1

ad here

What sets apart successful designers from the rest? In our hunt for this answer we came knocking at the doors of Simoul Alva, an up and coming yet very successful Visual Designer and Art Director. Simoul gives us a peek into the behind the scenes of her success.

visual designer
Fortune India
visual designer
Adobe. A part of a series which re-imagines 20th Century Fine Art through 3D

Crystal clear clarity is a critical ingredient while striving to achieve our big dreams. An exemplar of pristine clarity is the up and coming Visual Designer, Simoul Alva.

Even before completing her Undergrad degree from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Simoul had already bagged projects and freelance work from renowned organisations. Her journey has been a mix of reaching out for things and sometimes things reaching out to her. She believes it is important early on in one’s career to keep trying different things. Owing to her openness, Simoul has always learned something from each project like a new visual design skill, research, strategy, time management, the history of the craft, etc.

visual designer
Doodh Branding
Packaging concept for Doodh Branding

Simoul has won numerous awards to date, the first being the Ratan Tata Scholarship for standing first in the entire foundation program. The Patrick Kelly Scholarship by the One Club for Creativity and The Art Director’s Club is special because she was the first person from outside the United States and the first Indian to win these awards. She was also delighted to win a Kyoorius Young Blood In-Book award.

Type Specimen for Vixen Display
visual designer
3D illustration for Hello 6E, Indigo Airlines

Speaking of her experience in international competitions, Simoul explains that she simply applies to relevant competitions if she thinks she has a chance to win. Often in competitions, the work is judged without the presence of participants to explain. This taught Simoul to ensure that presentation and communication are clear. The competition experience also taught her to take things positively when she did not make the cut. It also allows for great exposure to creatives from different parts of the world.

visual designer
Client, The Atlantic
visual designer
Illustration for the cover of the Thursday Styles Section in November 2019

Working with different people and under different mentors certainly presents opportunities for great learning. One such important lesson for Simoul is to keep doing what she is interested in, and investing in her ability even if she doesn’t get to use all of her skills every day. Time and investment will come in hand one day, and things will soon fall in place. She also believes in the power of reaching out. At first, she was shy of emailing people she wanted to work with or learn from, but later learned that one response or feedback at the right time can change your life. Working with different people also taught her the importance of communicating effectively and not being scared of asking questions.

visual designer
Spread from Defying Death Project. Created at ESAD, France
visual designer
Defying Death

When asked about current work, Simoul elaborated that she recently wrapped up an exciting project for Adobe with the Adobe Dimension team based out of San Francisco. She has been currently working in 3D and using it for storytelling and editorial illustration. She is now looking to explore strategy and visual system design in future.

visual designer
Defying Death

Simoul has mixed feelings for the current situation of the Pandemic. It is a painful, difficult and uncertain time, for everyone and her too. But she is grateful that she could stay connected with the people that she love.

visual designer
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

Published in Issue 34

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

 

ad here

Tobias Saul, lettering artist and illustrator, shares secretes and throws a light on the realm of lettering and effects of the pandemic on Germany’s art and design community.

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
Created for Schee shop

Lettering and calligraphy are taking the internet by storm, filling our social media feeds with delicate swirls of alphabets. But illustrating letters is no simple feat, and there is a little more than what meets the eye.

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
It's Never Too Late

From ornate vintage style to clean modern looks, Tobias Saul can design wonderous hand letterings and illustrations. Having graduated in graphic design at a college in Düsseldorf, Germany, Saul’s shift to lettering was not a conscious decision. “By the end of my studies, I began working for a print magazine called ‘The Heritage Post’, founded by Uwe Van Afferden. He gave me the task of illustrating from time to time and saw some talent in me, especially in drawing letters. This was the starting point for me to dive into the world of hand lettering,” said Saul. But this field was not as popular as it is today

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
I don’t want to go to heaven – Oscar Wilde. An illustration from the artist‘s personal work
Hand-drawn lettering artwork for the Coffee Roasting Company “Austin Roasting Co.“ from Austin, Texas

“You really had to dig deep to find some good contemporary artists in this niche. I think my first discoveries were Jon Contino, Jessica Hische and David A. Smith, all super talented. I totally fell in love with the decorated and hand-drawn type, and it was like a fever. I started drawing letters all day long, in every free minute. This was the moment when I felt comfortable in the world of design for the first time,” recollects Saul.

Amsterdam Dandy Logotype for Barber Birdman
By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
A decorative logotype for the Tattoo studio Crimson Veil, Texas USA

Just as any other realm in design, lettering requires a keen eye, immense practice and a thorough knowledge of shapes. “I think it is all about training your eyes. The more you draw, and the more you look at other designers work, the better you get. In my opinion, a good font has a stringent system of reusing shapes. I think this is the most difficult thing you have to understand and learn because the more letters you have, the harder it gets to make them all look like they belong together,” explains the designer.

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
To Create we must Destroy, T-Shirt Design

Hence, it is pertinent for any lettering enthusiast to study and research old vintage labels, book covers and packaging designs with unique letterforms since they form the base to build a concept for a font. “So, in the next step, I define the characteristics which should give a font its identity. After that, I create all characters using these characteristics I have defined. What follows is a lot of testing, fine-tuning, kerning and spacing to complete the font,” said Saul, sharing his process behind font development.

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
Logo Sketch for Bixby Barber Company

But as hand-lettering is gaining popularity, so are the availability of fonts and styles, especially with the ease and accessibility of the internet and social media. It becomes a necessity for a lettering artist to remain fresh and develop exclusive font. “Fonts are similar to illustration and fashion, there are always new trends arising.

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
An illustration from the artist’s personal project

If you spot a new tendency early enough, or even better, if you can start a trend, then you have a good chance to establish a fresh and exclusive font. If you are aware of design trends, you can find good indications for creating fresh and useful fonts,” explains the artist.

Inspired from the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros song ‘Better Days’
By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
Every Little Thing. This poster was part of my sunday quote project

Just like every other industry, the realm of design suffered severely during the Coronavirus pandemic. The quarantine and other restrictions affected artists and art galleries all over the world since lack of exhibitions would mean that neither the gallery owners nor the artists could sell any artworks. “But, in my case, work-wise, the pandemic has not changed anything dramatically.

Baltimore Magazine – Big Fish

I have started my own company, Heritage Type Co. in 2019 with a good friend. We focus on selling design resources such as vintage fonts, illustrations and more. As we are selling globally and digitally, we are a bit protected from all the local restrictions and associated cancelled projects in the design industry. We had a lockdown for about two to three months, so on the creative side, I could discover and learn new things,” said Saul.

Better Call Saul. An illustration from the artist’s personal project

Providing critical insights into the art community in Germany, the artist observed, “There were some financial aid packages, to prevent artists as well as other businesses to go bankrupt, which helped a lot. After the lockdown, galleries and exhibitions reopened quickly but under strict restrictions on the number of visitors. One of the biggest challenged was the abrupt switch from collective work in one space to a system of people working from home. Structuring projects and connecting all the people is difficult, and the bigger an agency is, the more complex is the communication structure between all employees. I think the surprisingly potent digital communication and home office will change the way of working for a lot of companies in the future.”

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
Book cover illustration for a lovely German children’s book

The pandemic took us all by surprise and served a critical blow to most of us. We need to hold on to hope during these dark days. Sharing strategies and suggestions, Saul says “I would recommend businesses to start thinking and working globally. Use the internet to get clients or sell products worldwide, this helps because not all countries are affected by the pandemic equally. Use the time to learn new things. Being at home can be frustrating, but in my experience, learning something new is good medicine, and it keeps your creative spirit alive”.

By Lettering Artist Tobias Saul
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Positive

Published in Issue 51

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

 

ad here

Chennai based illustrator, Bhavya Desai, sketches the beauty of those fleeting moments of life, which we often overlook. Indulge yourself in illustrations made out of not just brilliant colours, but also of love, magic and just a little bit of quirkiness.

Illustrations
Gas Cylinder Delivery
Babulal Momo shop

Stories can be told through any means, and Bhavya Desai narrates his tales through quirky, colourful characters as he draws his inspiration from the people and the life around him. His lively, energetic illustrations portray the wildness and vividness of city life, be it travelling in a crowded train or the hustle and bustle of a market with heavy foot traffic. Through keen observation, Bhavya illustrates pieces and moments of life, which all of us can relate too.

Illustrations
Tea seller

Bhavya worked in an architecture firm as a 3D Visualiser for over four years and started taking up projects pertaining to illustration since the year 2015. “I recall drawing consistently. Over time, people around me started noticing my illustrations. I remember drawing during tea breaks and lunch breaks, working on smaller sketches. In time, I observed that I was more productive when I worked independently and thus began taking up projects. It has been an exciting journey since then,” said Bhavya, reminiscing.

Illustrations
Knife Sharpene
Illustrations

Working primarily on character development, Bhavya is quick to observe and note the beauty of little moments from daily life. When asked about his muse, Bhavya stated, “Just things around me, really. I find inspiration from domestic settings and everyday life activities; these are the things that excite me the most. People watching helps me understand the characters better.”

Illustrations
Shivshankar Banarasi Pan
Illustrations
Egg-crobatics at 5:30am

When it comes to designing characters, there is more to it than what meets the eyes. “Before starting the sketch, I usually do a little background check on the character that I am developing,” said Bhavya, sharing his techniques. “I usually weave a small background story for the character and ask myself a few questions, such as: ‘Where is the character located?’, ‘What is the mood?’, ‘Have I seen a similar character in real life that I can refer to?’. These help me decide the environment and expression.” Following this process, the illustrator lays the foundation for the character using basic shapes and lines. “In my experience, I believe that the posture makes a lot of difference in terms of how dynamic a character is,” explained Bhavya.

Illustrations
An illustration from the series, 'While you were asleep'
Illustrations
Fishermen and Net

The lockdown provided the artist with an excellent opportunity in terms of creative projects. “With many commercial projects on hold, I had the time to think and reflect on my personal illustrations. During the lockdown, I came up with a series titled ‘While you were asleep’. This project focuses on people who work in the early hours of the morning and are the backbone of a city, such as sanitation workers, LPG gas delivery man, milk delivery person, among several others. Since the streets were deserted, I found myself creating an extra imaginative and quirkier illustration.”

Illustrations
While you were asleep, the watchman transferred his night duty to his dog

“When questioned on the impact of this new normal, Bhavya noted, “Personally, I think this situation has brought a positive impact to the industry. People are rethinking about their design strategy; this is an observation that I’ve made among a few of my clients. The lockdown gave people the time to take another look at their branding and marketing materials.”

Initial Lockdown Days

The quarantine impacted all the aspects of our lives. Talking about the impact of quarantine on the illustrator’s relationship with art, Bhavya observed, “The quarantine helped me look at objects in greater detail. Since we had a lot of time in our hands, I found myself digging deeper into the subjects of interest.”

Illustrations
Sanitation Worker
Mahatma Gandhi

All of our lives have been reshaped to a certain extent due to this pandemic. Our relationships with each other, with work, career and passion has undergone some change, be it drastic or infinitesimal. It is up to us to focus on the positives and highlight all that is beautiful in life, much like Bhavya Desai’s illustrations.

A ride to the vegetable shop
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

Published in Issue 51

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

 

ad here

To give custom solutions to the client one must understand their requirements and expectations. Though every client has its own uniques needs but to better understand the rapidly changing client’s demands during the COVID pandemic, we asked Priyanka Bhasin, co-founder of Design Stack, for her recent experiences and learnings.

Q.
Client’s Demands, Have you witnessed any changes in the projects you receive now than from the projects from pre-pandemic days?

Priyanka. Yes, we most definitely have. The projects we have been approached for in the past few months have been far more focused and defined in terms of business objectives and timelines. Also, they seem to be largely based on immediate and visible client’s demands, which is in stark contrast to how things were earlier. Where people were willing to take more risks, today there is a lower scope for indulgence.

Another interesting new development includes work coming our way from large scale public sector companies that speak to the wider demographic, demonstrating a surprising yet encouraging the savvy understanding for strategic branding and appreciation for good design.

Q.
Apart from COVID impact, is there any other recurring theme that you can observe in the current commissions?

Priyanka. Some businesses have been hit very visibly in the past few months because of the way that COVID has impacted consumer spending patterns. It has led to a visible shift from ‘want’ to ‘need’ and once again, there seems to be little or no scope for indulgence. Businesses seem to be now investing in more holistic and purpose-driven brands.

‘Survive to thrive’ is also a recurring theme we are witnessing. The inability for businesses to differentiate between branding, advertising and digital agencies is possibly the industry’s biggest challenge which is further burdened with the need for agencies to stay afloat. Survival is dictating decisions and if we as a collective are not cautious, it could even impact creative standards.

Q.
Has there been any difference in project deadlines before and during the lockdown?

Priyanka. More than just deadlines becoming tighter, it is the intensity of engagement that is crazier; heavy spurts in short times. Often, there’s just about enough time left in a day to schedule the next set of calls. The lines between personal and professional are fast fading and balance has become critical to stability. We are at a whole new level of multitasking!

Q.
Has work from home impacted the projects/commissions that you receive?

Priyanka. Not really. The industry at large has been hit more by the economic downturn rather than WFH. And since we saw a similar downturn play out in 2008, our decision to build a diverse portfolio spanning most industries across both public and private sectors, has worked wonders and helped us ride this wave.

As far as WFH is concerned, our clients have been happy to have more access to us; and we think they secretly prefer it as well!

Q.
Has there been a general increase or decrease in the projects since the lockdown began? What would you attribute this change too?

Priyanka. Besides the initial few weeks of the lockdown where we saw not just clients but the entire country go into silent shock, it has been an extremely busy year for us. We did lose a few clients along the way which hit hard because the associations were long term and well established. On the other hand, we have a surge of meaningful enquiries coming from across emerging business categories, as expected, and completely new geographies which have been quite unexpected.

We would like to end on what has ironically been our most gratifying work this year. Pro bono work has become our creative investment towards that holistic purpose and hence closer to our hearts. It may probably be our only indulgence through these COVID times!

Creative Gaga - Issue 51

Published in Issue 51

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase. Grab your copy and enjoy it on a sunny day!

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

 

ad here

Leaf Design Studio shares their secrets, tips and tricks on the field of brand stories and designing, thus providing invaluable inputs while also sharing the woes, challenges and hurdles which aroused due to the global pandemic.

Brand

Q.
Could you kindly share the story of your studio’s origin and its growth to its current heights?

Leaf Design. We are a brand and digital design company that collaborates with entrepreneurs and businesses to create integrated experiences developed through radical insights and strategies. Since 2002, we have been using design to empower companies to successfully respond to change and we have worked across several industries including finance, travel, media among numerous others. Our core competencies lie in strategic thinking, branding and user-centred design to help organisations establish their brand presence and grow.

Brand

Q.
As a firm who has worked with various sectors and industries, what is the one crucial element of branding/designing, which we must remember regardless of sector/industry?

Leaf Design. Success isn’t an experiment born out of a lab. It’s created repeatedly in the living environment with constantly changing dynamics. This is why we listen deeply, design meaningfully and adapt rapidly, all at the same time. We blur the boundaries of the physical and the digital world and stay invested in the change to keep ourselves ahead of the curve.

Brand

Q.
What is the role played by colours in branding? Could you highlight its importance with regards to your colourful branding for Empyrean school?

Leaf Design. A brand’s aesthetics is an essential part of its storytelling since the design and colour combination of a brand’s logo, website, product and packaging, form a visual representation of its identity. Colour plays a significant role that gives insight into a brand’s personality. The colourful branding system integrates with the Empyrean way of learning. The visual branding system plays with simple shapes, varied forms, and vibrant colours in a child’s life – in a different size, combinations and dimensions, symbolising new perspectives. The style extends to add collaterals illustrating the Empyrean method of learning.

Brand

Q.
Providing a sense of trust, ease and security are crucial when it comes to financial firms. How can design provide these to the customers? How did you help manifest Waterfield’s vision for their clients in terms of design?

Leaf Design. Waterfield is a Multi-Family Office & Boutique Advisory Firm. Following up on the findings from our research, a new brand platform emerged were one of the key driving elements became the new mission: “Insights with integrity”. A mission that was built from the insight that Waterfield’s clients benefit from treating their customers respectfully and fairly.

Brand
Brand
Brand
Brand
Brand
Brand
Brand

Q.
How can you capture the dynamic energy and spirit of a company through branding? Could you shed some light on this subject with relevance to the financial firm Avendus?

Leaf Design. Avendus is a firm providing financial services with an emphasis on customised solutions in Investment Banking. To mirror the progressive and dynamic spirit of Avendus, our approach was to match the fearless and open attitude of the company with a forthright and powerful visual language. We depicted a metaphor for risk, action, and the act of rising to the
the occasion, reinforcing the brand essence “Next is the only level”.

Brand
Brand

Q.
How did you incorporate India’s multiculturalism and appeal to the Indian audience when you designed for Spotify India?

Leaf Design. Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service which was set to expand to the Indian market. It was highly anticipated among the millennials, and hence it is pertinent to appeal to them. We partnered with them to build the frameworks for an intuitive digital editorial design and design a culturally relevant strategy.

 

We focused on behavioural similarities of music lovers across genres and geographies; and then localised the experience for the Indian audience. We layered the regional/cultural themes and colours with that of the varied playlist moods. This blend was more focussed on visual narratives that evoked emotions. We desired to showcase real situations, expressions and emotions. ‘Real people living in the moment’ became the benchmark to connect with Spotify’s real audience. We wanted to be regional but not stereotypical.

Brand
Brand
Brand
Brand

Q.
Translating care and assurance is an especially critical necessity in the healthcare sector. How did you achieve this when you designed the brand for Lifecare Health?

Leaf Design. Lifecare Health is a subscription-based pharmacy that provides effortless and cost-effective management of a patients’ healthcare needs. Our approach was to elevate the perception of Lifecare Health from just a pharmacy to be a partner in one’s wellness journey. We redefined the word ‘care’ from a noun to a verb. The highlighted letter ‘C’ in ‘care’ is a symbol of continuous action.

Brand
Brand

Q.
How has your studio been handling the pandemic?

Leaf Design. If we look back on the pandemic, one of the first decisions we took was to retain and support our team. To facilitate it further, we collectively planned to address the challenges, from the financial stability concerns to the creative stimulation boost. For the same reasons, we welcomed our new initiative of entrepreneurial collaboration –– the percentage share module on the new business development and conversion. While it works as an incentive program, it also gave each one of us the opportunity to learn the business side of design. Education is one of our common interests, and we took upon the opportunities to reconnect with academic institutes to teach and conduct few workshops.

Brand

Q.
Government of India announced a lockdown on 25 March 2020. What were some of the steps taken by your studio to facilitate work from home for your employees?

Leaf Design. Since we were already using the cloud, the transit to a remote working environment did not take long from our central data access to the software. All that was needed was our personal computer that we arranged to take home. What came into practice was the new set of web tools and collaborative processes that we adopted as quickly as possible.

Q.
Could you kindly share the concerns you’ve been hearing from the clients regarding on-going projects? What are the steps taken on your behalf to address these concerns?

Leaf Design. We were working on a couple of global assignments when the lockdown was announced. Since we were already corresponding with them through online meetings and video conferencing, there was not much change in our functioning or daily interactions. We were able to complete and launch the brand during this time successfully, and we are now their long-term partner for brand governance, assisting them in improving and evolving continually.

Q.
Did you witness any impact on new project inquiries and billings due to this pandemic?

Leaf Design. If we view through a pie chart, the biggest pie during this time has been taken writing new business proposals and now that the economy has resumed, more pitches than ever before. Unfortunately, not necessarily equally proportionate to business conversion or even billings.

Brand

Q.
If you could list a few positive outcomes of this pandemic, what would they be?

Leaf Design. We have a short answer here –– stay positive, no matter what!

Brand

Q.
Any parting words of wisdom to those in this industry?

Leaf Design. It is necessary to look beyond ourselves, understand and see how we could make a difference for others. We applied this principle to everything we did, including the new work opportunities. Possessing empathy is important; remember the famous quote from the film Dr Strange “It is not about you!”

Brand
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

Published in Issue 51

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

 

ad here

Encouraging us to make the best out the situation, Febin Raj cheers us to turn our obstacles into opportunities as the world ghts this deadly pandemic.

Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
What inspired you to take up art as your profession?

Febin. I loved drawing even as a child, and it has only grown stronger over the years. Hence, when it came to choosing a profession, there was no second choice. I consider myself blessed to be living my passion and for making a career out of it.

Pandemic - Febin raj
Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
Though your art journey began in watercolours, your current works are extensively digital. What is it about digital painting that draws you to it?

Febin. It is necessary to stay updated in this fast-paced world. Digital art provides us with a wide range of opportunities to challenge ourselves and to explore new dimensions of art, while also making our work a lot easier compared to conventional methods. But nothing can replace the satisfaction of painting with watercolours on a piece of paper.

Q.
Your current digital artworks possess a specific style and geometric flair. Kindly share the artistic process with us.

Febin. My style has evolved over the years, and it is not done consciously or with any plan. I execute my ideas rather spontaneously and draw inspiration from what I see around me.

Q.
Your art pieces seem to possess a strict colour palette. How do you select the colour scheme for each piece?

Febin. My works are inspired by nature, and hence, the colours are a reflection of what we can observe around us. The colour palette goes in sync with the intricate hues of nature, and I try my best to do justice to this beautiful swirl of colours around us and keep my works natural.

Q.
Your artworks reflect your love for travel and nature. How did this pandemic challenge your creativity and artwork, especially since we were required to stay at home?

Febin. This pandemic did not challenge my creativity. I tried to see this as an opportunity to explore my limitations and push my boundaries. It is indeed true that we were all confined within the four walls, but our creativity and ideas were never confined. Even with these limited resources, I tried to bring out the best in me.

Pandemic - Febin raj
Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
What are the effects of the pandemic on the art industry? Were there any unexpected hurdles?

Febin. The art industry, just as all the other industries, faced certain setbacks due to this pandemic, but it is slowly picking up the pace. If we convert every hurdle we face into an opportunity, I’m sure we’ll thrive. That is what I’m trying to do right now.

Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
Freelancers are some of the most affected in this pandemic. What is the market like for the freelancers now?

Febin. Just as all the other professions, freelancers have faced some difficulties too. The market is not as commendable at this point in time, but the situation is undoubtedly improving. Personally, the pandemic has only brought new opportunities and fabulous projects for me.

Pandemic - Febin raj
Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
How are the art agencies and studios coping with the pandemic? How are they supporting the freelancers through this crisis?

Febin. Art agencies and studios are indeed going through a difficult situation due to this crisis, but I believe that they are extending every possible support to the freelancers. During the pandemic, I got the chance to collaborate with a few international studios.

Q.
When ‘Work From Home’ is the new norm, do you see any long-term changes in the way freelancers work?

Febin. The profession of freelancing, as we see it today, has been evolved over the years. Any and every change is gradual. Hence, it is tough to predict how the concept of freelancing would be perceived in the future. But as of now, freelancing is linked to freedom and that would remain the same, regardless of any change.

Pandemic - Febin raj
Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
Has the working style of art agencies and studios changed? Do you think this change will last post-pandemic?

Febin. The working style has definitely changed into a whole new dimension since the resources are limited. This pandemic proved to us that whatever the situation may be, there is always a way out. Perhaps some of the positive aspects of this new working style might stick with us post-pandemic.

Pandemic - Febin raj

Q.
Would you like to say a few words to your fellow artists and freelance who are fighting their way through this pandemic?

Febin. Make every obstacle your opportunity. Remember that these struggles, this crisis is not here to stay; this too shall pass. So, make the best out of the time you’ve been given, as creativity knows no bounds.

Pandemic - Febin raj

Published in Issue 51

TBusiness, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.

 

Order Your Copy!
LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

 

Established illustrator Samji provides exciting insights regarding the eld of illustration, sharing his techniques, tips and tricks, while also opening up about the challenges and hurdles presented by this pandemic.

An elegance, in her pyjamas, moving through her backyard in a parallel world.
Freedom of expression.

Samji’s fondness for art was carefully nurtured since childhood. His first step into the realm of art was through the field of animation. “It was not a particularly successful stint. I began doing a few odd jobs to keep myself afloat. Following which, I took up BFA in Applied Art. But I had to drop out from that course in my third year, thus putting an end to my formal art education,” said Samji. After several years of exploration, he realised that his true love lies in the field of illustrations and thus began his career as a freelance illustrator.

A personal project titled Be Different

Brilliant, vivid colours, the gorgeous textures and zealous energy exuded by the artworks are key signatures of Samji’s illustrations. Through years of experimentation and exploration, Samji developed a distinct style, thus establishing himself as a talented illustrator in the industry.

A personal project titled Freedom of expression.
Package illustration done based on Ekpe masquerades culture
An illustration representing the research wing of Terra Money.

The bright, rich colours set Samji’s illustrations apart and give the pieces a burst of energy. “I used to work with a minimal set of colours. The hues you see in my work now are the ones I used to stay away from, simply because I was afraid of using them. I was not comfortable using highly saturated and vibrant colours. Then one day, I found the courage to get out of my comfort zone and experiment; and that made all the difference,” explained the artist.

Illustration by Samji
Mermay challenge
Illustration by Samji
Themed on Christmas

The richness and brilliance of the colours in an illustration are attained by adjusting and experimenting with the hues, saturation and brightness of a tone. “My process varies according to need. If the work is for a client, I follow the brand guidelines and other factors to set the colour palette. For personal projects, I start with random colours. I use complementary colours to differentiate between subject and background. After which, I keep experimenting till I hit the mark. In fact, HSB (Hues, Saturation and Brightness) is one of my favourite tools that I constantly use in my works,” shared Samji, illuminating the process behind his illustrations.

Illustration by Samji
Illustration by Samji
‘Me and Caverito’ based on my pet cat.

Lighting is another crucial factor in an illustration. “When it comes to lighting, I focus on highlights. I save it for the end because highlights are to an illustration what a soul is to a body; it provides life to the image,” commented the illustrator.

A podcast illustration themed on the power of music.

But the colours in our lives dulled at the wake of Coronavirus pandemic which shook this world. Our lives were drastically altered, and the pandemic affected various walks of life in various degrees. Hence, it is but natural to strive to understand the extent of its effect on the art industry in India. “The pandemic could have had monstrous effects on the art industry if not for the Internet and social platforms like Instagram. As with any change, adapting can take time, and it can affect your mental health. This is especially true for artists who are constantly seeking to get inspired, be it by taking a walk or talking to a person’s face to face. It is challenging for an artist to keep his creative juices flowing when his wings are cut,” commented Samji.

Illustration by Samji

A significant part of the art industry is freelancers. Providing critical insight into the lives of the freelancers, the illustrator observed, “As a freelancer, I’m used to working from home; hence I didn’t find much of a difference. The mass layoffs resulted in an increase in the number of freelancers which in turn led to more competition within the industry. The only way for us to keep up is by carving a niche and standing out in professional platforms, which is difficult to many, including me.

Illustration by Samji
Annoying Colleagues
Illustration by Samji
A digital artwork illustrated to be the cover art for a podcast.

It is quite a challenge to produce quality works and maintains your visibility in social media at the same time,” said Samji. And to cope with these sudden changes, artists devised various methods to stay active professionally. “I marked my presence in platforms where I could get potential work enquiries or opportunities. These included social media like Instagram, where we have to constantly stay engaged and be easily available,” explained the artist.

Illustration by Samji
This was inspired by a photograph that I had seen in Fubiz page.

But it was not all grey and dreary, the pandemic also resulted in positive changes and improvements. “The work inquiries, collaborations and potential clients increased during this pandemic for me. I am not sure of the exact reason – perhaps it is because of my improved effort at the online presence or the lack of full-time employees in firms and a higher rate of outsourcing to freelancers,” said Samji.

Illustration by Samji
One of the figure illustration done for a company based in U.K

With proper planning and smart management, it is indeed possible to cope with the hurdles of the pandemic. Offering invaluable strategies, the artist shares his suggestions, tips and tricks to fellow illustrators and freelancers. “We have proved that it is possible to work from home without any hassle. The next step is to maximise our visibility and availability across all platforms, especially if you are a freelancer. Another important step is to build a reliable community since we cannot downplay the extent of security that a well-built community can bring in a situation like this. So, I’d suggest that we all make an effort in bringing this community up. At the same time, please take care that you do not overwhelm yourself with the use of social media by comparing your work with someone else’s. Try to limit your use to get inspired or promote your work and not bring yourself down”.

Illustration by Samji
Fenix Getting ready for Halloween

Priyanka Bhasin
ad here

Priyanka Bhasin specialised in Communication Design at the National Institute of Design, followed by a programme in New Media from the Vancouver Film School. With a strong foundation in design strategy and experience in emerging media, she set up and continues to grow Design Stack.


Featured In



Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase. Grab your copy and enjoy it on a sunny day!


Related Posts




Find Priyanka Bhasin Here


LATEST RELEASE
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 51



 




POST TAGS:

Arjun Parikh
ad here

An artist with a philosophical mind, Arjun Parikh feels the responsibility of not only creating a foundation for a relatable idea to the audience, but to allow his art to manifest on its own form. That makes it powerful or beautiful. He takes pride in bringing out the details of objects or ideas that people so often overlook or take for granted. Arjun Parikh recently finished his Masters in Art from Savannah College of Art and Design.


Featured In



Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase. Grab your copy and enjoy it on a sunny day!


Related Posts


No posts were found.


Find Arjun Parikh Here