving and finding new ways to remain relevant.

CG: As a designer, how do you stay abreast of latest design happenings and creations? How do you reach out to the world? How much do you depend on the web and how much does the web depend on you?

Chloë: There is no rocket science involved. Reading is important, spending time online is important. I lose hours to Pinterest as well as get out of the house, walk around the city, meet up with like-minded people and make a point of attending industry talks and events. While it would be a mistake to rely on the internet for all creative inspiration, I think no one would deny just what an amazing resource it is. It’s also a boon for freelancers out there as it facilitates promotion and communication with clients regardless of where they are in the world.

CG: What would be some traits and qualities that you feel should be present in a designer to be ready to create for the times of today? Have you had the opportunity to visit or work with any Indian clients?

Chloë: I went to a talk recently at Betahaus, Berlin and the speaker said there are three things a designer needs to be: talented, punctual and likeable. In terms of Indian clients, no I haven’t worked with any. However, I have spent some time in India and would love the opportunity to go back!

Published in Issue 25

Creative Gaga kicks off the year with an issue that asks the important questions, is it the web that’s leading the brands or the other way around? With 2014 witnessing an increase in brands investing in digital marketing, 2015 will only be bigger. We can say India has accepted the revolution, where more and more people are opening browsers to e-commerce, literally window shopping, and setting up shops online as well. The issue brings together renowned designers with digital experience, who discuss and throw light on the pros and cons of this change and where we possibly are headed with this in the future.

 

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Creating a real-life or a reel-life character is like putting various puzzle pieces together. It’s easy to see someone and say ‘I recognise that person.’, but drawing from scratch is a different thing all together. Illustrator and digital artist, Nikhil Shinde, talks more about this less explored form of communication and how it can be made into a powerful tool.

characters
LATE NIGHT CHAT
characters
SADHU BABA

Surprise the audience by giving them something unexpected.

The idea of making different types of characters and models with suitable environments is always expected from a digital artist. So why not create them with a twist? Get random by stepping out of the box. Get unexpected by deviating from the initial plan. When the final outcome is not what you thought initially, you’re pretty much on the right track.

characters
THE KARNA
characters
KAPIL SHARMA

The real deal comes with unreal characters.

Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy to make a real character. It’s simply about making a replica of an existing person and all it is focusing on getting the right details in place. But fantasy or self-imagined characters demand a lot of time to think about their anatomy, pose, composition etc. Even though there is a stark difference in the creation of both real and non-real characters, what never changes is the approach in making them. As a designer, it’s vital to contribute your style and personality to it as well. This is what personalises the artwork and makes it ‘yours’.

characters
KRISHN
characters
SHAKTIMAN

Every work of yours must be your very favourite.

Even though some designs and projects get recognised over others that a designer has created, the bottom line is that they’re all of equal value. The designer puts the same amount of energy, thought and skill in each artwork. It’s important to not lose that focus. Because, if that balance is disrupted, it might make way for a shaky future.

characters
GRANNY AND MONEY
characters
THE WITCH

Digital paintings are not meant for walls.

In India, digital painting is yet to be accepted as a mode of communication. And from what it looks like, it’s still a while away. The only reason is because India lacks encouragement in this field as well as basic knowledge. Once we’re able to overcome this, it’s only then that digital paintings will make for a much more natural form of communication.

characters
Dr. MANMOHAN SINGH
characters
DIABLO CHARACTER
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BLACK EYE

Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

Order Your Copy!

Nikhil Shinde

Born in Dhule, Maharashtra, Nikhil Shinde is a freelance illustrator. Starting off his career in 2010 through digital paintings, he now works with Photoshop and Corel Draw to create memorable work.


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Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

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Gone are the days when Illustrators used to take the back seat in the advertising world. With things today, they’re emerging as the forerunners of some amazing and memorable communication that is being recognized. No doubt, clients, like OLX and Docomo, are exploring this valuable asset with Nithin Rao Kumblekar.

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advertising

Contacting an illustrator for a TVC shoot might not be something we hear of everyday, but when OLX got in touch with Nithin Rao, it was a wise decision. The client wanted a campaign that would carry forward in print as well, and thus, saving time and cost, decided to get the shoot illustrated. Simple to look at, but the task was a challenging one for the artist. The OLX team had asked him to create every object separately in the layout so that they could pick each one later, according to their needs. Thus, the illustration required Nithin to create every object completely even if it was overlapped by the objects.

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When Docomo demanded an illustration route for its exciting print campaign ‘The bedtime stories’, Nithin knew it would be storytelling through single visuals. Without over complicating the visual, he worked carefully with shadow and light to establish humor and wit using relatable scenarios. To give the story a setting, subtle placement of props were used, like the placement of a kid’s drawing book, school bag and water bottle with a fish on it.

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Published in Issue 24

Gone are the days when Illustrations would take a back seat. Now, they are becoming more proactive and are evolving the way we communicate. This time, Creative Gaga focuses on how the advertising world is opening its doors to this exciting form of design. Featuring renowned Illustrators like Chris Beatrice, Nasheet Shadani, Vijay Kumar, Gabriel Mareno and much more, this issue promises to leave no page unturned!

 

Order Your Copy!

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