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Vijaya Laxmi exhibits the power that a woman possesses through her illustration series, ‘Devi’, ‘Shiva-Shakti’ and various other series, all are an exploration of her mythological concepts allowing viewers to see beyond the obvious.

Obsession with drawing and painting is Vijaya Laxmi’s genetic code. Pursuing art as a free-time hobby flowered into a passion of extremes where she could forgo sleep to complete canvasses and thus began her creative journey as a professional artist.

 

Also practicing clay modelling, she credits herself with a substantial part in promoting the concept of ‘Green Ganeshas’.

Shivgami

Themed Concepts of Modern Divine

Sensing and feeling divinity within her and outside of her, she has explored this divinity through her artwork in a modern and contemporary manner. Her work is mostly figurative created using oil and acrylics on canvas in subtle blues and greys, attempting to convey a story.

Saraswati

According to Vijayalaxmi, the female form has allure, grace and beauty emerging from the gentleness of form, the curves – be it the nose, the neck, the torso, the bosom, the waist; the softness of lines of fingers and toes convey a sense of movement. There is remarkable strength in what to the eye looks merely dainty.

Towards Peace

The Devi Series

To convey the message that each female has a different rupa, she has created a series, Devi, which is a reflection of her unhappiness where people see a woman as a goddess but not the other way round. Unlike calendar art, she has depicted the various Devi in a simple manner, without the much elaborate attributes of goddesses with heavy ornamentation.

Durga

She says that simplicity is itself the beauty of a message: ‘Here She is – now you draw your own meaning, interpret it, but here are my guidelines.’

 

Laxmi in her work is depicted as smiling – as everyone wishes to be blessed by her bounteous grace. Devi Kali’s face projects the anger or rage at injustice. Like Kali, Durga too has a more chiseled face, emphasising their strength, both destructive and creative.

Shivalankaar

The Shiv-Shakti

The Shiv-Shakti series is where she sees Shiv and Shakti as one – separate and together but spiritually one. It is a glorious representation of souls, their quest for merger and the attainment of the moment when they are immersed into each other.

 

Vijaya Laxmi sees Shiva not just in a male form but also as a female – the ardhanarishwar. He manifests himself in a complex dual form; the two forms merged in a manner where it is difficult to point where the male form ends and the female begins.

Shiva-Shakti

Shivangini

She has showcased the constant effort of Shakti to merge with Shiva in the He-She element through a series of paintings like Shakti seeking his attention; Shakti with the power of her will, she herself transforms into Shiva in the posture of meditation, but with her feminine physical attributes intact; Shakti trying to create a Shiva into whom she can merge.

Natsati

Traditional is Evergreen

For Vijaya Laxmi, the visual language on the canvas is the marriage of an idea, a thought, the medium and the expression using the mediums. Even an ordinary thing has to be beautified or the art is lesser for it.

Prayers

For her, digital art is flat and does not reflect the energy that the strokes of a brush provide, imparting life into a work of art. The computer screen’s size and the size of her canvases are of no comparison. Working on an actual canvas scale is a stupendous realisation that the good old brush can turn a trick or two which machines may not be able to.

Published in Issue 46

We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. This issue is full of veterans advice and a lot of inspirations throughout for every creative soul. So, go ahead

 

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Generating stories and translating them into photographs doesn’t seem like a cakewalk, but Avinash Jai Singh’s work makes it look like it. Illustrations supported with compelling messages and eye-catching colours and visuals appeal (photography) to the youth and engulf the audience.

Photography

Many times, the influences and the exposure one receives as a child, gives one a certain direction in life. Something similar happened with Avinash, a photographer and an illustrator from North India who carved his own path to success.

Photography
Photography

He grew up in Panipat, the hub of the textile industry and his observations of the colours around him generated a love for visual arts and gave him a perspective to understand lighting, forms, shapes and portraits. Avinash was always fascinated by lifestyle magazines and his world changed when he started his actual learning process in a college in Delhi. Finally, he had his aha moment when he was on a trip to Kashmir doing a series on the lives of people, where he realised that photography was what he wanted to do all his life.

Photography

For Avinash, the story and mood behind a picture take the lead and is as important as the technical factors involved. He believes that they are interdependent and essential if there’s a story, the mood can be captured and if there’s a certain mood, a fresh story can be generated. He hears the conversation of visuals in mind and his way of story-telling comes out in the form of photographs depicting bold shapes and forms. Always careful about the colour pallet involved, he doesn’t like to add too much colour and rather believes in using it in proportions that add an edge to picture than causing distraction. Except for this, even lighting plays a major role especially in black and white photography, where the subject dictates the mood and mood dictates the lighting.

Apart from photography, Avinash is also an artist with a quirky vibe to his illustrations. Contemporary designs which deliver a message with a touch of modernity and minimal colours popping, he creates illustrations which have an impact on the audience. Collaborating with other artists as well, he strikes a balance between his art and the way he captures it through his camera’s lens. Crisp and neat lines with bold and chic colours, catch one eye immediately. Avinash also develops art-series which talk about a particular topic accompanied by his interpretations through art and photography.

Photography

One of them is the gender bender series where he has captured images depicting humans as a “genderfluid”, taking an important stance for the decriminalisation of sec 377. Backing up his work with powerful and effective captions, the overall effect of the art is noteworthy. The series showcases a person who sometimes a boy, girl or someone in between but ultimately a human who is equal and respectful. Avinash’s personal favourite works include Downtown and Google.org which have an amazing visual impact on the audience. His varied portrayals of love, photography shoots for Jabong and a poster campaign for MTV display regular things with a blend of art and photography.

Photography

Avinash uses software like Photoshop and Capture One to enhance his photographs and takes inspiration from artists like John Everett Millais, and Wong Kar Wai who changed the way he comprehends things in his work. He feels that one should keep trying and making bad copies of the imagination one has, until the right one is achieved. Although it is tough to turn the images in your head to reality, he reckons that it is the only way to keep going.

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!

 

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Delightful animation and stories with a good sense of humour is what describes Sonia Tiwari’s art the best! Be it visual design, coding or working towards improving the system of early education, she has done it all.

A Visual Designer with abundant experience gathered from places all over the world, Sonia Tiwari, creates animation and stories that attract the audience and makes them ponder. Adding a touch of humour, a pop of colour and loads of detail to her creation, gives her work an edge, as she always strives to create enjoyable and relative content for her audience. Combining her creativity with sectors of early education, Sonia is currently working towards designing products for children to boost their learning experience.

CG. How would you describe yourself or your work in one sentence? Tell us how this journey began for you.

Sonia. I’m a creative storyteller with a sense of humour who likes to draw cute things. I’ve always been a maker and as a kid, I collected ‘potentially craft-able’ broken stuff to paint over them. I’m from Rajasthan, so I have a cultural connection with bold colours but I owe my sense of humour to Indore, whereas Happy Valley has given my art the opportunity to become a part of Learning Sciences Research.

CG. How do you start developing a character or a design? Please tell us about your thought process.

Sonia. Before designing I try to interview the characters and the more details I know, the better an image shows up in my mind. Like for the cover of Creative Gaga, our theme was ‘Designing for kid’s education’ – I was thinking about how kids draw with their heart, so I drew a pencil with a heart carved out, that serves as a library, and letters and numbers growing from the trees representing increasing knowledge.

Another good way to design characters is to build from the people we know, because it not only allows us to draw details of their facial features, but also their personality.

CG. Which software and products do you use for your art?

Sonia. I use Adobe Creative Suite, and mostly vectorized my sketches using Adobe Illustrator and add subtle animations using After Effects.

Animation - Sonia Tiwari

CG. Please tell us more about how you’re integrating early education in your work. What is the entire program about?

Sonia. I’m currently pursuing a PhD in Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) from Penn State University, USA. Some of our recent work explores educational themes such as using digital technologies to support education in and out of school, and everyday knowledge sharing in social network environments. For my own research projects, I integrate educational media and design educational toys/games/books to facilitate learning with a ‘Maker’ spirit. I also design activities for Maker-faires, by designing e-textile crafts for attendees with no background in electronics and helping them sew simple circuits using conductive thread controllers through illustrated instructions.

Animation - Sonia Tiwari

CG. Being a mom, how important is it for you to create content that kids understand and enjoy? Does your child inspire you while developing characters?

Sonia. Many times I come across topics that don’t seem to have any unconventional resources to facilitate learning, and I realised that I have the skills to address those gaps. I often joke that my son is ‘Test Subject 1’ because as a Learning Scientist I work with children a lot, and having the ‘luxury’ of being with a child right at home has definitely been an advantage. I understand his friends’, parents, teachers’ and his perspective – something that was hard to comprehend when I was inexperienced.

Animation - Sonia Tiwari

CG. Please tell us about your favourite work of yourself and why.

Sonia. My favourite work is the one I create for my family out of pure love. I enjoyed making a pillow toy for my son in memory of my uncle. I designed the caricature in Adobe Illustrator, printed it on canvas fabric to sew together a pillow.

CG. Whose work do you look up to and why?

Sonia. I love the sense of humour in the work of NYC based artist Loryn Brantz! Two of the characters she designed are my all-time favourite – The Feminist Baby and The Good Advice Cupcake. I always have a great day looking at Loryn’s cartoons, Polish artist Pawel Jonca and Christy Mitchell’s Photography.

Animation - Sonia Tiwari

CG. Any words of advice for youngsters who would want to pursue design?

Sonia. Use the right tool for the right task and name layers for the sake of your team’s sanity! Invest in software licenses and expand your exposure. I never miss the chance to visit an art gallery or take a look at art magazines. By defining what exactly we like about others’ design – we give ourselves pointers for our own work.

Animation - Sonia Tiwari

Published in Issue 46

Designing for Kids Special! We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. We interviewed and feature experts opinion from the industry leaders such as Suresh Eriyat, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav Kumaresh to ponder on the use of animation for early education. Our cover designer, Sonia Tiwari, an animator, and visual designer, shared her thoughts on ‘How to make learning fun again’. While Suresh Eriyat emphasises on using animation as an effective medium for education, on the other hand, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav gave advice on how to make content for the young ones.

 

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Dhimant Vyas
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Animation is for everyone! Dhimant Vyas, the veteran artist and animation film designer, throws light on the future of animation and the role it plays in education.

Animation is a versatile medium that caters to a wide range of audiences. But with this versatility comes the grave responsibility of creating relevant content. The right content will not only increase the popularity of animation but also have a healthy impact on children.

Challenges of Making for all Ages

The animation is for all ages! It is a powerful and universal communication medium. The beauty of animation is that it can tell a story even without the need for dialogues. Some good examples are Tom & Jerry, Shaun the Sheep and Minuscule. 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.

Shaun and Sheep - Animation -Dhimant Vyas

The real challenge though is faced at the pre-production stages like scripting and storyboarding. It requires careful planning to convey a story without dialogues. Everyone has a child within them, and animation is a great way to bring out this child. But this is possible only by bringing out perfect emotions, mood and actions through different mediums of animation.

Animation -Dhimant Vyas

The Future of Animation in India

The animation industry in India has changed drastically in the last 20 years. There was a time where only a handful of people knew the meaning of animation. Very few individuals were involved in this field, the animation studios were small and sparse, and the institutes themselves weren’t that many.

Today this industry has gained quite a bit of popularity. The growth is slow, but I am very hopeful about the future. We need a wider audience to be interested in animation like in Japan. In Japan, animation and comics are far more popular than live-action films.

One advantage of the digital age is that knowledge and learning are just a click away. Earlier our avenues of learning were limited to animation books, VHS cassettes, and a few movies that played in the theatres. Today the possibilities are unlimited.

For a better future, we all need to work together, especially youngsters. Instead of looking for the easy way out, they should focus on quality, creativity, innovative ideas, new styles, and above all a better storytelling.

Roles of Animation in Learning

The animation is most watched by children. Hence, we have a responsibility to create good content. Children are impressionable and the learning at that age leaves a great impact. Television channels need to be careful about the content they air. Even parents need to be aware of the different consequences of being exposed to different content and thus ensure children watch only the right material.

We often find shows with extreme violence that could negatively impact children. It is important for creators of animation to take responsibility and create positive content, to help nurture the children’s minds.

Published in Issue 46

We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. We interviewed and feature experts opinion from the industry leaders such as Suresh Eriyat, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav Kumaresh to ponder on the use of animation for early education. Our cover designer, Sonia Tiwari, an animator, and visual designer, shared her thoughts on ‘How to make learning fun again’. While Suresh Eriyat emphasises on using animation as an effective medium for education, on the other hand, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav gave advice on how to make content for the young ones.

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE

 

Avinash Jai Singh
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Avinash Jai Singh, on a spiritual journey with his art that he believes can challenge one’s preconceived notions; Avinash Jai Singh is a multi-discipline artist and a commercial photographer. He is an illustrator whose art invokes curiosity and the hunger for exploration.


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Rohan Bhatia
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An illustrator and animator based out of Mumbai, Rohan Bhatia finds happiness in creating paintings with different styles and mediums.


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Vaibhav Kumaresh
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Vaibhav Kumaresh explains, how relying on your own unique inner voice and trusting your gut feeling could help you to create great stories or content for every audience.

Frankly, I have never given a very serious thought to who my audiences are, and what exactly they may want out of a film I’m making or a story I’m telling through my films. The only person I have taken very seriously is, myself. Over the years of making films, I have learned that I’m my first audience. If I am impressed with a thought or an idea, I will try my best to transfer that impression into my films as truthfully as I (along with our team) can. And I’ll hope that my audiences – be it young or old – will like that impression too.

Animation - Indian Content
Nick Ident, Idli Song.

But yes, there are many a times when I am required by my clients to create content specifically for a certain audience/ age group (indian content). At that point its easy to step back a bit, fall back on your past experience of that audience, reset your view point and then channelise your thoughts and stories through that ‘filter’. At times when our past experience is not sufficient, we do resort to research and homework to refresh ourselves. My prime intention would still be to extract from my head what I’d want to give them, and then work hard at realising that idea.

Indian Content
Return of the Jungle

Growing up in this country, interacting with the world around us, absorbing from it and making films all these years we tend to develop a basic gut feel about various audiences and of what we want to share with which age group. When I pitched an animated character called ‘Simpoo’ to Channel [V] in 1999 (indian content), all I knew was I had a damn funny character with a bunch of fun situations in my head. I only ensured that the fun translated unadulterated into every film we made.

Animation
Simpoo for channel V

The Simpoo shorts successfully ran on TV for a decade and a half and continue to be an online hit with the young and old audiences even today. The more films you make, the more you get to test your gut feel!

Animation
Simpu for channel V

I believe the young audiences today – right from age 5 to 30! are exposed to a variety of content in different formats. Stories and experiences reach them through many of sources. As a storyteller/ content creator that’s trying to reach out to them, the best way is to tap your inner uniqueness and pour it out in your work. That’s the only strength you have. Show it off!

Lamput TV Series
Animation
Lamput TV Series

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!

 

Order Your Copy!