Interviews

Sheena Deviah : Illustration and Lettering Design

Sheena is a Bangalore based self-taught illustrator who is constantly inspired by life’s absurdities. She loves experimenting with new means to create things and has recently started art directing at a children’s book publisher.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Because I love drawing and expressing thoughts and ideas, even if they’re sometimes subconscious and vague.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I sort of fell into illustration, having no background in it. So, no. I’ve been constantly learning in my four years as a freelance illustrator.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
My style actually keeps changing and evolving. I get bored of drawing things the same way so I try to mix it up. I’m also led by the medium that I’m using to draw with. For example, if I’m using a thick brush and ink, the illustration will have a bolder, defined feel with strong lines. Or if it’s an ink pen, I draw thinner lines with more details. I like to go where the tools take me.

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Smrithi Kumar : In Conversation With A Graphic Designer

Smrithi’s work focuses on branding and it’s applications. She concentrates on the fact that a brand stems from a simple message to the world and that simplicity must come through in all aspects of it’s identity while maintaining the character and essence of the brand. A smart logo and identity guidelines pave the way for a versatile, dynamic and thoroughly engaging brand experience and she goes to great lengths in terms of research and fine tuning to get the marque and logotype right and working perfectly together.

Why are you a Graphic/Digital Designer?
Although I had dabbled with art as an extra curricular activity, I had never thought about a profession in the field until I was introduced to the field of Graphic Design. Graphic design isn’t just art, it is witty and captivating design, the cleverness of solutions and the smartness of certain packaging and posters and the possibility of creating ripples and an impact on surroundings through visually appealing, and clear wit had me steer into this course with a blind faith. And today three years into this course, I have grown to love it and as I absorb more of this field in, I have a new found appreciation for patterns, textures, colours, typography, aesthetics and smart solutions.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I am in my final year on the B.A Hons. Graphic Design Course (with specialisation in branding) at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

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Janine Shroff : Illustration and Design

Shroff’s work is figurative and occasionally surreal – utilising bright colours and humour with darker undertones. Androgynous bird characters and humans enact fantasy scenes, mostly in mundane and domestic landscapes. Her work explores a range of themes including birth, pregnancy, relationships, sexual identity and gender.

Janine Shroff was born in Bombay, India in 1983. She works predominantly using mixed media, acrylic and ballpoint-pens on heavy-weight paper. Her early influences were miniature paintings and late 80’s comic books like MAD magazine. She completed an M.A. with distinction at Central St. Martins College, London in 2007, following a B.A. at Camberwell College of Art. She was short-listed for the Mercury Art Prize in 2007 and has exhibited in group-shows in London at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich & The Mall Galleries at the ICA. She has also previously collaborated with Visual Disobedience, a Mumbai based art collective. Shroff is currently working on a new set of personal works as well as collaborating with Kadak, a collective of 7 south-asian artists. She currently lives and works in London.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I’m an illustrator because I enjoy drawing, painting and being creative. It’s more than just a profession, it’s a need to make things if not daily, then at least constantly and consistently. And attempt to improve along the way.

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Aliyah lamba : Graphic Designer , Illustrator

Aliyah works in a way that is conceptual, engaging, and sometimes a little unconventional. She creates stirring illustrations and graphics that aim to evoke emotion.  Her User Experiences are thoroughly researched and aim to delight, excite, and most of all – work. Aliyah loves to illustrate and write children’s picture books, and breaks in-between projects are usually spent making up silly little stories and humorous monster characters.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
I see an opportunity to design something in every little thing I do or see. I’ve grown up with a fiery passion for beautiful packaging, books and graphics. When the time came to answer the question that gets most teenagers in nervous jitters (What do you want to be when you grow up?), I knew what my answer would be. I chose the life of an artist and designer, and however hard it may get, I savour every second of it.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I attended Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore for my undergrad (Ba. Hons 2D Animation), and Falmouth University, England for my Masters (Authorial Illustration).

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Anindita Das : In A Chat With A Copywriter

Anindita is an advertising copywriter currently leading the creative team handling IKEA, Max Healthcare and Roca Sanitaryware. When she is not gazing at the computer screen, she is most probably solo travelling, secretly writing soppy poetry, concocting an unheard of recipe, clicking a complete stranger’s photo, walking around Safdarjung Enclave or day dreaming behind the wall.

Why are you into Advertising?
I was inclined towards writing from an early age. Stories and books have always enthralled me. In the end, I realized advertising is nothing but good story telling.

As a child growing up in a Guwahati, going to the book fair and watching an occasional movie, were my only forms of entertainment. My fondest memories are also of my father telling me bedtime stories. That’s how I picked up the knack of cooking up the most bizarre stories to enact at playtime.

English also happened to be the subject I studied the least at school. All of them put together, my career was meant to be in advertising. Today, I feel I am a consummate brand story teller.

Add to that the perks of logging into your facebook account before you check your official mail… being dressed in pajamas one day and in bling party wear another day… and oh, not having to call anyone ‘Sir’!

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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.

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Satish Gangaiah : Illustration

Satish Gangaiah is a Bangalore based passionate designer and illustrator who has vast experience ranging from ad agencies, media publishing houses, IT industry etc. He also is an acclaimed commissioned illustrator. Satish has worked for the likes of Snap Chat, Line, Hike, Wipro, 9apps etc.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Honestly, I don’t have an answer, but as a kid the only thing I was good at was drawing. And over a period of many years I have been inspired and influenced by a lot of people, places, music, culture that has shaped me into becoming an illustrator that I am today.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat here in Bangalore.

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Prabhat Shetty : Photography

“Born and brought up In bombay, I was part of the last of the generations who lived the analog life. tapes, cassettes, no cable tv, playing outdoors. growing up In the 80’s and 90’s, In chembur which was so multicultural.
I went to a convent school, had Maharashtrians, Sikh, Catholics, Gujuratis, Malyalis as neighbours, these were the times when we had a set of games for each season and time of the day/ night and almost all outdoors.”

“I graduated from St. Xavier’s Bombay, In Physics. I was already reading a lot of film books, biographys, film technique , some history. I wanted to study film making, but since I could not afford to go to film school then, I started with some odd jobs right after college, from selling Insurance to marketing ‘Colgate Total’ to dentists, to a call centre job. and In that time I had decided learning ‘on the job’ is the only way I could get closer to what I wanted to do. Thankfully, soon I got a chance to work on a movie as an AD and then after a year, started working with Suresh Natarajan. Which eventually led me to discover my love for the still Image.”

Why are you a photographer?
I got acquainted to the arts when In senior college, I remember I would sit In our beautiful library (St Xaviers Bombay) and read books on films, fimamkaing, film makers,even though I was majoring In physics.
So the shift had begun there. I was particularly drawn to the visual medium. It was the excitement of creating, the entire exchange of energies.
Each shoot day makes me happy. Meeting a whole new set of talented people each time I shoot, is exciting and stimulating.
Also the fact that I am getting to be a part of the most documented time ever (atleast till now) In ways of contributing pictures. particularly the portraits I have been shooting of Influential personalities of our times. that makes me feel like I am a part of something that will be around even after I pass. Even If It is In the smallest way possible.

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Vivek Mathew : Photography

Vivek Mathew’s tryst with photography began with a simple thought – capturing the brilliance of a moment. Doing what he does best, Vivek today, has travelled the world and experienced the essence of life, through his camera lenses. And it is an addiction he never wants to get over.
Having completed his education at Asia’s top notch institution – The Light and Life Academy, Ooty – Vivek has gone on to bring life into Fine Art, Architecture, Travel, Nature, People and Interiors, through his photography. Considered as one of the “Young and Unusual” photographers of today by the India Today Magazine, he has also been featured in prestigious publications – The
Times Journal of Photography, Time Out, Design Today, Better Interiors, National Geographic Traveller India, Forbes India, Smart Photography, Bangalore Mag, The Times of India, Femina, Classic Imaging and Women’s Wear Daily -New York
Adding perspective to his works are his exhibitions, which have brought to light several aspects of daily life. I.Opener in 2005 at the ‘Renaissance Gallerie’ focused on subjects ranging from still life to portraits to exteriors, as Waterborne in 2007 at ‘Industree’, experimented with ripples, reflections and patterns. His third exhibition at ‘Sublime’, UB City in 2011 – Canvas wall – was inspired by the rustic and the crude. His fourth exhibition, Perfect Imperfections, in February 2015 at the ‘Art of Delight’ dealt with nature and man-made pattern. His fifth and the most recent show, Yesterday Once More, in March 2017 at ‘Venkatappa Art Gallery’ was an array of architectural windows, chronicling time and stories, from different cities.

Why are you a photographer?
I loved seeing pictures as a child & loved how moments were captured and lasts forever like for example your parents wedding or your 3rd birthday party or your summer holiday as a kid & these moment can never be captured again. This got me interested in photography & I wanted to capture images which I see in my everyday life. So photography is my form of communication to the world & how I see life around me.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
I remember walking into family or friends parties as a kid & begging them to give me their cameras so that I can take pictures of the event. Those moments I remember I didn’t want to do anything else but to be a photographer as a kid itself. I think capturing the moment was something I enjoyed at that time & I still do. The decision I made as a kid that I wanted to take up photography as a career & I got a chance to follow my dreams. (more…)

Namrata Chattaraj : Graphic Designer, Artist

An artist at heart, Namrata comes from an extensive background in Graphic Design, having worked with the best names in the industry in houses such as JWT, Channel [V], Rediffusion DY&R, and Fisheye Design. 

The wisdom gained from these experiences led to WAG Design. WAG stands for Wisdom, Art, & Graphics.

With a long standing track record and an international client base, Namrata’s work is an extension of her philosophy, values, and work ethics. She enjoys experimenting with styles, typography, and mediums and brings passion and excitement to every project. Over the last few years she has almost completely switched to creating handmade art. 

Namrata also loves delicately flavoured darjeeling tea, calm people who don’t constantly multitask, and receiving thoughtful notes by snail mail. She might actually be from the 1950’s. But we can’t be sure.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
All my school life, I was pretty confident I wanted to be an artist. But I also resisted all fine art training or classes, because I felt art cannot be taught, it has to flow from within. However, when it came to choosing a career, I was told art was for the crazy and broke people. And I didn’t want to be either. I wanted to do art that was relevant, interactive and fun. I loved watching MTV and Channel [V] and kept critiquing their designs in my head and loving them too. So I decided I wanted to be a graphic designer. It was a pretty clear decision at a time when no one around me had ever heard of the term ‘graphic designer’. (It got pretty tiring, long after I became a graphic designer, to keep explaining to people what it meant. Some elderly people would think I was saying I’m a ‘traffic designer’. It was a weird time.) (more…)