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Satish Gangaiah, a successful independent freelance illustrator and designer, teaches us a few tips and tricks of working in the creative field.

Herbs to Home Poster

CG. What was the inspiration for you to take up illustration as a career (freelance illustrator)?

Satish. During my childhood I occupied most of my time by drawing. My fascination for drawing has evolved through time. My inspirations have mostly been from the urban context or pop culture. Later during my career I was exposed to art from across the globe. This pushed me to further explore and understand international design trends.

Tik Tok lady, personal artwork
Welcome to the world of corporate culture, personal artwork

CG. Your artworks depict caricatures. Is that your style in general or do you use it for specific pieces of art? Are there any other styles also that you like to try out or that you follow?

Satish. My style is not exactly caricatures, instead it reflects a sense of lightness, and is aimed at easy communication. Stylisations often convey the message far better than realistic depictions. As an artist, I believe in being versatile in style and content. It is important to mold your work based on the requirement.

Republic Day Tableau, personal artwork

CG. Your artworks have a lot of Indian touch to them but projected in a very contemporised manner. Could you please tell us a little about this style?

Satish. I take great care to ensure that the style I create connects with the audience. The artworks of this particular style are based on the Indian context and are intended to give a local feel. They carry my lived experience, my influences and my inspirations. The added contemporary feel helps them resonate with the times we live in. They reflect the trends and sensibilities of today’s culture and society.

Chronicles Over Coffee
LDS Smile, personal artwork

CG. Your profile showcases an animated version of reality through your work. Is it a concept, scheme that you follow?

Satish. Most of my work draws from my experiences and attempts at thinking out of the box. They all have a common thread that reflects different fragments of my identity. Most of my personal artworks are inspired by things around me.

Good Morning

CG. What are the messages that you aim at bringing across through your artwork?

Satish. One common message is that of joy. I am neutral as far as identity politics goes. Instead, I create my characters in a utopian realm of happiness. My artworks are also a tribute the things that have shaped and inspired me. My messages are simple, minimal and relevant to us all.

Mahishasura
Auto Santa Claus

CG. Could you give an insight into your design process, from the beginning till the end to get the desired output.

Satish. I always begin with a systematic understanding of the requirement or the subject. The next step is research; it is vital as it helps me explore multiple possibilities in representation as well as making a delivery of content more efficient. It also gives a good foundation to base their concepts and ideas. After that I start compiling mood boards and inspirations for the ideas. I also start making key sketches in tandem. This helps me keep the idea fresh and innovative. I believe by giving this amount of time prior to making an artwork always adds value to it. The next process is all about developing the idea into an artwork

Bakasana, personal artwork

CG. In brief, what has your journey been like being a freelance illustrator?

Satish. My journey has had its ups and downs, in spite of that I have enjoyed it so far. Experience has taught me that the more planned and well managed the process is, the more sustainable and easy the journey becomes.

Swayamvara, personal artwork

CG. Being a freelancer yourself, what would be your words of inspiration and a few tips for the all the people wanting to start out a career in the field of illustration in today’s times?

Satish. The advice I can give to those who are starting their career is – always be passionate. Being passionate towards your art practice also builds empathy to appreciate good art and design. And always try to create your own identity. Success always follows slowly if you are focused and retain the passion to be creative.

Gravity, personal artwork

Published in Issue 48

A Freelancer’s Life in India! Every day, with a dream of ‘Being Your Boss,’ many creative professionals jump into the pool of freelancing. But many are not well prepared for the life of the freelancer, which brings many challenges along with benefits. So to explore further, we interviewed many freelance illustrators and designers to get answers to the question you should ask before taking the final call of becoming your boss! So, if you are planning to or have already become a freelancer then this issue is a must-read for you.

 

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It’s easy to watch a sixty-minute play, stand up and clap or look at a painting or portrait for hours and be spellbound. In such cases, it’s not only exemplary execution that excites the viewers, but also the impeccable composition that makes for the perfect picture. Aman Chotani, a renowned travel photographer, shares the tricks for compiling the right shot that’s more than just a photograph.

5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait

01. Focus on the eyes

Eyes are the main element in a portrait because there’s a reason why they’re called ‘the window into the soul’. Eyes can make or break your story and thus it’s advisable to always take them in sharp focus.

5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait
5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait

02. Use elements and depth to highlight your subject.

If elements were worthless, we’d frame our passport photographs and hang them on the wall. This only emphasises how the use of elements like reflections, shadows and patterns in your composition can make a shot more attractive and exciting.

 

If you want your subject to be the main focus in the image, create a shallow depth of field.

5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait

03. Choose your subject wisely

It is but obvious that a professional not only knows the best process but also understands what raw material makes for a perfect masterpiece. Needless to say, this goes for a photographer as well, when working with portrait shoots, selecting an important face is a quality that is mastered with time and experience. Like good actors make the movie better, similarly amazing and interesting faces make your shot interesting.

5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait

04. Let the light guide you.

The most important tool is to follow the light. Play along with nature’s incredible phenomenon, for it gives you the perfect colour palette and hues to work with. Make your subject pose according to the light; keep them as silhouettes or bathe them in the golden beam. After all, “controlling light is photography”.

5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait
5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait

05. Talk through metaphors

Metaphors are considered a powerful tool in language. It can also be employed in imagery where you can use one image to suggest something else. This is really hard and takes time to master because it’s a fine line between corny and effective.

5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait
5 Tips for Capturing the Talking Portrait

Published in Issue 25

Creative Gaga kicks off the year with an issue that asks the important questions, is it the web that’s leading the brands or the other way around? With 2014 witnessing an increase in brands investing in digital marketing, 2015 will only be bigger. We can say India has accepted the revolution, where more and more people are opening browsers to e-commerce, literally window shopping, and setting up shops online as well. The issue brings together renowned designers with digital experience, who discuss and throw light on the pros and cons of this change and where we possibly are headed with this in the future.

 

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