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Khyati Trehan is a visual artist that thinks outside the box and redefines the creative process through her scientific approach to create distinctive art and elevate it through 3D animation techniques.

Visual Art by Khyati Trehan

Khyati Trehan is a visual artist who lends a scientific edge to each of her creations. Significantly, her design for the cover for the New York Times: Sunday Review is a standout. As well as editorial illustrations, typefaces and standout visual art in her wheelhouse. She also uses textures, dynamism, movement (AR Lens), and animation to breathe life into her artistic endeavours.

Visual Art by Khyati Trehan

CG. How did you develop your keen sense of signature style in your artwork?

Khyati. I’ve always worked towards broadening my skills in the pursuit of becoming a versatile designer, which isn’t the best formula for developing a singular signature style. So I’m not sure I have one. That said, a lot of my visual art practice involves play, intuition, and learning. That method has automatically surfaced bits of me in my work and helped me make choices that come naturally to me instead of borrowing from what’s trending or from other designers I admire.

Visual Art by Khyati Trehan

CG. How do you come up with the textures and rendering techniques for your artwork?

Khyati. A large part of working in 3D is about borrowing and learning from the real world. And the real world is imperfect. Textures help bring that imperfection to renders as well as bring more dimension to a piece that, even though is 3D, is still experienced most often through a flat interface. If there’s a sunny spot in a house, you’ll find me sitting there nestled with my cats Kira and Rukia. I find myself naturally being drawn to the same warmth, which has an impact on the way some of my scenes in 3D are lit.

Visual Art by Khyati Trehan

CG. Where do you draw inspiration from and make sure that the message you want to communicate through your art is communicated to the audience?

Khyati. Art Arm: A large part of my visual art practice is selfish. I get to make what I want. In those cases, my source of inspiration can span from the entirety of our current reality, a recent memory to an object that’s on the couch next to me.

Visual Art by Khyati Trehan

Design Arm: When you’re in design school, image-making with an audience in mind is sometimes equated to dumping all sorts of symbolism and metaphors in the work. In my opinion, that’s satisfying for the designer but does nothing for the people on the receiving end. While some of the most effective pieces of communication focus on one clear idea and capturing the right feeling.

Visual Art by Khyati Trehan

CG. Which software and techniques do you use to create and render your unique creations?

Khyati. I use Cinema4D to model & compose and Vray to texture and light a piece. Lately, I enjoy the challenge of creating balance amongst complexity, which sometimes translates to making little bits that are their mini works of visual art, and then carefully composing them together till the whole piece feels just right.

CG. The art you create has a clean crisp scientific perspective, what are the influences that make you want to create such unique standout artwork?

Khyati. That’s new to my ears but I’ll take it! Well, I read a fair bit of scientific non-fiction (Bill Bryson, Oliver Sacks, etc) in my school years which served as inspiration for my college Project ‘the Beauty of Scientific Diagrams’ where I integrated the initials of a scientist with the diagram of their invention. The discipline seems to have re-entered my life, with most of my recent commissions for the NY Times and the New Yorker is about illustrating articles and books by biologists and physicists.

CG. How do dynamism and movement play a role in your artistic process?

Khyati. Specifically, adding dynamism and movement is a step in making the ARG (Alternative Reality Gaming) pieces feel alive. While it’s not always easy to introduce animation into visual art projects, whenever I do have that option, I take it.

CG. How was the experience of creating the cover for the New York Times: Sunday Review?

Khyati. I was so excited to get the opportunity! It was a highly iterative approach with a lot of guidance from the art directors. Since it was the cover, the stakes were high and there was a lot of labour and several rounds of feedback involved. I had a much easier time the second time around, working on a piece of visual art for the book reviews section.

CG. What animation techniques do you use to bring your creations to life?

Khyati. Sometimes, I stick to simple PSR (Position, scale, rotation) based animation, especially if I plan on moving the artwork to AR (Augmented Reality) eventually. One of the superpowers of 3D software like Cinema4d is Dynamics, which is a way to create physically accurate animations by subjecting 3D models to world physics like collisions, gravity, soft body animation, friction, bounces etc. The technique of adjusting settings and waiting to see what happens can bring about so much serendipity, it’s limitless!

CG. How do you use AR Lens to infuse life into your art?

Khyati. While art hangs on a wall or animates on your screens, augmented reality allows the user to take the art with them wherever they’d like. When someone shares back my piece animating in their living rooms or along their jawlines, it belongs to them just as much as it does to me. As a visual artist with almost no coding background, visual node programming adds a little padding to the learning curve, but I haven’t even begun to explore all the possibilities in AR.

CG. How do you choose your collaborators?

Khyati. I get excited about collaborators and clients that bring me on at an early stage and I can help develop the core idea. I always feel more inclined to hop on to projects where the premise or industry is unfamiliar. I’ve done my best work in an environment where as much freedom is granted as possible. My idea of a safe space is being in an environment where I feel trusted by collaborators & clients. It’s where I don’t feel a fear of sounding stupid. As some of the best visual pieces sound stupid in words.

CG. How do you morph different typefaces to personalise your art?

Khyati. There are ways to strip lettering to its skeleton and use the 3D method to essentially give it body in interesting ways while still being inspired by the type’s calligraphic origin of stress. Specifically, one simple technique is using something called ‘spline nurbs’. Mainly, think of it as making a letter with plain wire, and then using clay on top of that form to bring dimension and create a sculpture.

You can uncover the artistic vision of Khyati Trehan creations on her website and follow him along on her visual art pieces on Instagram.

And for more exciting behind-the-scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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Visual artist, Aayna Vinaya, while looking into her illustrations, expresses and exemplifies how one’s best nature automatically reflects in one’s work when it is an expression and extension of the true, inner-self.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh

CG. What is your design philosophy, and what are your everyday inspirations?

Aayna: People and animals, their behaviour, quirks and stories amuse me a lot. I love observing how people react to things, their relationships and interactions with themselves and their surroundings, and how everything in the world weaves together to create social fabric as it exists.

 

I enjoy interpreting small stories around me and documenting them through my illustrations. By creating art, I endeavour to understand my place in the world and discover ways to contribute to it.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
What happens in the forest
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Seven Brides for seven Princes
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Drop

CG. How do you manage to find humour in everyday life?

Aayna: I’m a rather serious person, the one mostly laughing at jokes than cracking them. But now that I think of it, I loved reading joke books as a kid. I’d always read the comics in the papers and never bother with the rest. I guess, a light-hearted approach to life was always something I gravitated towards since my childhood, and that somehow shows up in my work without me realising it.

 

For me, life is so full of difficult things that, when something makes me giggle, I secretly want to trap that moment and keep it safe for later.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Prince Shamsher Jung
TRE

CG. Are your designs particularly dedicated towards children as an audience?

Aayna: I love children’s books and collect lots of them, too. I keep telling myself that I’m building a library for kids I might have in the future, but, to be honest, they’re really just for me. What’s special about children’s books is how they need to be the most simplified version of something – which I believe is so difficult to arrive at, but so beautiful once it’s done.

Mansi Parikh - Digital Illustrations
Ghar
Moti Aunty

One of my favourites is a book called, The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, which communicates the pain and grief associated with death in the most touching way. I guess it was my love for this medium that showed in my work. Clients who connected with that vibe approached me for more of that. It’s never really been a conscious effort to work in or make things relevant in a particular segment. It all just fell into place, organically.

Racoon in a Cocoon
Swallow me whole

CG. What more do you plan to do with your illustrations? What would be your advice to those who doubt their talent?

Aayna: I’d love for my illustrations to travel to newer canvasses, over time. Most of my work in the past few years has been created in isolation from the world, on my work table, and I’ve been itching to get out of the studio more. At this point, I’d be happy to take on projects that allow me to interact with things, people and experiences while getting work done.

Flip
Illustration of best friend and Manasi

I’m also consciously reducing digital work and shifting to hand done. It’s a scary decision to make in a time when digital is growing so fast, but I’ve decided to stick to what makes me happy, and trust it to take me somewhere – which is what I’d tell people in doubt too! Also, there’s no time for doubt really.

 

Just do! Like Dory says in Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming!”

Conversation
Shelter

Published in Issue 38

Each year around this time, many fresh young talented designers come out as design graduates to join the best of studios and agencies. Despite many find the perfect fit for their talent but still majority faces many dilemmas and questions. So with this issue, we try to explore different views from many well-known studio owners and senior designers. While Anthony Lopez of Lopez Design shared tips on what a studio looks for in a designer, Mohar Ray from Codesign highlights the key aspects that play a significant role and make the difference in whether you are hired or not as a promising designer.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 55

 

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Illustrator, Parvati Pillai, tells us how trying out new styles and forms of illustration are key for a designer to grow at one’s craft and expand one’s scope of work in current context.

Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Nordic Rebels
Nordic Rebels
Nordic Rebels
Nordic Rebels
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Kamaladevi 115th Birthday Doodle

Various Styles Takes Conscious Effort

The art and Illustration style and colour palette are very important to Parvati in storytelling, especially if designing for a particular target audience in mind. She tries to use colours and intricate patterns to incorporate various illustration styles. Like most artists, she has a natural inclination to a particular colour and illustration style. As a result of such tendencies, it takes a lot of effort to move away from it and consciously make choices to choose something new and work on something out of the box.

SilverKris Magazine
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Poster. Designed for Spring Demoday at Medialab, Aalto University
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Designs created for a wide range of products in the Chumbak’s Gold Collection

This challenge is what makes illustrating through various styles exciting and motivating. Also, this way ensures that one keeps coming up with new stuff from time to time without getting entangled in the same kind of work. One can only unearth their potential by discovering new forms, mediums, styles and so on in the process of trying to create fresh designs or illustration.

Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Egg Skillet. Sunny spring recipe for 36 Days of Food
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Flying Dreams. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric was celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’s 'City of Dreams'
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Flying Dreams. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric was celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’s 'City of Dreams'
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Spain. Tried to capture the magic and the essence of some fascinating countries

It is a lot like Science

It is all about experimentation. Parvati constantly tries to explore new subjects and experiment with new techniques. She aims to keep herself motivated and to keep practising different illustration styles in her free time. Her MacBook Pro and Wacom graphics tablet are her apparatus in this process, thereby – the two things she cannot work without. Likewise, she also enjoys working with inks and clay while she is currently exploring knitting and embroidery. This serves as a strong and healthy way to work with different mediums and see the potential that lies in them.

Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Dream Machine. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric, celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’ 'City of Dreams'
Illustration by Parvati Pillai
Dream Machine. Collaboration with Taxi Fabric, celebrating the concept of Mumbai as India’ 'City of Dreams'
Print for Food Mat

Parvati spends a major portion of a project’s time on ideation and iteration. She likes to take her time with the composition of the illustration and carefully choose her colour palettes. She also tries to evoke feelings of joy and bring out the intricacies of everyday life in my work. For her, illustration is a form of reflection & storytelling and is inspired by life.

Print for Coaster. Design created for Chumbak's dinning range
A social media Illustration for Chumbak, celebrating spirit of Onam with Chumbak

For Money, Planning ahead always Helps

It is important to always have enough savings for emergencies, feels Parvati, as they may arise at any point of time without any indication. Likewise, she always tries to take up some projects for paying clients so that she has sufficient money to explore her creative and artistic endeavours. For some people, this may be a compromise but it is essential to her so that she may be able to sustain her creativity. Each one has their own style and approach to doing things, and whatever works for one is what one must do as the same size does not really fit all. Finally, practice and hard work are the most important things.

Lebanon. Celebrating the different cultures found around the world
Moving to Helsinki. Personal Illustration capturing the magic of my first autumn

One must be tenacious and maintain a positive attitude. Even if luck does not favour, persistence can take one more than just quite far; it can make all the difference. Even luck favours those who are persistent in their journey and don’t back down in spite of any odds they might face along the way.

Illustration
Finland. Celebrating the different cultures found around the world
Illustration
Print for Food Mat. Design created for Chumbak's dinning range
Issue-42-Cover

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer. So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 55