Balaji : Atma Studio, Illustrations

 ​Balaji is the​ ​Founder​ ​of​ ​Atma​ ​Studios​​ ​which​ ​is​ ​a​ ​full-services​ ​branding​ ​studio​ ​that
practices​ ​Artistic​ ​Branding​©​.​ ​He is​ ​also​ ​the​ ​person​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​famous​ ​Quirky​ ​Invites​,​ ​an​ ​ever
growing​ ​collection​ ​of​ ​quirky​ ​wedding​ ​invites​ ​which​ ​are​ ​a​ ​fusion​ ​of​ ​Indian​ ​art​ ​forms​ ​and​ ​modern
day​ ​creativity.

​Why​ ​are​ ​you​ ​an​ ​Illustrator?
I​ ​love​ ​doing​ ​new​ ​things​ ​everyday.​ ​I​ ​would​ ​never​ ​lead​ ​a​ ​life​ ​in​ ​which​ ​I​ ​do​ ​the​ ​same​ ​things
everyday.​ ​So​ ​being​ ​an​ ​illustrator​ ​gives​ ​me​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​do​ ​things​ ​differently​ ​every​ ​day.

​Did​ ​you​ ​attend​ ​school​ ​for​ ​Fine​ ​Arts​ ​or​ ​Design?
I​ ​am​ ​a​ ​self-taught​ ​illustrator​ ​and​ ​I​ ​learnt​ ​by​ ​doing​ ​and​ ​out​ ​of​ ​interest.

You​ ​have​ ​a​ ​distinct​ ​style​ ​of​ ​illustration.​ ​How​ ​long​ ​did​ ​it​ ​take​ ​you​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​your​ ​style?
My​ ​interest​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​native​ ​Indian​ ​and​ ​International​ ​art​ ​forms​ ​led​ ​me​ ​into​ ​a​ ​journey​ ​of
self-learning​ ​and​ ​experimentation.​ ​That​ ​is​ ​evident​ ​from​ ​our​ ​design​ ​works.

​Tell​ ​us​ ​something​ ​about​ ​your​ ​wedding​ ​card​ ​illustration​ ​focus.​ ​How​ ​did​ ​that​ ​come
about?
I​ ​founded​ ​Atma​ ​Studios​ ​which​ ​is​ ​a​ ​full​ ​services​ ​branding​ ​studio.​ ​We​ ​were​ ​getting​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of
wedding​ ​invite​ ​projects​ ​from​ ​individuals​ ​who​ ​wanted​ ​a​ ​one​ ​of​ ​a​ ​kind​ ​wedding​ ​invite​ ​design.
As​ ​I​ ​was​ ​the​ ​one​ ​who​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​the​ ​wedding​ ​invites,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​strategic​ ​move​ ​to​ ​make​ ​weddinginvites​ ​as​ ​a​ ​brand​ ​under​ ​‘SCD​ ​Balaji’​ ​and​ ​do​ ​only​ ​invite​ ​projects​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same.​ ​Atma​ ​Studios. focusses​ ​on​ ​brand​ ​identities​ ​and​ ​SCD​ ​Balaji​ ​is​ ​a​ ​brand​ ​dedicated​ ​to​ ​wedding​ ​invites.

​Were​ ​there​ ​any​ ​particular​ ​role​ ​models​ ​for​ ​you​ ​when​ ​you​ ​grew​ ​up?
I​ ​am​ ​a​ ​big​ ​fan​ ​of​ ​cartoons​ ​and​ ​video​ ​games.​ ​While​ ​others​ ​were​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​the​ ​game​ ​play,​ ​I​ ​was
keen​ ​in​ ​the​ ​characters​ ​and​ ​their​ ​movements.​ ​I​ ​always​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​create​ ​such​ ​characters​ ​that
brings​ ​joy​ ​and​ ​happiness.

​Who​ ​was​ ​the​ ​most​ ​influential​ ​personality​ ​on​ ​your​ ​career​ ​in​ ​Illustrations?
I​ ​would​ ​not​ ​say​ ​one.​ ​When​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​illustration,​ ​everyday​ ​is​ ​a​ ​learning​ ​in​ ​itself.​ ​I​ ​am
constantly​ ​impressed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​works​ ​of​ ​Alicia​ ​Souza,​ ​Parvati​ ​Pillai​ ​and​ ​Shiv​ ​Shilo​ ​Suleman

What​ ​made​ ​you​ ​decide​ ​to​ ​become​ ​a​ ​freelance​ ​illustrator?​ ​When​ ​did​ ​you​ ​start
freelancing?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​illustrate​ ​for​ ​advertising?
I​ ​work​ ​on​ ​all​ ​projects​ ​under​ ​the​ ​brand​ ​Atma​ ​Studios

Are​ ​many​ ​advertising​ ​agencies​ ​getting​ ​illustrations​ ​made​ ​these​ ​days?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​work
more​ ​with​ ​agencies​ ​or​ ​publishers?
We​ ​do​ ​work​ ​with​ ​agencies​ ​and​ ​publishers​ ​on​ ​certain​ ​projects​ ​that​ ​demands​ ​a​ ​high​ ​end
treatment​ ​and​ ​design.

​Was​ ​there​ ​any​ ​time​ ​when​ ​you​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​quit​ ​Illustrations?
There​ ​has​ ​never​ ​been​ ​a​ ​time​ ​like​ ​that​ ​and​ ​I​ ​am​ ​sure​ ​there​ ​will​ ​not​ ​be​ ​a​ ​time​ ​like​ ​that​ ​in​ ​the
future.

​Have​ ​you​ ​considered​ ​turning​ ​your​ ​illustrations​ ​into​ ​toys?
We​ ​haven’t​ ​turned​ ​them​ ​into​ ​toys​ ​but​ ​we​ ​have​ ​converted​ ​that​ ​into​ ​branded​ ​merchandise​ ​under
the​ ​name​ ​“​ ​Lat​ ​Lakar”​ ​.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​check​ ​out​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​collections​​ here​.

Any​ ​other​ ​Indian​ ​Illustrators​ ​who​ ​you​ ​admire?
As​ ​I​ ​mentioned​ ​earlier,​ ​the​ ​three​ ​artists​ ​inspire​ ​me​ ​differently.​ ​I​ ​admire​ ​Alicia​ ​Souza’s​ ​ability​ ​of
producing​ ​content​ ​everyday.​ ​Parvati’s​ ​works​ ​are​ ​lively​ ​and​ ​emotional.​ ​I​ ​love​ ​the​ ​Fearless
campaign​ ​of​ ​Shiv​ ​Silo​ ​Sulaiman.

Do​ ​you​ ​have​ ​any​ ​favorite​ ​fellow​ ​illustrators​ ​or​ ​resources​ ​relating​ ​to​ ​your​ ​fields?
Same​ ​as​ ​above

You​ ​have​ ​such​ ​a​ ​wide​ ​experience​ ​as​ ​a​ ​top​ ​working​ ​professional.​ ​What​ ​advice​ ​do​ ​you
have​ ​for​ ​aspiring​ ​creative​ ​professionals?​ ​Would​ ​you​ ​advise​ ​them​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​Illustration​ ​as
a​ ​career​ ​option?​ ​Is​ ​it​ ​paying​ ​well​ ​enough?
One​ ​advice​ ​for​ ​young​ ​and​ ​aspiring​ ​professionals​ ​is​ ​to​ ​care​ ​less​ ​about​ ​the​ ​likes​ ​or​ ​shares​ ​of​ ​their
works.​ ​Social​ ​recognition​ ​should​ ​not​ ​craved​ ​upon.​ ​To​ ​master​ ​an​ ​art​ ​form,​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​more​ ​than​ ​a
few​ ​years​ ​and​ ​these​ ​initial​ ​likes​ ​and​ ​feedback​ ​from​ ​common​ ​people​ ​may​ ​make​ ​them​ ​happy​ ​but​ ​it
will​ ​limit​ ​their​ ​creative​ ​potential.

They​ ​should​ ​be​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​invest​ ​years​ ​of​ ​time​ ​and​ ​they​ ​should​ ​also​ ​be​ ​open​ ​to​ ​taking​ ​some​ ​risks.
They​ ​should​ ​also​ ​take​ ​guidance​ ​from​ ​mentors​ ​which​ ​is​ ​missing​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​lately.​ ​ ​Talented
professionals​ ​name​ ​their​ ​price​ ​and​ ​earn​ ​in​ ​lakhs​ ​every​ ​month​ ​and​ ​it​ ​all​ ​boils​ ​down​ ​to​ ​the
quality.

​What’s​ ​your​ ​dream​ ​project?
I​ ​have​ ​always​ ​been​ ​fascinated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​beauty​ ​of​ ​Thirukkural.​ ​The​ ​immense​ ​truths​ ​of​ ​our​ ​life​ ​are
exhibited​ ​wonderfully​ ​in​ ​couplets.​ ​I​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​illustrate​ ​each​ ​and​ ​every​ ​Thirukkural.

​Mac​ ​or​ ​PC?
Mac

Who​ ​would​ ​you​ ​like​ ​to​ ​take​ ​out​ ​for​ ​dinner?
My​ ​family​ ​-​ ​wife​ ​and​ ​kids. No one else. 🙂

What’s​ ​on​ ​your​ ​iPod?
Game​ ​of​ ​Thrones​ ​OST

​What’s​ ​your​ ​Twitter​ ​Handle?
@scdbalaji

Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations Balaji Atma Studios, Illustrations

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