Interviews

Jasjyot Singh Hans : Illustrator

Jasjyot Singh Hans is an illustrator unendingly inspired by an explosive neon mix of fashion, music and pop culture. He has a constant regard for things past and a voracity for all that is current. He studied animation film design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and has an MFA in Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore.

His work chronicles around themes of body image, sexuality and self love.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I’ve always loved to draw, so it was only natural for me to gravitate towards a profession that was close to me.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I studied at animation National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, then MFA in Illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art. Illustration and animation surely employ art, but are essentially design led fields.

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Shikha Nambiar : Illustrator, Artist

Shikha Nambiar is an illustrator/artist based out of Pune and Bangalore. She started her career as a corporate lawyer, before she answered her inner calling of pursuing art and design. She is passionate about illustration, hand-lettering, typography and snail-mail. She loves to make postcards and send them to people around the world. Her work is inspired by her travels, culinary exploits and everyday experiences. In 2015, she started Sunny Skies Starry Eyes as a humble attempt to keep snail mail alive through postcards and it has now developed into a range of illustrated products that provide doses of happiness and wisdom.
She considers herself to be fortunate to wake up each day and do what she loves doing – creating art. Through her art, she hopes to touch people’s lives in different ways by making them pause and reflect, inspiring a few and most importantly, making them smile.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I don’t think I cold see myself as anything else. I’ve always loved to draw and I’m so fortunate to have been able to make a living from it. I feel grateful that drawing is my job and sometimes it really feels too good to be true. Also, Illustration is my favourite medium to communicate anything and everything I feel.

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Sunil Garud : Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Photographer

Sunil is a graphic designer and an artist from Mumbai. He is raised in Mumbai, a city which doesn’t need any introduction & the city has always captured his imaginations and shaped his dreams.
In his growing years he was fond of drawing and creating things. He spent most of his time in doodling and playing cricket. In his school days only he realized that he has strong inclination towards art, painting, sculptures and photography. And favorably his parents promoted him in his passion & today he is continuing his passion with different mediums & some good happy clients. In his leisure time he indulges in photography, trekking and skiing.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Haha… because I knew I couldn’t attend class, I knew I couldn’t write, I couldn’t count. I just cannot repeat the same thing. Because I simply love creating visuals & things and bring newness in my work by innovative ideas.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I did BFA in communication design with illustration as an elective subject in Sir. J. J. Institute of Applied Art.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I have been working on my style since 8-9 years & each day I’m learning & exploring. Every day is a new experience for me.

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Akriti Kapur : Artboat

Akriti Kapur is a Graphic Designer by profession and has had the good fortune of being mentored by some stalwarts from the design fraternity. Having worked extensively for about 8 years in the Design industry and heading the creative depatment for varius firms, she has handled projects such as the Launch of One Indiabulls, Rebranding of Sarvodaya Hospitals, Dhabha by Claridges, Launch of Volvo S60 and various clients across FMCG, realty, and consumer durables category.

Akriti’s work got featured in Brand and Brochure & Layout Design Book, an international platform for showcase of exclusive graphic designing work and is also awarded for a Special Winner Certificate for participating in the “Absolut Bottle Design” campaign hosted on Talenthouse India.

She’s now started her own venture by the name of ARTBOAT.

A little about your outfit Artboat. What do you do?
ARTBOAT is a creative agency catering to your brand creation through visual identity, packaging, advertising, websites & many things in between.
We believe that brand creation is an adventurous and creative journey, come aboard and let us help you in every step!!

What made you start Artboat?
Design is a journey that started for me much before i joined college. With gaining experience on the job and as a design consultant, every day is a learning process. ARTBOAT aims to further initiate the design process and give the clients a fresh look to their design needs.

Tell us about your designers/animators. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
As the startup is just forthnight old its and currently just me as the design head. As we rope in more clients and projects, more people will be involved depending on the kind of work the project demands, weather it involve tying up wtyh illustrators, designers or artists, ARTBOAT would love mergers with people with all different skillset.

Can you tell us the process of building a design language for a brand?
From starting with the naming of the brand, reseraching about the demographics and the nature of the brand the brand story starts to form a shape.
Designing a moodboard and perceiving the first thought of the consumer about that brand forms the basis of the design and execution.

How important is the focus on good design in Artboat?
Good design along with a good understanding of the brand is what ARTBOAT aims for. The consumer should be able to relate with the brand and the design should help him do that.

What does Artboat do which sets it apart?
As we have just started our sail, in few months from now we will get a better picture of what sets it apart from others.

Tell us something about Design in the Digital Era.
Digital Era has made it much easier for brands to reach a large audience through just a click of a button. As it hasn’t taken much away from the print media but it has given a huge platform for the brands and as well as the customers to see their brand, review it, have an open forum to discuss about it and then being loyal towards it.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Not really! Just had a vision about me being an entrepreneur.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Brand Building?
Starting from my dad who is an Architect, my sister who is an Interior designer, design is something that had always intrigued me in some way. My sister encouraged me to take up this career and since then its been a wonderful journey all along. Now with the confidence of my husband Artboat has materialized and i am looking forward to the future.

Do you work with any advertising agencies? Or mostly directly with brand teams at clients’ side?
I am currently working with an Advertising agency called as Glue creatives a creative director. Along with this i am working for Velocity Cycles.

What do you feel about the state of design in India? Do you feel that our collective aesthetics need to improve?
More startups are emerging an people are looking for more new and dynamic work for their brands. Yes i do believe that a major part of the clients need to improve their ideology about Graphic Designing being a much more serious and benefitting career choice.

Any other Indian design firms that you admire?
I admire NH1 Design for their fresh and concept based designs, CODESIGN also comes on the top of my list.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Yes definitely, i have inspired few of my cousins to take this up and will continue to do so.

Who would your design team like to take out for dinner?
ARTBOAT would love to take Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) out for dinner.

What’s on the company iPod?
Lot of screenshots of the design that I love.

Mac or PC?
MAC hands down!

Whats your Twitter Handle?
I am not on Twitter.

 

Akriti Kapur Artboat

Akriti Kapur Artboat Akriti Kapur Artboat Akriti Kapur Artboat

Akriti Kapur Artboat

Nidheesh Bharathi : Illustrator

I’m Nidheesh, from Kerala, I’m highly motivated and passionate about art, I cant think a day without sketching, I take my sketchbook with me where ever I’m going. I use to observe other artists works when I get free times through their online portfolios like behance.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I love illustrations, because its a process of creating images, Image making, I can experiment evertything in that,

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I did my fine arts diploma in my home town, school of fine atrs, Tirur, after that I completed my degree in fine atrs (BFA) in Govt. college of fine atrs, Thrissur ,

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
Actually i started started to concentrate illustration when i started fine arts degree, From that time i’m trying to get my own style, a style is like a sign for an artist, viewers can understand whoes work is that if there is no sign of him.

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Nikheel Aphale: Calligraphy And Graphic Design

Nikheel is calligrapher and graphic designer. He is passionate about calligraphy and letterforms, especially Devanagri script. Currently working at the intersection of design and art through commissioned art and commercial calligraphy projects, alongside mainstream graphic design assignments. Nikheel has designed many book covers for leading publishers from India using calligraphy & hand lettering. His calligraphy practice primarily emphasizes on the abstraction of letterforms, which further gets translated into different mediums, be it paintings, logos or products.

Nikheel is born as a mumbaikar and now working out of Delhi. Nikheel religiously collects macthboxes, vintage stuff, plain-notebooks. A avid foodie and wanderer, he is still figuring out the cliche “How someone from Bombay is liking and adjusting to Delhi”.

Tell us something about you. How did you develop an interest in Calligraphy/Typography?
My fascination with alphabets began as a child, when I first began shaping letters through handwriting. My primary school teachers noticed the good handwriting and that earned me a permanent place decorating the classroom blackboard. By college my tendency towards good handwriting turned into a full-blown passion for seeing alphabets as more than words.

It was this fascination for letterforms that connected me with calligraphy while woking full time as a graphic designer in a design studio in Delhi. After studio hours or on weekends I kept fiddling with my calligraphy tools; polishing my skills with some compositions and amateurish artworks. I started sharing them on my blog. It received a very positive response and boosted my confidence along with getting me small jobs like invites, greeting-cards, nameplates etc. And also an opportunity to participate in a group art exhibition.

After that various assignments kept flowing in and I decided to leave my full time job and focus on calligraphy as profession.

Tell us something about Leehkin. What is your vision with Leehkin.
Leehkin, was next step of formalising my practice – channelising my work and making it more of a professional business rather than the perception of a hobby.
Apart from art & commercial assignments, I am exploring another dimension where I can combine letterart with other materials. I would like to develop an exclusive product line purely based on calligraphy also to collaboarte my calligraphy with other design disciplines like furniture, textile, lighting, ceramics, landscape architecture or may be a programmer? Why not?. It’s challenging for myself as an artist to keep updating with innovation and skills and as a person to keep searching for individuality.

And what does Leehkin mean? Simply, Nikheel spells reversely. First four letters ‘Leeh’ means ‘Write’ in my mothertoungue (Marathi) – too much serendipity; this I noticed much later.

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Ritaban Das : In A Chat With An Illustrator

Hey, I’m Ritaban Das, an illustrator/ storyboard artist/ character designer based in Mumbai, working in Animation and Gaming industry for past 8 years.
I draw, drink a lot of coffee and make music too.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Well I’ve been drawing as long as I remember and I’m always very passionate about it. I sucked at studies to be very honest with you and my parents knew that very well. I remember spending most of my time with a box of chalk and slate which was gifted to me by my father. Like every other child, I also loved to sketch my favourite cartoons. I usually sketched these animated characters on the back pages of all my notebooks and also my classmates’ notebooks. In fact, I was well-known amongst my seniors for my sketches.That’s the only thing I was good at it and I follow it blindly.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Nope. I only did a one year diploma course of 2D animation from Kolkata and then started working in a studio here in Mumbai so didn’t get a chance to enroll myself in any art or design college.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
It took me alot of time to come up with my own style. Finding your own style of work is a necessary for every illustrator or designer. After making thousands of bad drawings now I’ve come up with a style where people can say “Oh that’s Ritaban’s work!!” Most of my work is very much character driven blend with humour and very much graphical. I always try to convey some sort of stories through each and every character or Illustration I make. I like to play with various shapes and silhouettes and usually keep things simple.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I’m an ardent fan Of Satyajit Ray’s work. He was the true definition of “jack of all trade”. I used to collect all his books, his own published magazine called “Sandesh” where he used to write and illustrate himself, his movies. His work played a big role in my childhood( and still now) to get inspired and of course to choose a creative profession.

Think about a person you truly admire in whatever field Whom you choose as your hero says more about you than about that person. We tend to admire certain people because we see something of ourselves in them. We like to think that what they do and how they do it reflects what we would do if given the chance. Choose lots of heroes. You can still be you, but when you use their success to spur you to try things you normally wouldn’t, you can be an even better you. And maybe you will be a hero to someone else someday.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
My first ever studio job was in Animagic Studios where we were working on a tele feature film for Cartoon Network back in 2009. I had worked with the Director of the studio and the legendary Indian Animator Chetan Sharma and I got hugely inspired by his work. He’s my first mentor in this profession. He’s one of the most prolific,focused, dedicated artist I’ve ever seen in my 8 years of this career. He’s a one man army and someone every artist should look up to.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Nope.

Have you considered turning your characters into toys?
I’ve given it a thought plenty of times but still haven’t materialized anything. I think this would be super cool.​

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
There are definitely couple of’em. The first name came in my mind was One of my close senior and an amazingly talented artist Korak Bhaumik. We use to hang out, draw, discuss things. He’s BRILLIANT! I really really like Anand Radhakrishnan’s work too. He’s a powerhouse.

I also follow Sameer Kulavoor, Sajid Wajid Shaikh, Abhishek Singh’s work.

Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Ohh man, there are too many actually. It’s a toughest job to list it out. I absolutely love “Creature box” designs (I think they are INSANE!!). Also I really go crazy about Sergi Brosa, Nicolas Marlet, Brett Bean, Miki Montello, Tyler Carter, Matias Hannecke, Sean Galloway, Michael Bills, Ryan David Jones, Wouter Tulp, Edwin Rhemrev, Cory Loftis, Skottie Young, Armand Serrano, Dan Seddon, Frank Stockton, Headless Production’s work.
Where Concept art is concerned I really dig SIXMOREVODKA, Massive Black, Calum Alexander Watt, Carlo Arellano, Eytan Zana, Anthony Jones, Vince Proce, Android Jones, Gilles Ketting, Michael Kutsche, Shreya Shetty’s work!

I know I missed a lot of people’s names but these are artist who came to my mind. They are the best!!

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?
Every industry has it’s ups and downs, you have to make a life of your own. All I can say is absorb all aspects of the world that surrounds you, observe, learn, and practice. Pursue what fascinates and inspires you and the bi-product will become what equips you to produce above and beyond for your career.

Whats your dream project?

1. To make an animated music video.
2. To illustrate a whole graphic novel.

Mac or PC?
PC.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My mom..may be? Also I have a sets of people whom I hang out mostly so yeah, them.

What’s on your iPod?
“Steps” EP by Handsome Ghost.
“Gun Shy” LP by Matt Wertz.
“Emperor of Sand” LP by Mastodon.
“Drift” LP by ERRA.
“III” LP by Great Good Fine Ok.

Whats your Twitter Handle?
I’m not at all active on Twitter but I only handle it.

Annushka Hardikar : Visual Communications

Annushka is a Visual Communication graduate from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. Her passion lies in concocting fantastical stories and illustrating them. She likes citrusy smells, tin boxes and fat dogs. She does not really like bad breath, too much red and messy rooms.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Since I was a kid I enjoyed reading books which had these gorgeous pictures. Since then I began drawing all the stories I read or made up. Going to college gave introduced me to the world of illustration. What I like most about it is that I can put down the most bizarre, personal or vague thoughts and it would actually make sense to somebody even across the globe!

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I attended and graduated from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.

Tell us something about your Oh Nari So Sanskari project…
Oh Nari, So Sanskari! is a satirical take on stories of women from the great Indian epic Mahabharata. The zine sheds light on challenges that 21st century Indian women face, by placing Kunti, Gandhari and Draupadi in a modern context. On re-visiting the stories from the epic, I realized, although dynamic and capable, the women in the story were always shown dependent on the men in their lives. Being an Indian woman myself, there was a pressing need for accurate representation of the characters as aware, vocal, and opinionated. Using references from feminist history, pop culture and media, the zine comments upon stereotypes that have surrounded Indian women from time immemorial. I would want the reader to be left questioning the roles and expectations of our culturally rooted society.

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Shreya Gune : Graphic Design

A designer with a strong passion for surrealism, currently working in Designflyover (Mumbai, India.)

She focuses on typography, branding, packaging, and illustration and believes that design is an opportunity to tell a story, communicate an intention and provoke thoughtful action while being creative.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?

I was that artsy creative kid in school, who loved drawing and craft classes.Everything else has grown from there; the only that has been consistent is having an unwavering passion for art. I’m lucky that my parents have always supported my interest in the arts even though they don’t belong to creative career fields. I joined Abhinav an art school in Pune and was then introduced to various fields like painting, sculpture and commercial arts. I was unaware of graphic designing, until my third year in art school. After graduation, I decided to join a design studio to explore graphic design. It was a good experience and I learnt a lot there and my journey as a graphic designer started.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune.

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Aaron Pinto : Illustrator & Graphic Designer

Aaron Pinto, also known as Kidsquidy. He has been Illustrating and designing for about 4 years now. Currently working for MTV India as a Senior Designer.
He also works closely with bands and musicians from the Metal and Indie scene, Indian and Global. Also plays drums for 2 metal bands – Providence and Gutslit.
He loves drawing skulls and tentacles. He is obsessed with the grotesque and also loves the colour pink.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
I actually never planned on being a Graphic Designer. It happened by chance i guess. Was interning at MTV India in the shows department when 2 of my now close friends from the design team saw that i had a knack for designing and asked if id like to work under them. One thing led to another and now i don’t remember a life before this. Its a part of me and I’m very grateful for that one opportunity which has led to me to great heights and given me so much.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I studied 3D modelling and texturing and have a degree in animation
But i hardly use anything that i learnt over there.
Learnt Photoshop and Illustrator on the job actually.
Completely self taught.

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