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Each illustration or work of design is a new process and a new insight. From the wide variety of design work that Creative Gaga feature each year, at the end of the year we take a moment to acknowledge all of them by highlighting top 10 featured Illustrators of 2017. Here we go.

Featured Illustrator - Nithin Rao Kumblekar

1. Nithin Rao Kumblekar

Nithin Rao Kumblekar is not only an illustrator but also an Art Director and Concept Artist who has illustrated for and brands such as OLX, Century Ply, and the likes, apart from having worked on a vast range of projects. In this assignment, conceived and executed for AVP, a pet food company catering to the likes of household dogs and cats. He represents a direct connection between these adored domestic companions and their very beloved treats, thus portraying the animals directly interacting with AVP in a fun, colourful and real-like animated setting.

More Project Illustrations are here


Featured Illustrator - Mukesh Singh

2. Mukesh Singh

Khyber Nights is a life-like and realistic story of survival, love and loss. Based on the unruly frontier surrounding the Khyber Pass during the Soviet war with Afghanistan in the late 80’s. This cover art for the intense tale was created by Marvel artist, Mukesh Singh, in an effort to summarise a gripping narrative that is about sisterhood and brotherhood winning over the politics of war. Using a strong sense of lighting and character expressions, he does indeed capture the tale in the frame.

Mukesh’s more illustrations are here


happiness-Lavanya Naidu

3. Lavanya Naidu

A graduate of the National Institute of Design, Lavanya Naidu is an Animator and Illustrator. Her style of work is a representation and expression of focusing on producing work that is personally challenging and cherished, rather than just going about creating ‘what is required as per the brief’. She uses a very fun and lively colour scheme that is both vibrant and subtle, very much like the characters, environments, settings, and characters she chooses to portray.

Featured Article:

Induce Happiness with Your Work!


Create Your Style

4. Bhaskar Rac

Bhaskar Rac is a self-employed Concept and 3D artist. A graduate of Delhi College of Art (Applied Art), he works extensively in character development, 3D sculpting, and the likes. As someone who trusts in honing one’s own style, instead of trying to imitate fashionable cult or style, nurturing and developing refreshing ideas is his primary intention. Here, he simply starts off with initial sketches, further gathering all the related references, structuring, line drawings and then rendering. Likewise, he finds a balance between minimalism and amplification through colours, emotions, lines, contours and the likes in order to capture the main essence of the subject.


5. Anna Dittmann

Graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia,  Anna Dittmann is a freelance digital illustrator who tries to evoke different emotions through her portraits. Here, using subtle facets with natural fundamentals, she manages to capture the emotions of the viewer, thus mainly tapping into and drawing their attention to it. Gaining insight and motivation from movement and raw shapes by blending nonfigurative conceptual and innate elements, she created this soothing piece through an amalgamation of fictional and realistic elements. Using pastels, watercolours, and oils here, she tries to capture an impulsiveness in the artwork.


Ancient Future

6. Omar Gilani

From Peshawar, Pakistan, Omar Gilani is a Double-Masters in Robotics from Washington DC and has an eye for discovering the modern in the ancient, something that is purely a matter of enhanced or evolved vision. And, so, his desire to renew the old and transform what is considered obsolete or irrelevant into the opposition stems from his work, ‘Desret Warrior Aunty’. He predominantly uses lighting to determine the initial composition of a piece. Importantly, dividing the canvas into simple black and white shapes to see if all the various aspects are harmonious helps him achieve the final piece which is full of colour and life-like vibrancy.


Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling

7. Siddhi Ranade

With a Commercial Arts from L. S. Raheja School of Arts, Mumbai, Siddhi Ranade trusts that geometry, colour and the subject are crucial features. As someone who feels that design needs to be time relevant in constantly modifying times, he pays attention to every tool that he uses in the making of his work. Over here, for example, geometry, pattern, and proportion in symmetry are not just advantageous but the very fundamentals. ‘Line’, for example, is the primary factor to achieve without any compromise. Colours finally add a mood to it in a more theatrical and impressive way that further dictates or overpowers the final piece.


8. Juan Casini

Juan Casini is a designer of multiple disciplines who experiments and works through various mediums. He trusts that ‘nature is art in its purest form’, and thus takes a lot of inspiration from it, thereby representing elements of nature through a lot of his designs. For example, over here, he tries to create a powerful and stimulating experience for the audience. In an effort to keep the level of expression rather intense, he goes on to add multiple layers of detail while experimenting with the colour palette. What that helps him achieve is that, no matter what the product is about, the eyes of the viewer can be positively held by the artwork.

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Living the Nomad life


9. Rohan Dahotre

Rohan Dahotre is an illustrator who feels strongly about nature and gains inspiration from the beauty of it. The core of his work lies in making the complexities of nature simple – for example, turning complex organic forms into simple shapes. Experimenting with pictures from the wild – mainly animals – and giving them a new visual representation and overall look, he tries to display the real beauty that resides within the amazing bounty of forest animals, all so that people learn to appreciate and better treat and respect them and their habitat.


Indian thelas

10. Ranganath Krishnamani

Ranganath Krishnamani is a designer specialising in Illustration, User Experience and Art Direction. This piece of artwork is a personal or self-initiated project through which he finds connection with his own origin in the south Indian city of Bangalore in Karnataka, India. Through the means of this series, he intends to portray some of the most interesting and intriguing selling-carts from across the Indian subcontinent. The basic idea stems from his nostalgic memories of him running out onto the street upon recognising the arrival of assorted carts and their bearings, something commonly found through most of India.

Animator and Illustrator, Lavanya Naidu, expresses how one can find more room to grow, not only professionally but also personally, by focusing on producing work that is rather challenging and cherishing at the same time.

happiness-Lavanya Naidu
Art made for TEDx Bangalore’s annual event.

CG. All your illustrations are fun, represent happiness. How do you choose your characters and topics of illustration?

LN. I try to be an optimist about most things in life. I guess my work too in many ways, reflects the same. I want to be able to induce happiness in my audience, I want to be able to share that positive energy. A lot of my work, characters and environments are based on simple joys and human emotion. I draw inspiration from my relationships; my friendships; the people (and sometimes animals) I see around; everyday moments worth freezing on canvas; worth appreciating and taking a second look at.

An illustration created for a friend celebrating her relationship.

CG. You use a very lively colour scheme that is, both, vibrant and subtle. Could you please tell us how you arrive at it?

LN. My colour scheme has developed over time, and still has a long way to go! I began asking myself why does the sky have to be blue when it really isn’t always blue? There are a myriad of colours that we can play with. I began experimenting with different palettes, and started understanding how the absence and presence of light changes colour. It’s an ongoing journey, and tremendous fun!

A Flamingo in My Garden. A beautiful diversity of birds of the Indian subcontinent come together in this lovely story. By Deepak Dalal, illustrations by Lavanya Naidu.

CG. What is your approach towards acquiring clients, and how do you fulfill their needs?

LN. I have been extremely lucky to have had some wonderful clients. Most of my clients have approached me, having had looked at my work on Behance or my blog. I make sure to keep all of my pages updated with new projects, as soon as I can. I respect another person’s time and money as I would expect that in return, so it is of utmost importance that I deliver on or before a reasonable deadline. I usually take on work that I know, I would love to do, so that I can be true to that commitment. Professionalism is key, it helps you filter out the unnecessities and focus on the actual task at hand.

Flamingo in My Garden. A beautiful diversity of birds of the Indian subcontinent come together in this lovely story. By Deepak Dalal, illustrations by Lavanya Naidu.
The Dark Glen. Cover art for Tinkle Comics. What started off as a cover, soon turned into a comic inside as well!

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?

LN. We live in an age where there is endless choice, and it gets harder and harder to make an impact on your audience. Our attention spans are fleeting. However, if you love what you do, and you can put that into your work, people can feel it. If, instead of focusing solely on staying relevant, we can focus on producing work that challenges us and that we are passionate about, it gives us more room to grow both personally as well as professionally.

Something fishy. No Smoke Without Fire – a personal short animation film. Background explorations for an upcoming personal short in progress.

I would say that quality of work is usually the most important aspect when acquiring work, followed by sharing it on different forums, where peers and professionals can see and critique your work, as well as sharing it on more public forums where people can relate and experience your work too. The learning never stops, so ask questions and keep at it.

The Bookworm. A personal illustration dedicated to my best friend, a voracious reader, even in dim lighting.
Lulu and Jazz Sticker set for Google Allo. Sticker pack for Google’s new messaging service. Project commissioned by 'Anyways London'.

CG. What inspires your style of work?

LN. I am an avid observer and am stimulated by those around me; by everyday interactions, sometimes more complex emotion, or relevant subjects around the world that resonate with me. There is so much we have in common, so much to share, so much that can bring us together, that is what inspires me.

To the Future. Personal art dedicated to my best friend and our enormous love for dogs.
CreativeGaga.com 27 Issue 37 You Came. Personal work Concept art for an upcoming personal animation film.
client

Published in Issue 37

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.

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