Illustration

Uttam Sinha : Graphic Designer

Introduction – “I want to be the best graphic designer in the world.” “I want to win every award that exists, from Cannes to D&AD.” “I want to be the next big thing.” Well, if you think all this matter to Uttam Sinha, you’ll be disappointed. Here’s a guy with no such ambitions. All he wants to do in life is to bring smile in people’s faces, with his work, or without it. His mantra in life is very simple: create work that’s loved by all.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
Honestly, I never desired to be a graphic designer. It all started with the doodling on he back pages of school notebooks, and gradually one thing led to the other. Frankly, I still don’t consider myself as a graphic designer. I am more engrossed in the work I do, rather than the designation people give.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I did my bachelors from College of Art, New Delhi.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I don’t know the exact time. Although, I feel it’s still in the developing process.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Well, I am from an army background. Ironically, I am the first person from my family who got into this profession, or probably in art. So, I had no clue of whom to follow as role models. Having said that, I was greatly inspired by R K Laxman.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
There are a lot of them. Difficult to pick one.

When did you start freelancing?
I started working in my college days. They were small assignments, but also a great respite, when you know that most of the time you are broke.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
Perhaps you should ask me this question thirty years from now.

Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Well, I believe that more than graphic designers, today advertising need thinkers. Regarding the last question, I am more associated with agencies.

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
None.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
Sameer Kulavoor.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
It’s too early for me to start giving advice, but I feel it’s very important to enjoy the work you are doing. And be truthful to it.

Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work? Do you think clients are understanding that they need to invest in Design as a communication tool and also to cut the clutter, and that good design comes at a price?
No, it will take time. But I am patient enough.

Mac or PC?
Mac

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
A girl with a good sense of humor.

What’s on your iPod?
I don’t have one.

 

 

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Shashank Nimkar : Interview with a graphic designer / animator

Shashank Nimkar has just graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. Major in animation film design. Having a deep interest in craft since his childhood has inspired him to specialize in the technique of stop-motion animation. Nature, he believes is his biggest inspiration.

“I have been a craft lover ever since I can remember. The traditional method of creating something with hands, having various materials spread around, getting hands dirty with glue and the will to see something productive and innovative coming up keeps me going.”

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
I have been creating things since my school days just for my creative-satisfaction and today I get paid for that. What else could be better. Living my dream.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I have just completed my B Des. studies from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I have always been fond of tactile creations than virtual ones. The most challenging factor about such creations is that there is no ‘ctrl+Z’, and you can actually feel what you are creating. I started doing paper quilling six years back from now, after I completed my 10th grade. Soon I started making hand crafted illustrations(and products) that can be used for print and digital campaigns.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I have always been open to any source of inspiration and learning, hence, I consider anyone who is passionate about work and creates an admiring work as my role model.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
Considering my quilling work Yulia Brodskaya has been a major inspiration in terms of medium, though her style is very different than how I use quilling.

When did you start freelancing?
Majority of my projects are self-initiated. Since this medium is new in India, plus I am trying to do something unconventional in that medium; I first make creations that I can relate to then I make them public for people to imagine what all can be done with this medium.
I did something similar when I started out, back in first year during college’s annual festival in 2011. I made 65 unique designs of my signature Finger Buddies based on which I started freelancing and today clients approach me for such customized finger buddies for their brand or people buy it for themselves or as gifts.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
As long as I am doing craft, NO WAY. I have never been bored or tired of it. When I get into the phase of serious working I don’t even realise that I have been working for 6-8 hours continuously.

Tell us something about your stop-motion work…
To be honest, I had no clue what animation is all about when I opted for the course. I just saw it as an opportunity to keep doing craft. Seeing my craft coming to life in animation was a feeling of immense joy and inspiration, it was no more a static piece of art to be place in a showcase. Since I love exploring mediums, till now I have made four stop-motion short films as a part of academics and each of them uses a very different medium. And they all have been nominated at various film festivals.

Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I do not have much experience with that. I have just started collaborating with clients. I work with anyone who knows the value of the work and understands how much efforts are put into it, even if the client is an individual and not a brand.

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
I have just started to build my relations with clients so cannot say anything for now.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
I do not have any names in particular but I keep looking for good inspiring work every now and then.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
As of now I am one of those. But for those who are thinking about choosing a career and/or want to take their skills/hobbies into serious profession, I would just say that if you can’t live without art you should not live without it. Do what makes you happy and live your dream. And keep observing around, we are midst inspiration and opportunities.

Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work? Do you think clients are understanding that they need to invest in Design as a communication tool and also to cut the clutter, and that good design comes at a price?
Yes, as many clients I have worked for they all have an understanding about the impact of design and the efforts put into making it. Also, they valued it well in terms of budget.

Mac or PC?
Frankly, doesn’t make much difference to me. Majority of my work is tactile.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Ummm… It’s a secret :P (just kidding, no such plans for now)

What’s on your iPod?
Complete Bollywood collection, from 90s to the latest. I am a big bollywood fan, Shuddh filmy. :D

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Sreoshi Sinha : In conversation with an illustrator

Sreoshi is an Illustrator, Graphic designer and Photographer. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Andhra University and a Master’s degree in Illustration and Animation from Coventry University, UK. She loves listening to music, doodling and spending time with her family. Her work can be found on her blog.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I started drawing when I was around 3 years old. I wanted to study Fine arts but I drifted towards Architecture and I enjoyed it thoroughly. But through Architecture, I realized that my forte was making illustrations and hence I decided to pursue my passion, and that lead me to UK for my Master’s.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I studied B.Arch from Andhra University and MA Illustration and Animation from Coventry University, United Kingdom.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
Throughout my UK stint I got the opportunity to experiment with different medium, be it photography, animation soft wares, digital painting, water colors etc. I spent a lot of time sketching and drawing spontaneously. Through this experience I developed and enhanced my style.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My role models were my books. I used to spend a lot of time reading comics (which I still do), like Tintin, The Phantom, Asterix and Obelix and more recently The Sandman and Fables. Also the illustrations in the children’s story books (illustrated by Russian artists like Rojankovsky) and Amarchitra Katha were my definite source of inspiration.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
Well, my career as an Illustrator has just about started. The most influential people in my life would be my parents who supported my decision to shift from architecture to illustration and encouraged me to follow my passion.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
There are very few studios in India which specialize primarily in Illustration. So, freelancing was the next option. I presently work as the Creative Head of a startup company based in Gurgaon called ‘Once Upon a Time’ and whenever there is scope I try and incorporate illustrations into the projects. I have illustrated and created graphics for merchandising, posters, info graphics, communication material, social media, blogs etc. I have designed creatives for Kempinski Delhi, Biz Diva, The Pint Room etc. and also my work has been featured in the Business World.

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
There are many advertising agencies and publication houses which require Illustrations services. But basically it depends on your style. If you are lucky then they’d be willing to experiment! In my experience, publication houses are less willing to deviate and try something new. I certainly hope I can work with studios or publication houses which are open to experimentation in the future.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
I knew it would be tough to make a career out of illustration and there were times when I had doubts but I knew I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. So I stuck to it and so far so good!

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
I’d love to turn my illustration into toys! They have been printed on IPad and IPhone covers, cushions, mugs and T Shirts, badges, so far. And I’ve used my illustrations in animations. So I hope I can get to turn them into toys soon.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I love Mario Miranda’s work. His illustrations are so local, spontaneous and true. And they also have their distinct personality! I admire and relate to these qualities as an artist and illustrator.

Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
I follow the blogs of illustrators, designers and writers like Sam Kieth (Trout-a-verse), Dave Mckean, Neil Gaiman, Free People, Blue Bird Vintage etc. I like reading their blogs either because I relate to their design sensibilities or I am just a big fan of their work!

Your dream project?
My dream project would to around the world and document my experiences in the form of illustrations and then compile them in the form of a book.

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?
I hope in ten years’ time I can happily proclaim to have ‘wide experience as a top working professional’.
As a budding illustrator and graphic designer, I have been lucky to have got the opportunity to work on some interesting projects for some good companies. I would advise anyone interested in taking up illustration as their career to learn the craft from a good art/design school and keep at it.
Self-initiated projects are also a must do!

Mac or PC?
I’m comfortable with both but I prefer the PC.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My boyfriend!

What’s on your iPod?
I’m never without The Beatles, U2 and John Mayer. Though right now, I’m listening to Kaki King and Harold Budd.

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Rahul Singh : Interview with a Designer/Illustrator

Rahul Singh Ydav has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media and he is currently working as an Designer/Illustrator at HB Design, Mumbai. Besides this he has started his own venture OZO apparel which supports Hip Hop culture and Street art.

Why are you into Advertising?
I always wanted to satisfy my hunger for creativity but I didn’t know which path to follow. It became more concrete when I took admission to BMM and specialized in advertising.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
No, whatever I have learnt till now and whatever have been learning all these years is because of a wondrous thing called INTERNET. I started learning stuff from sites namely psd.tuts.com , photoshoplady.com, youtube and many others.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
When I started designing, few of my friends helped me a lot. They were masters in their own right, I really look up to them. Another artist whom I have admired for his individuality and spirit is Banksy.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
There are many actually but the most influential personality in my career is my friend Sajid Wajid Shaikh.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is the most important part to keep you going in advertising and for my daily dose I prefer to surf on sites like behance.com, illustration served.comand ffffound.com.

Tell us something about the freelance work environment. We know lots of creatives would love to go freelance…
There are some creatives who are big on independence and love to work on their own terms. Though the income maybe uncertain i think freedom is very essential to the creative process. The market for freelance creatives is also very good but its the uncertainty and instability which may be bad.

What do you think of the state of Print advertising right now. At least here in India, the released work is most often too sad?
I think india is doing really well in print media and its going to do much better in future.

Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
No, not entirely. Awards serve a completely different purpose. Creating brand awareness and making the brand a success among consumers are the two most important goals of any advertiser. Award winning ads may not always strike a chord with the masses. It can either make advertisers work very hard or it could result in them straying from their goals if they focus too much on awards.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
I advice them to start early and chalk out a plan that they wish to follow. creative professionals should constantly up their game and update their skills. The most important thing is to develop a style of their own because they have to stand out and put something of their own on the table.
If you can dream of what you want in your life then you can achieve it too.

What’s your dream project?
There are many concepts going on in my mind but one of the best concept I would love to work on is illustration of all the gods coming back on earth and how the world would react. Ill name the project “Return Of Gods”.

Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
I see myself having developed my own venture OZO into a big recognisable name that promotes Hip hop culture. It will have joined the ranks of major brands that identify itself with hip hop. I also see myself working as an artist having honed my skills to perfection, because art is something I will never quit.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My lovely girlfriend.

What’s on your iPod?
I don’t have one. but on my player i listen to breakbeats, nu metal and hip hop tracks.

Mac or PC?
I am actually ok with both of them but ill rather prefer Mac over PC.

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Li-Anne Dias : In conversation with an artist

Li-Anne Dias is an artist and illustrator. She grew up in Mumbai, and Graduated from Sir J.J School of Art
Classic stories and scenes from urban life are her favourite subjects. She likes experimenting with various media
and aims at achieving a blend of fine art and illustration in her work. View her website here.

Why are you an Illustrator?
My interest has always been in creating images and responding to stories through my work.
Besides, I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember but it’s not that it comes easy.
I have just begun to find a niche for myself as an illustrator.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I graduated from Sir J.J. School of Fine Art with a Degree in Painting.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I still don’t believe that I have a definitive style but I definitely feel like I’m on my way to one.
I also think the ability to change your style from one to project to the next is essential.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
There have been many role models. I look up to Ganesh Pyne for his exemplary use of line and form, and international artists like Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Francis Berry.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
There are many people who influenced me to take up Illustration as a career.
One of my first art instructors, Mr. Narendra Pavaskar, and my professors at Art College helped me most in discovering my ability to Illustrate.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
You have the opportunity and the freedom to choose your work.
It is a luxury to be able to select the projects you work on.

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Yes, there is an inclination towards the use of hand-drawn illustrations in advertising these days.
Some of the most inspiring, and award-winning campaigns of today involve the use of illustration in some way or the other.

I’m working on a few personal projects that I wish to publish soon.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
No. But there have been difficult times when I decide to take a break and explore new media.
I have been experimenting a lot lately with traditional print-making techniques.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Of course. I have always been drawn to the idea of executing my art in unconventional media.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I find the work of Mario Miranda and Deelip Khomane very inspiring.

Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Tasneem Amiruddin is a friend, and a wonderful illustrator. I think her style of illustration is both highly experimental and unique.

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?
Enjoy what you do, to the extent that it is a pleasure to go beyond the call of duty. Everyone gets rejection along the way, but you have to keep going.
Illustration is a great career prospect as long as you’re extremely passionate about it, but you need to have self-discipline to pull through.

Whats your dream project?
To write and illustrate my own graphic novel.

Mac or PC?
Both. They are only tools.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My dad.

What’s on your iPod?
Young the Giant, Porcupine Tree and a few other artists.

 

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Simran Nanda: Interview with a Student Illustrator

Simran Nanda is a Communication Designer specializing in illustration. She will be graduating from The Pearl Academy of Art Design and Fashion, New Delhi this year. She loves spending time with her family, friends and her pets. She wishes to get married to the city of Bombay in her near future!

Why are you an Illustrator?
Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by cartoons. I had a collection of stuffed animals! I think this is where my vision to create different characters came from.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I’m studying at The Pearl Academy of Art Design and Fashion. I will get my degree in B.A Communication Design this year.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I have always wanted to sketch but initially I was afraid to do so. I have been observing the work of various illustrators over the years. Some of them have different styles of illustrating. It took me a while to find my own style. I feel it came from practice and a lot of passion for the work I do.  I love digital work in particular, playing with different shapes and colors to create my characters. I love robots and monsters!

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My role model is and always will be Shah Rukh Khan. I admire the passion he has for his work. I have always looked up to him. Even though he doesn’t know me, I hope he does someday!
 
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
It’s difficult to choose one in particular but I remember going to Bombay for the first time and I was fascinated to see Mario Miranda’s work on the walls of Café Mondegar. I am truly inspired by his work.
I also love Mattias Adolfson, the German illustrator. Observing his work and made me pay attention to detail in my illustrations.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I was motivated to do so by my mentor in college.  After building on my portfolio, I have done some freelance work as an illustrator. I have illustrated characters for social media icons and graphics for toys. I haven’t got a chance to illustrate for advertising as yet.

Tell us something about your graphic design work.
My work is mostly digital based. I have a particular style that has developed over the years. I love illustrating for children in particular. I am very fascinated by monsters and robots!

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I think it depends on the brief given to us. If the ad requires illustration as a medium, then yes. I have mainly worked with design houses and advertising agencies.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Not as yet! I hope I never do. But I have always wanted to see my characters in motion. So if I ever plan to divert from illustration, I would want to specialize in animation.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
I have made graphics for paper toys that are used as night lamps! It was a concept based on reusable packaging for children. So the packaging converts into a paper toy or a lamp.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I love Prashant Miranda’s work. He was called to our college for an interactive session where he showcased his work. It was great seeing his travel logs. I love his use of watercolors.

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?
I’m just about to graduate! So I think its too soon to give my view about taking Illustration as a career option but I think it depends on person to person. You need to be connected to your work that makes a big difference. It pays well with the amount of experience one has.

Mac or PC?
I use a Mac

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Shah Rukh Khan! I want to take him out for dinner and thank him for singing for me on my birthday!

What’s on your iPod?
I listen to The XX and Phealeh while working. I love music that helps me work in peace.  Also I love bollywood!
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Jitendra Patel : Interview with an Illustrator

Born and raised in Baroda, Jitendra Patel (aka Jitu) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Currently, he works as an art director at Ogilvy and Mather, Mumbai. Besides his art, Jitu is also passionate about movies and old-time songs. He spends his leisure time sketching and lately, attempting to learn how to play the flute!

Why are you an Illustrator?
Since childhood, drawing and painting have been my first love. My notebooks were filled with drawings rather than notes. So you could say my childhood passion lead me into the world of art.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I went to one of the best art schools in India – Faculty of Fine Arts MSU University, Baroda.
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Sumedha Sah : Interview with an illustrator

Sumedha Sah is a self taught artist and illustrator and hails from the beautiful hill station of Nainital. Having completed her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from MIT Manipal, She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Sustainable Architecture from CEPT University in Ahmedabad. Her artwork is inspired by mundane life experiences, her travels and her innate love for nature. She enjoys spending time with her pets, 3 dogs and a cat. As well as travelling to the unexplored parts of the world.

Some of her clients include, The National Geographic Traveller Magazine India, TED x India and Full Circle Publishing based out of Delhi.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I draw because it gives me immense joy. I draw for this simple reason everyday. With a sketchbook and a box of travel watercolours, I doodle and create. I find inspiration in the happenings of everyday. I strongly believe in the simple joys and know that many of our lives go by, doing things for the head rather than the heart. My sketchbooks are a way to document my life and record the thoughts that cloud my mind on certain days. On others they are a mirror to what I feel.

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Nitesh Mohanty : Graphic Designer

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Nitesh Mohanty is a Mumbai based Graphic Designer and co-founder of The Root.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I studied fine arts in Sir J.J. School of Arts & did my post graduation from NID.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I wonder what is “growing up”…? I’m still curious like a child, looking, learning, growing & hope that this process never ends. But If I look back at my childhood, I was drawn towards comics ~ Mandrake, Phantom, Flash Gordon, Bahadur… also Amar Chitra Katha. I didn’t know who were the illustrators & the amazing storytellers, but as I grew, I got aware of the greatness of Uncle Pai, Abid, Lee Falk, Edgar Rice Burroughs… Then of course there was the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, who gave me the greatest joy through the adventures of Tintin. These were the mavericks who welcomed me into their world filling my life with joy & awe.

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Abhinav Kafare : Illustrator

Abhinav is a crazy person when it comes to his passions which include art, visiting new places and looking at the world through his illustrations and art.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I started out with fine arts and found out that I love illustrating as well. There was no clear cut transition but I feel that my grounding in fine arts has helped me with my illustrations.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I studied fine arts at Raheja School of Art.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
There is no specific timeline that I took to develop my style and I don’t believe in different styles but I believe that all styles are ingrained from the basic fundamental shapes.

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