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!














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.

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.


Nitesh Mohanty : Graphic Designer


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.


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.


Sebin Simon : Interview with an Illustrator

boi pic

Crazy Doodler, Fun Loving, Constant Learner, Loves woman with creative mind – In short a crazy guy next door.

Why are you an Illustrator?

I love to draw, paint and express myself through them. (And I really suck at other creative things like singing, writing etc)

Did you attend school for fine art or design?

Yes, I completed my commercial arts from L.S.Raheja (Worli).

Revati Gangal : Painter


Revati Gangal  grew up in Mumbai and earned her Master’s in Fine Arts (specialising in portraiture) from the prestigious Sir J.J. School of Art. She currently lives in Bengaluru after spending a few years in Dubai. Besides India, her paintings have been displayed at art galleries across the world’s major cities including Paris, London, Brussels, Dubai, Muscat, Doha and Manama. In the past, Revati has also worked as a set/graphic designer and has been a lecturer of visual art at the SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai.

 “My paintings are based on my daily experiences; I seek to interpret the human and objective form through the emotional and visual ‘patterns’ associated with it. The inspiration to paint is triggered by visual patterns, unique compositions and/or by interesting narratives of thought. I find the various colour transformations and the play of visual permutations of patterns quite interesting,” Revati says.

Why are you a Painter?
Right from my childhood I realized that I loved to express my mind and heart only through one medium that was painting. Ever since then I channelized my journey to be a professional in it. The passion that drives me to paint has not been affected or deviated at any point of time since then. Hence I cannot see myself doing anything else besides painting.


Alicia Souza : Interview



Dropped off by egrets, in the Middle East, Alicia Souza’s folks had a hard time keeping up to her experiments of drawing on doors and burning them because its faster than erasing. She followed her  gut of studying down under only to find absolutely no sheep in the city. She. hence, decided to huddle to India and is now smiling happily that every morning she can drink chai and grin at cows at a safe distance. They grin back, she insists.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I did attend a design school in Melbourne and hold a Bachelors in Communication Design.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My brother, because he was and is incredibly smart. He still is my go-to person when I don’t feel like reading Wiki or searching Google.


Archan Nair : Interview


Archan Nair is a self developed visual artist, and illustrator, specializing in mixed media, illustration, and digital art.

Archan is inspired by various phases and forms of life to create highly intricate works that connect the various dimensions of our existence.
Formerly a fashion major and entrepreneur, Archan started painting in 2006 at the age of 24 and made the shift to independent artist in 2007. Since then he has embarked on an exhilarating and inspirational journey, collaborating with various companies and individuals around the world such as Nike, Redbull, GM, Logitech, Canon etc. Archan has been featured in various publications and won accolades and has achieved recognition from music artists like Kanye West and collaborated with artists/celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown.

Archan’s passion and love for the creative process and expressing himself has opened a whole new journey, exploring the intricate nature of so called reality.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I love drawing, painting and expressing myself.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
No..I am completely self taught and still in the process of a never-ending trip.

Karan Singh : Illustration


Karan Singh is an illustrator from Sydney, Australia currently working and living in New York City. His eclectic style has seen him work with a diverse group of clients and initiate a number of self-initiated projects.
Why are you an Illustrator?
Because it makes me happy!

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Kind of. The degree I studied had more of a focus on interaction design, so anything from designing websites to immersive installations. I was introduced to Illustrator and Photoshop at uni and fell in love. I spent a lot of my spare time teaching myself to use them and haven’t looked back since.