Interviews

Asavari Kumar | Visual Artist Film Maker

Asavari Kumar is a visual artist, designer and filmmaker from New Delhi, India. Her work is primarily character driven with a unique, playful and pliable graphic style. She tells stories through animated films, paintings and interactive installations and strives to create immersive experiences that blur the line between the physical and virtual world.

Her work has been widely recognized across several platforms including the Ottawa International Animation Festival, The Pictoplasma Exhibition, STASH, Cartoonbrew, Styleframes.ny and Vimeo.

Asavari has worked as an art director, designer and animator with a variety of clients that include – Disney, Vh1 India, Channel [v] India, GQ magazine, Cambridge University press, Britannia, Fanta, Bigshot Toyworks, Shilo and Royale.

She is currently based in Los Angeles, CA and is working as a freelance designer and animator. She also posts weekly interviews accompanied by quirky gifs for her ongoing personal project and art blog here.
Why are you a visual artist ?
I have been granted the good fortune of being able to create and give life to things that exist as just thoughts and ideas in my mind – I cant imagine doing anything else with my life. Pursuing a life and career as an artist – atleast for me satiates my desire for curiosity, creation and learning and facilitates a lifestyle in which I get to meet amazing people and have incredible conversations

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, i have a BFA from the National institute of Design in Animation film design and a Masters in Experimental animation from the California Institute of the Arts.

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Manpreet : Photography

Based in Delhi, got into photography without any formal training,
however learnt art of capturing frames while assisting.
Follow simplistic approach & try to develop own distinct style.
Has a knack for portraits & enjoy story based projects

Why are you a photographer?
I think it completes me as a person.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Photography started way back in childhood , when use to eagerly wait for a one more chance to get hand on Father’s camera. In college it became more than a hobby with my first SLR but decided to take it as a career only after leaving my father’s business

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Nitin Adake : Interview with an Advertising Creative

Why are you into Advertising?
It is the second oldest and the second best profession in the world. And i love to be with the best, well, at least the second best.
( Deadlines… wow, they are orgasmic.)
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
BFA (Applied Art)

Tell us about your awards?
CAG, ABBY, AAAI, ADOBE GALGO, NOMA-JAPAN, NEW YORK FESTIVAL, ONE SHOW – LONDON.

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Kawal Oberoi : Graphic Designer

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
Strange part is that I always wanted to be Physicist and I was pretty great at Academics especially Sciences. But at the other end, I had a strong inclination towards visual creativity. When I look back, I feel that I was made for the profession I am in currently. I always loved colors, shapes, visuals and the fact that what I saw made me feel particular feelings and how we can control what to make others feel through Graphic Design.

Recently, when I went back home my parents showed me preserved small publications that I used to make by hand. And among those were comics that I used to make. I also used to make small animated clips using stop-motion technique. Even though all of those looked naive, still I could see that I had a sense of Graphic Design and a passion for creating since early childhood and seems like I am following the same now!

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I come from a school of design. I am trained as a Graphic Designer.

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Kiran Kumar C K : Concept Artist, Illustrator, Matt Painter

Kiran Kumar C K is a self motivated Concept artist, illustrator, matt painter and visual designer who from India,kerala. Currently he is working in different kind of Hollywood films. He starts to draw from very young age. He has a bundle of talents and skills both Creatively and Technically. He is a self developed artist, and he has extraordinary ambition to achieve something that he loves to do. And he is so polite, humble and very social minded person too.

Why are you an Illustrator?
Thanks for giving such an interesting question and for a chance to interact trough your sites. . . !!!
I love to draw when I was very young, and my drawings was very quick. I never like to do tiny tiny details in my works,i wanted those all feelings in a single stroke if I can.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I finished diploma in fine arts from KGCE Kannur, Kerala. And I Believe an art school never make an artist. The Passion,dedication, Approach and hardwoks make an artist.

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Dashang Tiwari : Interview with a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Dashang is an Illustrator, Animator and Game Artist working in the industry for last 5 years. He has a unique and colourful style to his illustrations/design, and known for his playful and out of the box designs which include more illustrative approach. He is currently working as Sr. Illustrator at Times Internet Limited, part of ‘The Times Of India’ and handling all the social media creative for TimesCity.

He believes in experimenting and has an abstract approach to design every new project, and
tries to create new Art styles as per the project demands.
With past experience of working in a gaming studio (Lakshya Digital) and ad agency (Webchutney) he is now experienced to handle projects ranging from mobile game design, illustrations for ad campaigns, children books, and social media creative to flash animation videos. His best assets are his versatility and experience through which he is currently doing good freelance work for his clients based in USA, Middle East and China.

Apart from this, He is a simple and fun loving guy who also loves to listen Music, eat good food, watch movies and party hard at weekends.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
Well, It started with drawing on back side of notebooks followed by playing with imaginary superheroes inside my head, then watching super cool shows on cartoon network all day. It was clear to me that I want to do some creative job when I grow up. So I was passionate enough to take this field seriously and gave most importance to self learning through Internet and here I am still learning and creating something creative everyday :)

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Honestly, I have done B.sc. Computer Science from Delhi University. It took me 2 years to make my parents understand that I could make a good and happy living through Animation/Design Industry job also. Finally, when I was in the 3rd year of my graduation I joined MAAC for Advance Diploma in 3D animation. But after 1 year I left the institute because I was not interested in 3D Animation at that time.
After that through self learning and lots of ‘Pencil Ghissing’ I joined 2D Animation Industry and practice
a lot.
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Vishal Kullarwar : Photographer

Vishal started out to become an engineer but destiny had another career option in the offing. Astrange love for the visual art introduced him to the cameraand a ray of light appeared in an otherwise dark room. Ridden by this passion, he decided to save his dad some money and a lot of embarrassment by dropping out of college to chase his dream of becoming a photographer. His formal journey began with astopover at a Canadian graphic design college.He cut his teeth with reputed design houses and not-so-reputed ad agencies. Soon he shifted his focus back tothe viewfinder. He started off by assisting a top-notch photographer in India for over 2 years. Soon after, he caught a flight to Paris and then Hamburg for a honeymoon with his first love. Photography, that is, just in case some other thoughts are flirting your mind.

Vishal returned to India and went solo with his very own fashion and advertising studio. With a unique eye that smoothly blends the occident with the orient, he quickly shot to fame and carved a niche in the photography industry. Equally at ease in fashion, advertising and editorial work, Vishal describes his work as a result of wanderlust and evolution.These characteristics of the constantly changing fashion world reflect on his photographs as well.

Anardent aficionado of Richard Avedon – the genius top celebrity photographer- Vishal respects (not worships, mind you) his mentor by preferring to eschew the ‘pretty’ and bring out the stark underlying ‘reality’ of the subject.

Considered provocative yet soulful, his client and publication credits currently includes a rich repertoire of international& Indian magazines such as ELLE, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Chew&Swank Glossy, to name a few. He has also collaborated with leading ad agencies such as Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, BMB Madisson, BBH, Percept H and many more. Current international work includes – Poland’s Next Top Model, Lux, Formula 1 Team Force One India, etc.

An alchemist behind the lens, offering his most comprehensive art featuring top models, designers, advertising campaigns, fashion editorials, catalogs, etc. Also familiar with the commercial work that includes the Team ForceIndia project in his credit. He has exhibited his work in the prestigious D & AD awards (London), The World Press Photo, the Dubai Media City (IBDA), Lalit Kala Academy etc. Ventured out on his own seven years ago in the ever-demanding modern fashion world, Vishals passion for visual beauty and perfection continues to impress many today.

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Archana Sreenivasan : Illustrator

Archana Sreenivasan illustrates for magazines, picture books, comics and lifestyle products. She enjoys exploring new styles and techniques, and has illustrated for Puffin, Scholastic, Red Turtle, Karadi Tales, Katha, Manta Ray Comics, Forbes Life magazine, and The Mint newspaper. She likes cats, traveling, exploring the great outdoors, bird-watching, and doodling in cafes. She lives in Bengaluru.

Her illustration blog is here. 

Why are you an Illustrator?
I love to draw. Plus, illustration is a wonderful combination of visual communication & self-expression, design & art, which is a space I enjoy working in very much.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I did my BFA at Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, and did a Post Graduate Diploma in Animation at NID, Ahmedabad.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I’m not sure I have a distinct style. In fact, I enjoy trying different styles. If there is indeed a distinct style, I didn’t specifically spend time trying to develop it.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Growing up, I always looked up to my older sister, and her friendship and unconditional support has helped me follow my heart, and do what I love to do.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
Perhaps it was my boss, mentor, and a dear friend, from my very first job. He taught me (and terrorized me) to pay attention to little details to commit myself fully to any job that I undertake.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
Illustration studios or full-time positions for illustrators aren’t much of an option in India, so freelance was the alternative. I’ve been freelancing full-time from 2011. I’ve been working mostly with publishing houses so far. I haven’t done many projects with ad agencies, although I’ve been wanting to explore that.

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I do see illustrations being used quite widely in ads, but as I said before, I’ve been working more with publishing houses than ad agencies.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
I think I will continue to draw always, because its what comes naturally, but there have been times when I’ve considered taking on/have taken on other kinds of employment, due to financial pressures.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Not really, although I’ve worked on some projects where I had to design characters intended to be made into toys/dolls.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
Quite a few. Topping the list is Prabha Mallya. I also admire illustrations by Sameer Kulavoor, Priya Kuriyan, and Ajanta Guhathakurta.

Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
The internet is my go-to place for discovering exciting illustration resources. Pia Meenakshi aka Gumani, a fellow illustrator, maintains an art material review blog called http://brokeforart.tumblr.com/ I find her blog very interesting and useful.
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?
A career in illustration usually isn’t a very well paying one. I suppose that’s something one has to be aware of before deciding to commit to a career in illustration. But many people do supplement their income by also doing design projects in either Graphic Design or Animation, which fetch better fees. I’d say a career in illustration is best suited to those who really love the work, because it involves being lost long hours in doing what you love, but forgoing the securities offered by a steady job is probably not a comfortable choice for everyone.

Mac or PC?
Mac.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
If I could’ve, probably Dr. Salim Ali, or Kenneth Anderson, or Jim Corbett.

What’s on your iPod?
I don’t have one. I listen to random stuff on Grooveshark.barbet

bikernaut

Blue_Umbrella

chaisamosa_lowres

chimp

Chumbak

croc

Isantim

Orange

Scholastic

TwistInTheTale

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Yatish Asthana : Interview with a Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Yatish is an Illustrator, Infographist and Graphic Designer . He has a Bachelor’s degree in Animation and Multimedia from Birla Institute Of Technology, Mesra , Ranchi . He has grown up watching all classic cartoons which inspired him to chose creative career.

Apart from Sketching and doodling , he loves spending time with friends and watching movies.
You can see his works at his portfolio site online.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I have been sketching since my schooldays. I am really happy being into a profession which has still kept the “small kid” inside me alive. I am paid for doing what i love to, and that’s the best part for me being an illustrator

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I attended Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi and studied animation and multimedia.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I keep experimenting with my art style. I think its good to experiment. You always get something new and unexpected which adds value to your style. I have been sketching since long, but last two two years have been prominent in this aspect. I am still working on betterment and refining of my style.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My grandfather. He has always been an inspiration. Also the amazing colleagues and people whom i have worked with.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
My family and friends. They have always supported me and my career choice. They have inspired and motivated me a lot. Besides them , the amazing artists whom I have interacted with on social media or personally. There is always a positive response while talking to any artist . I really appreciate them all.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
Although there are plenty creative agencies out there, still very few offer illustrations in specific. So its big opportunity and option for illustrators to freelance. I have been working since last 3 and half years.
I have worked with Media groups like Mail Today (India Today group) and HT Media group.
I have worked on a number of projects varying from merchandising, custom artworks to commissioned sketches.

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Yes, illustration design is getting popular day by day. Today, more brands want their promotion/advertising to be done in form of illustrations, be it digital or traditional. It catches more attention than normal trend.
I have been working with News Media groups since last two and half years.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
No. I never get bored of illustrating.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
I would love to :) It would be great to see my paper artwork turning into cool toys.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I have grown up seeing cartoons by Mario Miranda and RK Laxman . They have inspired me a lot. I also follow artists like Dattraj Kamat, Amit Tayal, Abhishek Singh, Faisal Mohammad. I try to learn and gain most from these artists.

Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
There are a number of amazing artists i follow. Pascal Campion, Kerby Rosanes, Mattias Adolfson, Chris Sanders are few of the superb artists i admire.

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?
Practice and Patience !! Keep experimenting with your art style and most importantly ENJOY your work !
Being illustrator is amazing career choice ! It would surely pay you good if you are working hard .

Mac or PC?
I have worked both on Mac and PC, but PC is more comfortable for me.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Any pretty girl who would love to join. :)

What’s on your iPod?
Honestly, I don’t have any specific choice when it comes to music. I usually switch on the music at low volume and work. It adds a background and creates a peaceful environment to work.

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Sheel Damani : Interview With a Graphic Designer

Sheel Damani is a communication design consultant.

She loves telling stories. And tell them very fast. At work, she comes wearing a long chain of ‘Whys’ — her favourite pass time is to tell people how design can change the world. Not with Helvetica but with the overused jargon ‘design thinking’ which is another fancy term for thinking in context. She loves editing more than writing. Evidently, OCD to clean/align is one of her natural traits.

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
Because I wanted to be a designer. Graphic design just happened to be the discipline that I started with.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I have a Bachelor in Design (Fashion Communication) from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I don’t intend to have a distinct style. Its bad if I have one. Design is not meant to communicate about a designer. It is meant for the users. It should be in their style.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My role models were always people around me. My family and teachers. I always wanted to be like my (elder) sister. I copied her all the time.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
Just one name is insufficient. Words by Michael Wolff have lasted with me since Design yatra 2010. His approach to design, detail and human perceptions add a lot of perspective to a designer’s work. There are two people who made my work more exciting along the way. One used to be my creative head in Goa, Anurashi Shetty. She introduced me to the art and importance of writing. The second one is my current team’s head from New Delhi, Abhishek Rai (@Abhishek_Rai). He has introduced me to design as a discipline like no other. Designing for a user and talking about it are two different things. It is now that I have learnt to design for a user. Long way to go still.

When did you start freelancing?
I started freelancing in 2012 from Ahmedabad.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
Yes. When I had just started working. I always felt I am not good enough. Slowly, I realised the only way out was practicing more. Working on several projects and identifying where I fit in best to help people.

Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I work with startups and SMEs. My strengths along with visual aesthetics are analysis and writing. I work on projects related to branding, info graphics, communication strategy and marketing for businesses. Currently learning a lot in the field of digital marketing. The team I work with from Delhi has launched a tool for brand managers — www.buildyourcommunity.co

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
Fortunately, there has been no time to advertise for new clients. I have to share availability and follow up in most cases to get projects. I have been working with Shack Co. from New Delhi and their tool BuildYourCommunity for nearly two years. They have a fantastic way of working remotely.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
There are plenty. Orijit Sen, Nina Paley, Amardeep Bahl (Museum design), Kriti Monga, Broti Bhattacharya, Satwik Gade and most of my friends.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Most of the kids who ask me about design are attracted to some ‘cool’ factor associated with it. As all the people in this world say, it is a lot of hard work — I would say the same. But it’s the kind that gives you great joy. Now, I know why its a cliched. Yes, it is a good career option. Graphic designers are good storytellers and the world needs them :)

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?
Largely, yes. Startups definitely see value in it. ‘Good design is good business’ — an IBM belief, shared by many more companies now. Thank God ;)

Mac or PC?
Mac. Always.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Tough question :)

What’s on your iPod?
Khichdi of bollywood, soft rock, coke studio, devotional and instrumental. I am not kidding.

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