1

Shreya Shetty

LA-based freelance concept artist and illustrator, Shreya Shetty, shares her insights about handling and organising finances as a freelancer, so that it no longer feels a daunting task.

Working as a freelancer means you have a wear a lot of hats. Being smart about your finances will allow you to continue to operate smoothly. Here are some ways to help you through the ups and downs of the freelance life.

1. Know Your Worth

Charging a below par rate is going to hurt you, over time. Talk to your peers and know the general rates. Sources like ArtPact, Glassdoor, etc. help find out the hourly and per piece rates for illustrations and such.


2. Budget for Taxes

Freelancers pay at a higher tax rate. Consider this when you quote your prices, and budget for this when you have expenses. Virtually, all work related expenses can be written-off as business expenses. Find out all possible allowed business expenses that you can claim as a freelancer. Be sure to keep your personal and professional spending separate.


3. Consistent Clients

Try to have consistent clients so you know that you will be making a certain amount per month. Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try to have a couple of different clients, so even if one stops commissioning work, you won’t be out of work.

4. Invoicing

Be prompt about sending in your invoices as soon as the job is done. Most of the bigger companies have fixed billing cycles so if you are late and don’t send your invoices in by a certain time, it might take up to the next cycle to get paid.


5. Passive Income

It’s always great to supplement your commissions with passive income. This means that you can generate revenue with minimal effort, based on the work that you have already done. Examples of this would be Print on Demand (POD) services for prints, licensing; selling content like tutorial videos, brushes, and so on.


6. Plan Downtime

Plan for the downtime and try to save up at least 3-6 months of your basic living expenses. When you start out keep your overheads low, embrace the frugality till you know you have saved up enough to not panic if the work dries up for a while.

Published in Issue 37

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.

 

Order Your Copy!

Product Designer and Innovation Consultant, Paul Sandip shares his word on how to develop and create products that are authentically Indian, yet bear an international appeal

India being such a diverse country, it is almost impossible to identify any unifying aesthetic preference. There is no one ‘Indian look’ which can be injected into a product to be a hit in the Indian market.

 

However, what does unify us is our common sense of utility, and to be relevant in the Indian context, our ideas need to resonate with our belief systems and way of life. The design does not have to look Indian, but be Indian. And to unearth such insights, one needs to empathize with the end users; understand their pain points, and try to address them beautifully. Genuine needs are often felt but seldom expressed. Hence, one has to be very observant to the product usage scenario and create products that have universal beauty; not ones that are merely skin deep.

There is another way to attract a customer; by design. It is a subliminal connect which can be achieved by taking inspiration from the context of using the product, and then translate those ideas into Unique Selling Propositions. “USP by design!”

Quality in design is perceived at different levels; an emotional level i.e. to what extent it fulfils your desire, and at the physical level i.e. how the product feels to touch or smell. The more subtle the elements of design are, the more curious the end user will be and therefore get attracted to the product, wishing to own it without probably even knowing why.

 

Finally, attention to details, such as how the product parts fit with each other creates a perception of quality. When people say it is a Chinese product, they often intend to say that the fit and feel of the product is flimsy, hence perceiving it as cheap quality. The choice of materials and their finishes also play an important role in establishing a high quality perceived value; like what Apple does with their products.

To sum it up, keep the idea rooted in India, explore new materials and push the limits of manufacturing processes to achieve international quality. Only then can the necessary and fundamental balance be attained, so as to create just the right mix of Indian and international.

Issue-37

Published in Issue 37

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 Order Your Copy Now!

 

Order Your Copy!

Concept Artist, Raj Khatri, takes us through his step-by-step fan art progression of his favourite band, Iron Maiden. Starting with the initial sketches in the pages of his college notebook, he transports the sketching into the elaborate stages of adding drips and streaks; highlighting; playing with tones, and such other details, before finally reaching the envisioned representation.

From Sketch To Canvas

What Raj Khatri began as light sketches between the lines of his college notebooks, eventually found expression on the digital canvas. He executed and represented his love for the British band, Iron Maiden, through the application of layering processes; complex colour blocking; shading and blending, and the likes. He elaborates, in detail, each of these steps in detail, thus showcasing what it took to arrive at the final picture.

Step1 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 1

Started out by scanning copies of original sketches from my college notebooks, done in 2000-2001, proceeding onto digitally cleaning and balancing the black values to get the details and contrast out from the scanned images.

Step2 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 2

Since Iron Maiden are a British band, composing all of them in the shape of the Union Jack was the base concept, digitally linking the sketches was a primary step.

Step 3 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 3

Ready for digital painting, the first shading of mid tones were applied onto the top character, likewise isolating the layout into individual characters, before adding the second layer of shading and blending.

Stepa4 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 4

Shading with dark tones and blending in together, creases and wrinkles were brought into effect, adding the first layer of highlight.

Step 5

Colour blocking was applied to the second character, Eddie from ‘Seventh Son from the Seventh son’, followed by Midtone shading, highlighting and blending for the second character.

Step 6(a) Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga
Step6 (b) Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 6

The same process was then executed for the third character, Eddie from ‘Fear of The Dark’, as also for the fourth character, Eddie from ‘Best of the Beast’.

Step7 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 7

Recomposing all the shaded characters back together, adding a flat colour behind, made it possible to see how the shape was forming or coming together.

Step8 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 8

Proceeded onto colouring the characters using the gradient map, then drawing the basic shapes and streaks for drips on it.

Step9 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 9

Toning the dark values of red, and balancing the overall colour spectrum of the layout, before painting the details of shadows and highlights on the drips, finally adding the round edged border to the layout.

Step 10

Added more details to the drips, also placing the painted logo of the band in the center.

Step11 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 11

Adding additional drips and more details to them; adding shadow to the logo. Applied a layer of flash off-whitish beige colour on top of all layers in the ‘Darken’ mode.

Step12 Tutorial The Poster of Pure Iron Love - Creative Gaga

Step 12

Final colour adjustment, using colour balance and levels to manage the overall contrast and red values. Added sharpness by taking a merged copy of the layout on top of all layers and adding the ‘Sharpen’ filter. Then reducing the capacity to 60-70% as per your taste and finally completing the artwork.

Pitch your Dream Client! - Issue-37 Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 37

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’. 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!

 

Order Your Copy!

From mountains to rivers and deserts to seas, the beauty that nature presents before us is mesmerising. At times jaw-dropping and other times breathtaking, landscape photographer Ron Kahlon shows us how he captures the most photogenic model in the world – Mother Earth.

Landscape Photography
Landscape Photography

Capture Varying Attitudes Of Longitudes And Latitudes.

Landscape photography is a great way to bring the world to people. Many wishes to travel, however, it’s only a hand few that are able to travel extensively to see the world for what it is. Capturing the Earth in its pure and natural form is surprising for the audience because there will always be something they would never have seen. Like a shipwreck by the side of the beach or a melting glacier that’s constantly moving at 4cm/s. There are so many costumes the Earth likes to flaunt; whether it’s creased mountains to glittering waves, there is never a landscape photo that will look the same.

Landscape Photography
Landscape Photography

A Patient Eye Makes One Go My My!

One of the greatest virtues of a landscape photographer is patience. The patience to wait for the clouds to clear to reveal the sun-kissed mountain top or to wait for the moment when the pastels in the sky are just right at sunset. Nature is forever changing its poses, giving you surprising shots to capture. Once in the wild, you can’t plan. It can start to rain or you’ll have a flat tyre. It’s all about timing. For example, if you’re clicking Mount Cook in New Zealand, you need to spend several hours trying to get the best shot. And you need to do that every day, till you’re satisfied you’ve got a shot that captures the landscape with a dramatic story. You need to change the way you look at the subject It’s a wrap then.

Landscape Photography
Landscape Photography

It’s Like A Picture Book.

The composition is probably one of the most critical factors in landscape photography. You don’t just capture a tree but the tree in its surroundings. That’s how the story happens. One can use composition techniques like rule of thirds, leading lines and even patterns to capture nature’s plot. Timing, especially capturing landscapes during the golden hour helps establish drama and character

Landscape Photography
Landscape Photography

Get Into The Right Gear.

Landscape photography utilises great skill of the photographer and the camera as well. Using professional full-frame DSLR with a 16-35mm wide angle lens is one great way to start a photography journey. Using low ISO ranging between 100-300 and a small aperture between F9-F16 during daytime is one way to get apt images. For nights, using an ISO of around 800 is ideal. Focusing manually via the live view of the scale on the lens on hyperfocal distance and not focusing on optical infinity is one way to go as well. Photography techniques like applying focus stacking or vertical panorama (refocusing in different frames) are also some ways to enhance the landscape experience. For instances where the land is dark, it’s best to expose the land separately and then merge it with the background using Mask in Photoshop.

Landscape Photography
Issue-37

Published in Issue 37

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. 

 

Order Your Copy!

Self- taught Visual Artist, Illustrator and Digital Artist, Archan Nair, describes how tagging along with one’s heart and going by what one knows within, helps to create one’s best works and let the best within them flourish

ATONAL. 3D DIGITAL ART. A notorious play of plain and colours.

CG. What role do you feel the expressive use of colour plays in what you intend to convey?

AN. I don’t think of colours too much. If they need to happen, they automatically get translated into the work. And, if the visual does not require any, that too flows out. Though, I love how at the end, colours fuse together to create layers of storytelling, mystery and fascination.

Archan Nair heart
JNANI. 3D DIGITAL ART. A rather lively, vibrant stage, indeed!

CG. What idea/intention forms the core of what you depict, and which elements do you feel are essential to manifest them?

AN. My work has been a reflection of my journey, and that journey is deeply fascinated by the mystery we call existence – how everything interacts and reacts with each other, and where we all originate from; how things are not what they seem, and the more we dig deeper, the more weird and bizarre simple things seem to become, all at the same time. I love that reality cannot be understood, and the attempt to understand it is constantly showcased into what I create.

Archan Nair heart
SUBMERGED. A psychedelic illustration via Mixed Media Digital Illustration.

CG. What qualities do you feel are essential in a designer (especially, a freelancer) to regularly garner commissions/clients?

AN. Just be yourself. Do what you love; create to your heart’s content. I don’t think there is any particular way of getting clients, or any fixed method. If your work is true and original, and someone likes it so much so that it would enhance their project, they would definitely hire you. It’s very simple, I deeply believe, in my experience.

PSYMBIONIC. Digital Illustration of human and the subtler elements of being human.

CG. How do you choose your clients? Or clients choose you?

AN. It’s a two-way process, I think. Many-a- times, there are enquiries from potential clients who want to hire you because they like your work, but want something entirely different for themselves. At this point, I understand the direction and then take a call. If it is absolutely different from my direction of work, I would not like to continue. So, yes, it has to be a mutual collaboration between both sides to make it really exciting.

Archan Nair heart
OTHER SPACES. Digital Illustration of the ferocious tiger.

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?

AN. I just feel that the only thing required is to create from your heart. The rest are just human-made ideas and concepts, which will anyway happen on their own. There is no need to focus on anything but create and share what you like. Whatever else needs to happen, will happen. We tend to focus too much time on constructing strategies, but nothing works unless you love what you are doing, and that is all that one needs to do.

IGNITE. Digital Illustration of an Owl, a symbolically mysterious creature.

CG. What would be your advice to freelance illustrators on getting clients without needing to be pitch-oriented?

AN. One needs to just focus on their heart and practice their own work, and not follow any trend, look, style or direction. If your work speaks to potential clients, they would definitely love to work with you.

SHAMAN’S WHISPER. Digital Illustration of the majestic wolf.
client

Published in Issue 37

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 Order Your Copy Now!

 

Order Your Copy!

Hailing from Manipur, Thokchom Sony celebrates the natural beauty, customs and traditions of his hometown through his work. Inspired by patterns from Indian handloom and textile design, he combines it with his illustrations, which ultimately brings out the unique characters.

Manipur
Wild orchid

The magic of Manipur

“I love nature” says designer, Thokchom Sony, and we don’t doubt it! Nature is celebrated through strong themes and yet he is rooted in his hometown. The beautiful Manipuri fabric patterns weave a story with portraits as he imparts socially relevant messages.

Manipur
Indian Ballerinas.

Drawing major inspiration from Potloi, a cylindrical skirt worn by the brides and dancers in Manipur and the flowers from the state result in unique characteristics or a personality that are detailed extensively. Working in details, especially with hair, eyes and skin textures Thokchom finds natural skin tones with freckles, moles and blush so beautiful. Incorporating traditional elements like chandon on nose, tanakha on cheeks helps in bringing out the originality and ethnicity in the characters.

Manipur
Dance of Freedom.
Lily girl.
client

Published in Issue 37

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 Order Your Copy Now!

 

Order Your Copy!

Tasneem Syed and Gauri Arora share their idea of niche, worthy packaging for traditional Punjabi Juttis, a traditional hand-crafted footwear that is very much an intrinsic part of North Indian culture.

Punjabi Jutti

Brief

A Punjabi Jutti is traditional hand-crafted North Indian footwear. Like any other footwear, they are generally presented to customers in simple shoe boxes, or sometimes even in the newspaper. The idea, thus, was to retain their elegance into traditionally authentic packaging, representing the roots they stem from.

Punjabi Jutti

Concept

The packaging of Punjabi Jutti – The sole of Punjab, should be compact and unique, just like the Punjabi Juttis. The hexagonal shape makes it convenient for storage, as it consumes little space, while it is also easily stackable when displaying in stores and transporting in bulk. The box can be used for display, which doubles-up as the packaging. It also comes along with a jute string attached, to make carrying the shoes more convenient.

Punjabi Jutti

Outcome

This is taking a step away from the conventional shoe boxes, and towards enhancing the whole experience of selecting, buying, packing and taking home a pair of Punjabi juttis, making it a memorable one. The transparent lid enables a person to have a look at the design of the jutti inside the box, without having to open it, and even allows the shopkeeper to pull out the desired Punjabi jutti while it is stacked on the shelf.

Punjabi Jutti
client

Published in Issue 37

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 Order Your Copy Now!

 

Order Your Copy!

Priya Amrut Shinde has followed a simple guiding principle through her art; love is supposed to complement. Through her unconventional interpretations of age old love stories, she has created minimal illustrations of Indian love stories of deities.

love
Infinite Love (Radha Krishna)

Contemporary traditions

Starting with traditional forms of Gods and Goddesses, Priya transformed them using contemporary design elements. Subtly doing so, she has retained parts of the originality while minimising unnecessary details thus resulting in a vibrant and youthful canvas.

 

In an attempt to accessorise the artwork while maintaining a focus on the key characters, she has used motifs that are generally associated with the characters. Hence, you find minimalistic elements like flowers, mountains, and waves serving as backdrops in each artwork.

love
Eternal Love (Lakshmi Narayan)

Seamlessly integrating the male and female deity was a challenge, solved by the colour blue which is evidently a common theme across all artworks as the ‘Neelkanth’ is another name for Shiva, Vishnu rests underwater and Krishna has often been represented in the colour blue. So while the blue symbolises the men in all three couples, it is the other half that brings more colours and variety to the artwork.

Affectionate Love (Shiv Shakti)
client

Published in Issue 37

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 Order Your Copy Now!

 

Order Your Copy!

Loris F. Alessandria, an Italian freelance illustrator who loves Lego and dogs, feels that inspiration is not in and for chosen few, but all around for us to recognise, acknowledge and appreciate. He goes on to expound on his own insightful findings owing to being open to them along the way.

CG. Having a strong sense of design and the ability to put yourself out there, where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?

LA. Thank you. I am working hard to improve my skills, and to find some new ways to communicate. In the next couple of years, I’d like to see myself as a trusted freelancer; one who gets the opportunity to work with very cool people around the globe.

Editorial illustration commissioned by RCS for Mediapower Linc Magazine.

CG. How is your approach different from others around you? What is the inspiration for the same?

LA. I do not know if my approach is different or not, but I personally think it is not. The chosen approach depends on the project at hand i.e. what is required and apt for it so that it comes into effect in the best way possible. Usually, though, I like to make use of expressive characters and even play with a lot of colours. My inspiration comes in different forms and mediums; they could be in the form of illustrated books, graphic design projects or animated movies as well. I’m always inspired by the thousands of talented people around me.

CG. How do you narrow down to a specific element and work on making it more important? How does your core thought (the subject of your work, or the way it is executed) make its way from sketches to the final render?

LA. Usually, the final illustrations are really similar to my sketches; more like an extension of the sketches. It’s a little different when I sketch for storyboards; in this case, it’s more important for me to focus on actions instead of the design by itself.

Loris F. Alessandria - Inspiration
Editorial illustration for Sport Magazine, UK.

CG. Your illustrations seem to be woven around a lot of colours; a relatable character and, essentially, human-based themes. How do you manage to tell this story in a stationary frame?

LA. Well, that’s the hardest part of our job. I try to give personality and temperamental qualities to my characters. Likewise, I also make an effort to create a good environment that stays in sync with the characters, so that the two elements gel well with one another and produce an impactful effect, in turn. The focus of attention is laid upon the action or the message that the illustration is intended to convey to or bring about in the audience

Beedrill is the whacky, fun-looking Pokèmon for The Pokèdex Project.

CG. Do you consider technology a big part of art today, and its impact on constantly changing trends? What inspires your work and keeps you updated on modern techniques and styles?

LA. I think technology is a big player in today’s times and era, whether it is in the form of the wide and diverse range of tools one has at disposal, or of the innovative ways you can stay connected with other creatives. I usually use Tumblr and Instagram to find inspirational things, and they also prove to be helpful mediums to keep updated every day.

CG. We live in a multi-media world where people want fast information and fast response rates. How has this turned creative business trends into essentials?

LA. Everything is fast. The world of communication, too, is affected by this rhythm. Most of the times, my commissions have very tight timelines, and that can sadly cause some loss in terms of quality. Sometimes, using simple images is the best way; sometimes it’s not.

Loris F. Alessandria - Inspiration
Jacala. Is a white monkey in a contrastingly colourful and mystical jungle. Made as a personal project in 2016.
client

Published in Issue 37

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 Order Your Copy Now!

 

Order Your Copy!

Kartik Iyer

Kartik Iyer graduated with a BSc in Visual Communication, Advertising, Film and Graphic Design. Currently CEO of Happy Mcgarrybowen in Bangalore, he’s donned various hats in Brand Building, Advertising, Creative direction and the likes.


Featured In


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.

Related Posts


No posts were found.


Find Him Here


POST TAGS:

Pin It on Pinterest