Interviews

Jit Chowdhury : Illustrations

Jit Chowdhury draws everything except a monthly salary. A Visual storyteller based in Calcutta. His studio is called, Jitch Art Studio. He is a keeper of sketchbooks and loves penning down every concept in his sketchbooks for safe keeping. He works with publication houses like Penguin and also does wall graffiti , interiors and graphic design. He dabbles with multiple mediums and styles and mixes them according to the concept.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I have always been a bit poor with words. So to express myself I took up sketching. Now through illustrations I can express and explain myself the best. And Illustration is what I love to do everyday, religiously.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I took my fine art classes at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
Then I learnt under an artist working in his studio for a few years. Then I joined Srishti school of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore for designing.

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Vinit Bhatt : Photographer

A man who is seriously hindered by his inability to express anything worthwhile, except when it comes to expressing through his camera. Then he is a different beast. Passionate, crazy, creative, unwilling to rest till he gets the ‘perfect shot’.

Why are you a photographer?
There is no greater satisfaction than watching visual communication and visual arts come to life. An idea which is just a spark in someone’s mind, finds an expression which ignites different reactions and ways of thought in others. One may be awestruck, others may respect it, and yet others will find it a staircase to a new higher ‘thought’.

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Subhodeep Mukherjee : In A Chat With An Illustrator

 

Subhodeep Mukherjee lives in Mumbai with his wife Nandita and a 6 yrs old son Ayandeep and works as a full time illustrator and graphic artist on different National and International projects since quite some time.
“I am an advertising and retail professional, brought up in an industrial town called Rupnarayanpur 300 km away from Kolkata in Bengal and eventually settled down here in Mumbai after my MFA studies at Baroda MSU Fine Arts Faculty In the initial stages of my Mumbai days I was working in a reputed school called Kandivli Childrens Academy as a drawing teacher and use to stay with my cousin Rahul who had been a great support for me till date.
In my journey of life I have found such several great well-wishers and patrons on whose confidence I have left my school job and joined industry and eventually after being in the industry for so many years left it too because of getting inspiration from great Souls and ace industry professionals like Rashmi bansal, Gangadhran Menon sir , Ambar chakravarty, Raja sinha. To name a few from the long list , who were always confident about my illustration and Fine art skill. Because of their inspiration today I got the courage to work as an independent illustrator and pure art with confidence.”

Illustration always gives a goose bump to me…basically I am an artist. I enjoy illustrating carttoning and drawing.
when I was a kid I use to make portraits of all my near and dear ones and then gradually developed the skill of realistic drawing …then different styles eventually. I feel illustration is a wonderful medium, a pure art form through which one can convey his thoughts and in a very distinctive manner and it looks aesthetically pleasing.

Photographs can bring beautiful moods when shot through an honest attempt. but a well done illustration of the same place or object can give a completely fresh and indigenous look. More over illustration is my passion and I want to explore different nuances of it.
It has a very big global market too. With the advent of digital market, demand of illustrations for sites, game design, character design, E-learning. Digital books are growing day by day.

Interestingly agencies where I have joined there also I use to do lot of illustrations for ad campaigns. Freelance illustration projects which I started along side by side with my job bought me plenty of appreciation so all these factors inspired me to become an independent illustrator lately .and creative directors always hunts for different styles I think that has a good side. I got to explore different kind of styles for that quest.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes I did my B,fine from Visvabharati University’s Kalabhavan at Shantiniketan in painting then did my MFA from Baroda Maharaja Sayajirao university in Art history and Aesthetics.

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Aalhad Bhake : In A Chat With A Graphic Designer

The only way to describe this guy is the word “Metalhead”. Its pretty evident from his appearance that how much he love Metal music as the 80% of the time you see he is wearing black tshirts with prints of his favourite bands. He is a great person with a nice sense of humour. An explorer of various different skills. Thats him.
I am a Computer Science Engineer, now a to be designer pursuing Information Arts & Information Design Practices from Srishti, Bengaluru. Heavy Metal music is my daily drug. I do play a little bit of guitar and also Tabla.  I enjoy watching TV series, Hollywood movies, Rockumentaries etc. and the only anime that I love is DBZ. Apart from that I am a big foodie and I love to cook.”
Why are you an Illustrator?
Illustrating or designing stuff are one of the ways to unleash your critical thinking and apply it to create a visual form. Initially when I was a kid, I had a book in which I used to draw only Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon characters. It used to make me feel happy and satisfied just replicating that exact form myself. That feeling has driven me till where I am now and whatever I design or illustrate is nothing but the product of my satisfaction.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
No. I am Computer Science Engineer from New Horizon College of Engineering, Bengaluru.
You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
Well, I try incorporate different styles according to the need of the project having referenced and inspired from various works of extraordinary artists. I am still unsure of any specific style that I possess.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My grandmother is a brilliant artist and a painter. I guess I get the creative genes from there. Apart from that the only role models I could look up to were on the Television in Media and Cartoon. So, whatever appealed to me became my role model.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
No one I would say. I have been in the process of learning since day one and I still am. Every mentor, friend or critic that I have come across till date has influenced and helped my work become for what it is.
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I am not a freelancer. I am a fresher in the design community struggling to make my way through with some big goals in mind.
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Illustrations and digital art is very in these days. Companies and Startups want their brand to look the best. And the only way to showcase that, is visually. Its a survival of the fittest out there. This graphic and visual hunger of every startup or company has opened wide doors for graphic designers which is a great thing. Hopefully our future won’t be jobless.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Apart from laziness nothing has been a hurdle. I can never think to quit illustrating. It is my only escape to not end up as a Software Engineer like most of my Engineering friends.
 
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Nope. Never.
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I admire the works of Gaurav Basu(Acid Toad), Munz TDT and Reuben Bhattacharya(Visual Amnesia). Since I am more into Metal music so I like to follow their work.
Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Adhemas Batista, Daniel Nyari, Christopher Lovell, Pzychopart and Mark Riddick would be my current top 5.
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?
Well, I am yet to discover that myself if it is paying well or not. But, I have really high hopes it will, as I feel I got into this field right on time. Given that I am having this interview as a fresher with not much experience is an achievement in itself for me. For my aspiring juniors I would just say that, if your work is good, people will appreciate it and if it is not then work for it to get better. Though failure is an important teacher, it should not be a setback. Finally, never compromise on QUALITY.
Whats your dream project?
I am already pursuing it as we speak. I have just finished shooting and interviewing phase for my upcoming rockumentary “Progenies of a Counterculture” which will be addressing the past and present scenario of the Heavy metal subculture in India and also will be an awareness tool for those who are oblivious or have misconceptions regarding this bizarre form of music. I released a teaser poster for the same a day ago. Do check it out below!
Mac or PC?
PC. Though I have worked on Mac but I am a windows person from childhood so PC has been convenient. Actually, I am just waiting for my future company to gift me a Mac coz I do not plan on spending a single buck for that expensive stuff.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Any person who is hungry to spend endlessly on food and would like my company.
What’s on your iPod?
My description says it all. I have a huge playlist of heavy, death, groove and technical death metal bands such as Metallica, Godsmack, Behemoth, Lamb of God, Mesuggah, Gojira etc. But I also listen to a variety of different music in various languages as well.
Whats your Twitter Handle?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptIMNvoyk68&feature=youtu.be

Nachiket Jadhav : In A Chat With A Graphic Designer

Why are you a graphic designer?
I am a curious animal, always keen about my surroundings. Be it nature, technology, social or cultural I always gain new perspective from each and in that process graphic design is my tool to express. It allows me to decode the world around me. Unbound by rules and regulations and free by my thoughts; graphic design becomes my aid to make a difference and strike a thought.
Every day as a designer is exciting. You wake up and there is a new challenge, a new client, a new brief waiting.

When did you start freelancing?
I started freelancing back in my 2nd year of design school in collaboration with my then batch mate Meroo Seth and ever since then we have been working together. It’s been six years and now we are finally starting our own studio called ‘Mechi Co. Design’. We are ecstatic about it.

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Rohan Dahotre : Illustrator

My name is Rohan, an illustrator/designer from Pune currently based in Bangalore working for Chumbak.
I am a nature and wildlife enthusiast. A keen observer who loves exploring the wilderness, I love illustrating animals, birds and all things wild.
In the near future, I would like to work towards the cause of wildlife awareness, conservation and welfare through my illustrations and hope to be able make a difference.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Illustrations can be happy, dark, beautiful or cruel. Some of them send a message or ask you questions. I feel illustrations have a beautiful way of communicating our thoughts. It is my way of expressing to the world.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I have graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Design as an Animator

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take for you to develop your style?
It took me few years to develop this style. I started by simplifying complex organic forms into simple basic shapes. This helped me in understanding forms and shapes especially of animals. Slowly I started learning and studying more about animal behavior, patterns, color, texture, etc.

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Priyanka Kapoor : Illustrations

Priyanka Kapoor is an graphic designer and illustrator based in Mumbai.
With love for designing small little things around her and peace that she founds while drawing and sketching, she landed into the world of designing and illustrations.

An ambivert who loves to meet new people yet enjoys her own company. Fashion, food and music adds the right amount of happiness in her life.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I am an illustrator because I love to beautify things around me. A blank paper,canvas,wall, books or anything.I believe if a great idea and right amount of creativity is been put, then even the most common and ordinary thing can become most appealing and beautiful. That is what I try to achieve.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
No. I did a short diploma graphic design to know the basics of different software.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
My love for motifs and Indian art started long ago and its been almost six months that I am trying to develop my own style.

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Smiling Skull : Illustrations

“I am a witty guy, and love adding a little wit and colour to this world. I love hanging out with people. Travelling has always been a passion, and that gives me the reason to set out on long rides often . A sketch and a long ride is all I need to feel alive.”

Why are you an Illustrator?
As a kid I loved sketching portraits of people around me. So much so, that I didn’t spare my own reflection in the mirror. Capturing different expressions is has always attracted my sensibilities.
The appreciation that showered from all ends, gave me a drive to keep perfecting my skill. And it still continues to inspire me.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yeah, I finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bharati vidyapeeth, Pune.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I was always fond of Realist illustrations. When I show it to people they love it. But they never want to keep it them or save it. So I started making the same illustration concepts in a more light hearted, animation style. I improvised it with every new step. And it took me like a month to develop it and still continuing to do so.
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Tanvi Tandon : In a Chat With An Advertising Creative

Tanvi Tandon is an award winning Copywriter, hailing from Mumbai in India and currently residing and working in New York City. She aims to bring a dash of bravery back into the Indian advertising scene after her stint in the US. She is currently in the midst of publishing her children’s book ‘What If?’ and can commonly be found grooving with her headphones on and eyes closed on a subway platform.

Why are you into Advertising?
Because of the insane opportunity to shape public opinion (for the better!). Career wise, it’s also like the chilled-out middle ground between corporate boredom and self-employed struggle.
Personally, I like being creative. I also like to write. Why wouldn’t I want a job that rolls both into one convenient little package and pays me for it?

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
Yes, I recently graduated from the Miami Ad School, Miami where I did the copywriting portfolio course. Prior to that, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media at KC College, Mumbai University.

 

Tell us about your many Awards? How has that impacted your career? Do clients listen to you more?
I believe anyone who hates on awards only does so because they haven’t won any (or wish they had). The wins were a result of 2 years of hard work. They helped immensely with my visa application process (to the USA) and with getting a good start in the industry. Feels good to see raised eyebrows when you mention a couple of Clios.
I wouldn’t say I have had too many opportunities to communicate my wins to clients and notice the effect. However, prospective employers are instantly impressed, and my seniors at agencies take my ideas a little more seriously, even when I was still an intern/junior.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
As a writer, my biggest style influence will always be Roald Dahl. His work for both children and adults is so interesting, different, and inspiring.
As a person, my biggest role model is my father. For his work ethic, intelligence, and general awesomeness.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
I have had many invaluable mentors. From each of them I have retained words that have shaped my career, and instead of naming one I will list the best things I have learnt from them all:
“If you’re on time, you’re already late” – Ron Seichrist, (Founder of MAS)
“The best writing is based on experiences. If you don’t experience enough things, how will you write about them? Try everything!” – Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar (CCO, Cheil India)
“A headline/tagline is only good enough when you’re willing to tattoo it onto your skin.” – Erik Vervroegen (ECD, TBWA/Chiat/Day NYC)
“You have two ears and one mouth – that means you must listen twice the amount you speak.” – David Uribe (VP/CD, Asylum Marketing)
“Good things come to those who hustle.” – Pierre Lipton (CCO, 360i NY)

Where do you get your inspiration?
Observation. People tell me I walk slowly, which is especially a problem in New York City, but I do so because I am drinking in my surroundings. Watch human interactions. Overhear conversations of passers-by. Notice the beauty and detail in everything. There is inspiration to be found literally everywhere.


Tell us something about the RXM Creative work environment. 
RXM is a boutique digital agency, and we are a total of 7 people. The founders, Raul and Mihai, are always pushing for work that breaks the mould. They want to create interesting and brave content, and have so far been pretty successful. It’s nice to work in a place where there aren’t 100 levels of hierarchy that an idea must survive through; and where petty office politics don’t affect the quality of the work.

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’m not sure what you mean by sad – I have not noticed emotionally depressing work in particular from India this year, nor did it seem too pathetic. Personally, I feel like print overall as a traditional medium is failing, but the ideas and concepts that go into making good, creative print ads still apply as social media content. In fact, more people will see it online than in actual print itself, so as long as the Indian industry recognizes this shift, keep the good work coming! The USA has already been catering to this shift for some time now.

Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Not necessarily. A campaign that wins awards may not immediately lead to sales growth, but it’s still so important because it cultivates the brand’s image. Award winning work like REI’s #OptOutside required them to forego Black Friday sales numbers nationwide, but made a huge difference to public perception of the brand.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? 
Never settle on the first idea (or the 10th). Don’t wait for good things to come to you; if you want it, make it happen yourself. Be kindest to the least powerful person in the room.

Whom would you like to take out for dinner?
Justin Roiland, I need to know how his brain works and how he could come up with something as amazing as Rick and Morty.

What’s on your iPod?
This question is worth its own separate interview. I am ‘Vibrosphere’ on SoundCloud, listen to mostly electronic music of various genres (chill, psytrance, RnB, experimental, etc)
Link to a playlist of my favourite chill music from the past two years.

Mac or PC?
Mac, duh. PC for gaming though.

Whats your Twitter Handle?
@tanvynx

 

Tanvee Nabar : Illustrator and Graphic Designer

I wound up studying graphic design. It just happened to me.
But now I’m a graphic designer because I get to draw in my capacity as an illustrator and because I get to interact with spheres of knowledge so different than my own.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yep – I went to Srishti School of Art, Desgin and Technology, Bangalore.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I definitely have an aesthetic I tend to use often. I’m a barely out of the closet maximilist. I love profusion. Thankfully India loves it too. I suppose i’ve been developing this sense as long as I’ve been drawing. But it took me a long time during and after design school to be proud of it. There’s a tendency for scandinavian design aesthetic to be aspired to amongst the design community. Even if it isn’t expressly said – there’s a preference towards less is more. That motto has never quite sit well with me. That said, editing is very important too. Whatever you’re putting out needs to make sense as far as I’m concerned. But (and the designers reading this will know what i mean) I have no qualms about titles that are both italicized and bold.

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