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With the art of self-learning by watching videos or reading articles being the new trend, everyone is trying their hand at it. The will to learn the new and the passion to grasp the contemporary can help an individual grow tremendously.

Here are some of the best tutorials teaching the scratch to end process of portrait creation. Scan through the list and acquire the knowledge for the latest in this field of creation.

01 Digging in the Details

A visual artist in the form of a cartoonist and animator, Manoj Sinha shares his process and details of his work one bit at a time, in order to achieve the right balance across aspects such as the tone of colours, the shades of lighting.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step by step tutorial here

 


02 Creating Portrait With The Perfection

Illustrator, Mohan Sonawane, takes us through the process it took him to find and create a portrait with just the right amount of depth and perspective, one that would go on to bring a character to life on the canvas.

Portrait
Portrait

Step by step tutorial here

 


03 Learn to Draw a Realistic Portrait with Pencil

Even with the conquest of digital technology in every realm of life, something is best enjoyed the traditional way. A portrait, for instance. Pencil artist Aakash Ramesh sticks to the old style and sketches out the realistic portrait of a popular personality. He shares the steps of the process.

Realistic Portrait with Pencil

Step by step tutorial here

 


04 Portrait Tribute to Indian Legends

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. For a designer, it doubles up as a way to pay homage to an icon and inspiration. Digital artist Pankaj Bhambri re-creates a portrait of the duo from a reference picture, adulation and following. He explains how.

Portrait
Portrait

Step by step tutorial here

 


05 Digital Painting of Bollywood legend

Faces are an interesting subject, and often we come across one that has an expression telling a story. Vivek Arvind Mandrekar saw one such story in the facial expression of Amitabh Bachchan and captured it by means of a digital painting. Below, he takes us through the various steps in order to tell and capture such tales.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

​​​​​​​Step by step tutorial here

 


06 Making a Digital Portrait of Scarlett Johansson

It’s a digital age, one doesn’t need a subject to pose before them for hours, simply a photograph is enough. Graphic design student, Sri Harsha Andukuri takes us through a step by step guide on making a digital portrait of any famous celebrity, in this case, Hollywood’s own Scarlett Johansson.

​​​​​​​Step by step tutorial here

 


For tutorials on Animation, Digital Art, Illustration, Caricature, Character Design, Concept Art, Logo Design click here

 


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Portrait artist Mohan Sonawane shares his wisdom on the art of portraiture, revealing the secrets to capturing the essence of the individual.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
A digital rendition of the Indian Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor

CG. Could you kindly recall your artist journey, the pleasures and pains of the path?

Mohan. I never imagined I would reach such heights in art as I have today. Art was my favourite subject as a child, and due to my family’s financial condition, I had to work part-time to purchase my art materials. As I progressed, my art teacher recommended ATD. During that program, I have suggested the JJ School of Art, where I pursued a program for Applied Arts. My time in Mumbai was testing and arduous; I was alone in the vast city and had to fend for myself. Apart from this, commuting took up most of my day, leaving very little time to study. Nevertheless, this period taught me several important life lessons that I cherish even today.

An illustration capturing the likeness of a Sadhu painted digitally

The most unforgettable moment, however, is the time I won a bronze medal during the final year of my under graduation. This path has been strenuous, and I have been rejected several times, but I wouldn’t have reached where I am today if I hadn’t faced those failures.

CG. What/who is your muse? What inspires you to take up the pen/pencil/stylus every day and sketch?

Mohan. Since I did not have strong financial support from my family, I had to work very hard to be self-sufficient. My desire to be independent is the fuel for my work.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
An illustration capturing the likeness of an Old Man painted digitally

CG. Your work primarily consists of portraits. What inspired you to take up portrait painting?

Mohan. Artist Vasudev Kamat’s paintings inspired me to take up portraiture. I create all kinds of art, but portraiture has been my favourite ever since I was in JD Art painting.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
A digital painting of Freida Pinto

CG. Could you kindly share the process behind your photo selection for your portraits? Are there any specific criteria that one must consider when selecting photographs for portrait painting?

Mohan. Photo selection is a critical aspect of portraiture. One must carefully hand-pick a photograph that has sufficient depth and ample lighting. The right picture can result in a vibrant portrait and shine a light on all of your hard work.

An illustration capturing the likeness of a Rajasthani old man painted digitally

CG. How do you design the background and assemble the colour palette for a piece? What are the critical aspects that one must look into while picking colours for a portrait?

Mohan. Background plays a vital role in a portrait because the right background can make your artwork stand out. The colour selection for the background depends majorly on the subject and their skin tone. I shift from light and dark colours depending on the mood and subject of the piece.

A digital rendition of the actor Aiden Shaw

CG. How do you determine the best angle and light for a portrait (assuming that there is no photograph to refer to), especially since all of us possess a “good” and “bad” side (in terms of photography angle)?

Mohan. Knowing your anatomy can save you here since an artist well versed in anatomy can create any pose with ease. Depth in the artwork can be brought about through shading. However, a reference photograph can help ease the process.

Portraiture by Mohan Sonawane
A digital rendition of the actor Rowan atkinson in his famous avatar as Mr.Bean

CG. Apart from realistic portraits, you have also mastered the art of caricatures. What are the similarities and differences in the artistic process for both? Does your process vary in terms of sketching and painting?

Mohan. Be it a realistic portrait or caricature, it is vital to know your anatomy. However, in lifelike portraits, we need to maintain the character, and in caricatures, we need to exaggerate the subject’s features. Therefore, we follow the rules of anatomy rather strictly for portraits. Otherwise, the painting and sketching process essentially remains the same.

CG. Your artworks have a significant variation in style and flair. How do you set a particular style for an artwork? Which is your most preferred style?

Mohan. I decide the style for an artwork based on the character and concept of the work. My go-to is the “one eye” style, which I have followed in several of my works.

CG. How do you choose the subjects of your painting? Could you elaborate on the portrait painting process? What are your preferred software and medium?

Mohan. Before beginning my painting process, I study the subject carefully and harvest ideas during the reference study phase. Quick gesture drawings provide a good understanding of the subject. Then, with the base secure, I proceed to draft the final sketch. Upon completing the final illustration, I work on the base colour for the skin tone and proceed to add darker shades and complete the work with finer details. The result is finalised only after the colour correction process, where I tweak the colours and check colour balance. As for my prefered software and medium, they are Adobe Photoshop and Watercolours, respectively.

CG. Who is your greatest inspiration and/or role model/mentor from the field of art?

Mohan. Artist Vasudeo Kamath is my role model, and his paintings are my source of inspiration. I have learnt a lot about portraiture by studying his works.

CG. Could you share a few words of wisdom with aspiring artists on the art of portrait painting?

Mohan. If you want to perfect the art of portraiture, then develop keen observation and sketch regularly. It is crucial to practice from live studies as much as possible.

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Illustrator, Mohan Sonawane, takes us through the process it took him to find and create a portrait with just the right amount of depth and perspective, one that would go on to bring a character to life on the canvas.

Drawing a face, by itself, is not an easy task; let alone a portrait that is synonymous with not just the way a person looks, but, in fact, is a representation of the characteristics and traits of the individual’s personality. Now, that’s no easy mission to engage; yet, Mohan Sonawane did take that it was worth a shot, and came up with this evocative portrait of actor Nawazuddin Siddique. He takes us through the moves it took him to reach the achieved execution.

Portrait

Step 1: Primary Concept

To start off with, the background was put into effect by the use of the given base colour – one similar to skin colour. Further, basic line anatomy was put into application, also keeping in mind the face structure and proportion, at the same time. This was all done in the Rapid style of sketching, quickly just going step after step, not paying much attention to detail at that stage or phase of the illustration/portrait.

Portrait

Step 2: Final Sketch

Following Rapid Drawing, final details were added into the sketch-work. For example, face expressions were introduced, which gave the subject the intense character and effective style. Something it is not only fundamentally essential to distinguish personality, but also necessary when one is trying to create distinct portraits. That is where an accurate face structure comes into shape.

Portrait

Step 3: Choosing Brush

After studying many brushes, one particular brush with a strong stroke, and the apt depth to it, was finalised and chosen. The conclusion was reached only after having tried out a variety of options; they all, however, lacked the primary quality and effect that was desired to create the intended production. Nonetheless, the right one was eventually found to execute the needed depth.

Portrait

Step 4: Primary Base Colour

At first, the basic middle tone colour was selected, followed by applying it to the whole drawing. Post that, the colours that were further used were selected as per natural colours. The whole intention was to be able to create an imagery that represented not just the face, but the very character itself that is synonymous of the person, so as to represent more than simply the face.

Portrait

Step 5: Occlusion Light and Primary Colour

With the help of basic colours, a dark tone was given to the portrait. Thereafter, the initial shades and tones were converted to dark-to-light shades. This was done with the primary goal of providing a realistic texture to the subject, one that would make it synonymous of real life.

Portrait

Step 6: Skin Texture and Details

After observing the skin texture, the Brush tool was brought into play, so as to give the much-needed set of details to the subject and his crucial character. In Photoshop, it is very easy to provide skin texture, as one can create whatever brushes one wants to apply in order to be able to achieve an accurate skin texture. That is what finally materialised or manifested into the evolution of the piece.

Step 7: Details

After completing the basic colour sketch, it became very easy to add on a lot more of the face details – one could thus highlight them, as they were very much in the designer’s control, even though it also depends on the subject’s characteristics and expressions. The best way to overcome that challenge is to actually be observant, and take time to grasp them in all their depth.

Portrait

Step 8: Reflection Light

When we see an image that has surrounding lights reflection on it, the drawing looks natural due to the reflecting light. It adds a very natural feel to an image. The same very basic thing was also applied over here, allowing there to be a natural light on the face, which looks very attractive.

Step 9: Final Compose

After completing the entire work, colour creation and background were further explored. Both aspects worked to create just the right amount of depth. And, finally, the ultimate picture starts taking solid root and shape. Due to this reflection of light, the desired output could be well achieved at the end.

Published in Issue 39

As the festivity is all around, every brand or business is trying to impress the Indian audience. But what really works for us Indians? What is an Indian design? And how we can make designs for India? To understand it, we interviewed some Indian creatives who are successfully creating designs for the Indian audience.

This issue of Creative Gaga is a light read for someone looking for inspirations or insights on Indian design and how the Indian audience can be enticed. So go ahead and order your copy or subscribe if you want to keep receiving a regular dose of inspirations!

 

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In the world of innumerable artists and their brilliant artwork, inspirations are everywhere. Follow the top 30 Indian illustrators and be a go-getter!

With digital art and illustrations picking up rapidly in the market, its time to be updated with it and know some of the masters performing it beautifully in their own unique styles.

 

Read through the list of best 30 Indian illustrators, know their styles and get inspired!

1. Aaron Pinto

The senior designer for MTV India, Aaron Pinto is a multi-talented young lad, commonly known as Kidsquidy. He is not only a graphic designer and an illustrator, but also a drummer for two Mumbai based metal bands, Providence and Gutslit.

 

A true lover of music and an ever-ready challenge acceptor, he works with different bands helping them recreate visions to go hand-in-hand with the type of music they make, designing the brand merchandise for them and their album art work as well.

 


2. Abhishek Singh

A graduate from NID Ahmedabad, Abhishek Singh is an artist, graphic novelist and an animation film designer. He has worked for animation projects with Cartoon Network, a series of Virgin Comics and UTV in collaboration with Shekhar Kapoor and Deepak Chopra.

 

He believes in the fact that an illustration is all about a story and the story-tellers. For him, the character is the plot and the plot is the character. You can discover a character to tell your story by knowing his insights and following his tips here.

 


3. Aditya Chari

An illustrator, character designer and a concept artist, Aditya Chari, a B.F.A graduate from Sir J. J School of Art, has been on the team of many different movies for character designing. Not only is this, he has created artworks of varied kinds ranging from photoshop and demo portraits to nudes and rapid sketches.

 

Aditya has designed and made illustrations for major brands and big advertising companies like, Forbes, Mudra, O&M, MTV Asia and Leo Burnett to name a few. With a count of more than 1500 portraits tagged to his name, he is also the author of two art books, Portrait techniques made easy and Figure study made easy, used as study guides by students.

 


Indian Illustrators - Alicia Souza

4. Alicia D’Souza

Exposed to many different cultures, Alicia Souza is a freelance illustrative designer residing in Bangalore. Loving to draw and never stopping, Alicia successfully and very easily transformed her passion for art into her profession of illustration and comic art. Her work has appeared internationally in children’s books, magazines and news-papers.

 

After having worked for many different brands of reputed honor like Google, Yahoo, Tanishq and The Times of India to name a few, Alicia moved on to set up her successful quirky business venture to create a happy business that makes you smile wide!

 


Indian Illustrators

5. Anand Radhakrishna

Anand Radhakrishna is a freelance Mumbai-based illustrator. For him, the artwork is not about picking up a style and sticking through it, instead, he makes his artwork as a journey of surprises and discoveries.

 

His passion for storytelling in any medium got him to explore traditional mediums to express the mysteries and to enlighten the darkness that people and the world carry with them. His inspiration comes from masters like Moebius, Alphonse Mucha etc.

 


Visual Communication - AnantKulkarni

6. Anant Kulkarni

Having grown an interest in visual and pictorial forms while a student at the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai, freelance Illustrator and Designer, Anant Kulkarni, went on to work with various publications and later taught as a professor at the same prestigious institute from where he graduated.

 

His art follows a simple ideology of engaging visual communication through basic shapes. Transforming objects into forms using geometrical shapes, he keeps his audience engrossed in the visuals, maintaining their curiosity.

Indian Illustrators

7. Arshad Sayyed

Capturing local flavours in the complexity of a muted colour palette, Arshad Sayyed is a Mumbai-based designer and illustrator, graduated from Sir. J.J School of Applied Arts. Following his belief, “To fill every heart with art”, Arshad has been successful in setting up his own venture, Wallcano, specialising in environmental graphics, space branding and graffiti.

 

He feels that for a designer it is important to stick to the roots while following the aspirations and moving closer to ones’ dreams.

 


Indian Illustrators

8. Ashish Subhash Boyne

A fresh graduate from Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art, Ashish Subhash Boyne is an Illustrator and Graphic designer based in Mumbai who started freelancing while still at college. According to him, the world is full of opportunities, one just needs to know which and when to take one.

 

He has his own mantra for a bright freelance career and ascertains the fact that showcasing everyday stories in a refreshing manner can open doors to a ‘not so every day’ life!

 


Illustrating for a Publication

9. Gajanan D. Nirphale

Participating in state-level drawing competitions and winning trophies worked wonders for Gajanan D. Nirphale and served as his inspiration to earn a degree in Applied Arts and jump into the field of illustration.

 

Being a part of different publication houses like DNA and Zee Media boosted his confidence in experimenting with different styles across a wide range of projects like building storyboards, character designing and portraits.

 

An optimist by nature, he takes up challenges and considers them to be advantages as they help him up his skills in this fast-growing world, both personally and professionally.

 


Indian Illustrators

10. Harshvardhan Kadam

Harshvardhan Kadam conceives, perceives and executes his experiences through visuals. He has illustrated characters for graphic novels and children’s books and has also served as an Art Director for animation and live-action films for various production houses across India.

 

His artwork and illustrations are not just limited to books and papers but goes out to reach the community through one of most effective means, which is mural and wall art.

 


Indian Illustrators

11. Lavanya Naidu

A graduate from the National Institute of Design, Lavanya Naidu is an illustrator and animator. She has had the opportunity to have been a part of the designing team at Google, Ted X, Cartoon Network and the likes.

 

An optimist about almost everything in her life, the same is reflected in her artwork as well. She wishes to spread the positive energy and induce happiness through work. She believes in taking up the work one is passionate about and allows for a persons’ growth, both professional and personal.

 


12. Lokesh Karekar

Founder-director of LOCOPOPO Design Studio, Lokesh Karekar is a visual artist specializing in illustration and design. Having worked for design firms like Grandmother India and Alok Nanda, he likes experimenting with new tools and techniques like paper-art, collage, clay-modelling and others.

 

Lokesh’s LOCOPOCO Studio believes in discussing the idea rather than too much referencing. The focus is on identity design, to create images and illustrations for a simple and luxury design.

Indian Kukreja

13. Lovely Kukreja

With his career beginning as a computer operator, Lovely Kukreja did not give up hope and pursued his passion as a commercial artist. Now, with over twelve years of experience in Game Art and Content Management, he runs his own gaming studio, White Mice Media. He is also an independent art and design consultant with a specialisation in childrens’ books illustrations.

 

In addition to his gaming studio, he paints different aspects of Indian mythology and sells merchandise products. While illustrating, he follows the principle of 3M’s: Meditation, Motivation and Manifestation.

 


Indian Illustrators

14. Manasi Parikh

A graduate from NID in Animation Film Design, Manasi Parikh now experiments with illustrations, animations, textiles, painting, sculptures and spaces.

 

Fascinated by the fact that how everything in the world is woven together to create the existing social fabric, she loves understanding stories around her and documenting the same through her drawings.

 

Art and drawing for Manasi never called for a conscious effort to make things relevant, it all just fell into place, organically. She proposes that one should let the inner-self flow through illustrations.

 


Indian Illustrators

15. Meroo Seth

Meero Seth is a trained graphic designer from MIT Institute of Design, Pune. Her excellent skills in the field of illustrations got her an opportunity to intern at one of the in-demand brands, Chumbak. Presently, she is working in a Motion Graphic Design studio, Breakfast of Champions.

 

She follows trails of fun, curiosity, happiness and playfulness when working on her illustrations and feels that emotions are the most important factors to consider while creating balanced colour palettes. Her style is all about mixing the right colours.

 


16. Mira Malhotra

A designer, visual artist and illustrator, Mira Malhotra is a NID, Ahmedabad graduate who started her boutique studio, Kohl, in 2013 which reflects Indian culture and heritage in all of its works.

 

Following the idea of ‘Glocal’, she merges the local content with a global treatment to contemporarize it, yet allowing the design to openly speak Indian. The thought that cultures cannot be preserved in glass cases, got her moulding them in a way that they remain to continue in a time-relevant manner.

 


Indian Illustrators

17. Mohan Sonawane

Graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J.J Institute of Applied Arts, Mohan Sonawane has received various awards for his excellence in the field of illustration and graphic designing. His desire and passion for the field got him to develop his skills as a concept artist and also as an illustrator.

 

Spreading his knowledge of art with the world, he has shared a step by step tutorial on how to create a portrait with perfection.

 


Indian Illustrators

18. Parvati Pillai

Parvati Pillai discovered her passion for illustration during her Bachelors of Animation which got her working for Chumbak and Tinkle. She pursued her Masters’ from Finland which opened up many doors for her to be a part of publications and brands like Google and its likes.

 

She believes in the fact that trying out new styles and forms of illustration are key for a designer to grow at one’s craft. She is ever-ready to take up challenges and perform story-telling through different styles of illustration.

 


19. Pooja Bhapkar

Pooja Bhapkar is an illustrator and graphic designer, experienced in branding and packaging, who now works in finding motion graphic solution with a UK based studio.

 

If understood in depth and detail, the Hindu mythology is informative and scientific. According to Pooja, history and mythology relate to our present and it is an illustrators’ task to modernise the traditional in a creative form, for it to become a story to be understood by everyone.

 


20. Prakash Thombre

Design entrepreneur, artist and Motorcycle nomad, Prakash Thombre captures a whole lot of views during his travel-times and later uses them as references to create the masterpieces seen in his portfolio.

 

His 25-year career spans an array of various media & industries, blending UX design, visual design, branding and technology to create compelling user experience across form factors.

 

He believes in finding spontaneous narratives in real life personalities and loves developing them on his canvas.

 


21. Pracheta Banerjee

A self-taught painter, painting since she was only 11, Pracheta Banerjee is a young, Kolkata-based illustrator and comic book artist, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia at St.Xavier’s College.

 

Obsessed with the eerie side of beauty, which leaves a heavy and mysterious impact making one curious about the unknown, her works are inspired from Greek Mythology and basic human emotions. Always exploring ways to convey stories through her works, she feels that the Dark Causes Delight to Create Eerie Beauty!

 


22. Priyanka Karyekar

Graduated in Communication Design from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Priyanka Karyekar is an illustrator and designer based out of Pune. She believes that for an artist to truly evolve, one must follow the 3 H’s which are the Head, the Heart and the Hands, symbolically representing ideation, empathy towards people and skills to execute ideas respectively.

 

She uses a concept-based approach for her artwork as she theorizes that there needs to be a strong concept behind every illustration.

 


23. Rahul Arora

Rahul Arora is a Mumbai based freelance digital illustrator. Believing in the fact that being versatile is a game changer in digital art, his spectrum of working typologies in the field of design is pretty wide, varying from illustrating for advertising to character designing, story-boarding, environment designing and comic books illustrations.

 

Keeping his clients in the centre of any project, Rahul feels that the designer is responsible for conveying the idea of the client through the creation of styles matching the needs of the clients; thus the style of the designer is a reflection of the clients’ sensibility and vision!

 


24. Ritaban Das

A character designer, illustrator and storyboard artist, Ritaban Das has an experience of working in the animation & gaming industry for almost 9 long years and is presently working as an Art Director at Sparky Entertainment, an animation studio in Chennai.

 

His work is mostly character-driven, where he blends in humour and graphic designing, wanting to convey a story with every character that he creates. Ritaban as a visual communication artist feels that it is important to portray a complete story or image to the reader and keeping this in mind he tries to narrate stories in a single frame.

Nature - King Cobra - Rohan Dahotre

25. Rohan Dahotre

An animation designer from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Rohan Dahotre is a Pune-based illustrator who has an experience of working in the animation and gaming industry for about 2 years and is currently working with Chumbak.

 

Greatly inspired by nature, Rohan adds depth and detail through shapes and patterns to animal photos to give it a new identity.

 

Through his illustrations, Rohan attempts at enhancing the magnificence of the natural world, hoping that people will understand and respect these creatures and their habitat.

 


26. Sameer kulavoor

Producing work which is the result of the intersection of contemporary illustration, graphic design and art, Sameer Kulavoor is a Mumbai-based designer and visual artist. He is the founder and director of Bombay Duck Designs, an independent illustration design studio and self-publishers.

 

Featured and interviewed by many different publications, he has been on the list of GQ India – 50 most influential men for two consecutive years of 2015 and 2016 and he also made it to Forbes India – 30 Under 30 in 2013.

Siddhi Ranade - tale-telling

27. Siddhi Ranade

With a Commercial Arts degree from L. S. Raheja School of Arts, Mumbai, Siddhi Ranade explored new styles and developed a taste for stories while working with Ravi Jadhav Films. Siddhi’s illustrations are an art of tale-telling expressed through the use of colors which he derives from the life of his subjects.

 

His take on the field is that an artist needs to be up-to-date with the industry and that the artwork.

 


28. Shaivalini Kumar

A Visual Communication Designer, Shaivalini Kumar primarily works with illustration and typography. She specializes in “illustrated type”, an avenue of type design which combines the fields of illustration and graphic design. She is a firm believer of the fact that extraordinary designs are created by finding magic in the ordinary and mundane!

 

Through her work, she has been able to connect and communicate with people, engaged in different fields, from all over the world and has also been featured in many different publications. Confident about her work, she believes that you can judge books by the cover!

29. Shreya Gulati

Shreya Gulati is an illustrator and an animator who graduated from the Institute of Design, Pune and is presently working as the head of design at RKSV. She is a person who enjoys a variety of things like eating street food, ogling old English architecture and playing with stray cats and she also brings this versatility in her work.

 

For Shreya, inspiration is not something that is acquired but it is the objects, visuals, words or anything that influence a person and seep into ones’ memory. She is of the opinion that versatility and having a unique point of view goes hand in hand!

 


30. Yogesh Bhusare

Graduated from D.Y. Patil College of Applied Arts & Crafts, Pune, illustrator Yogesh Bhusare dreamt of creating masterpieces and hitting it big early by working towards his design and product brand since the day he graduated.

 

Working with various companies, he picked up tricks of the trade and was successful in launching his design and product brand AWWSOME. Loving to try out different and new styles, Yogesh feels that experimenting brings you closer to your masterpiece.

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