Pranita Kocharekar : Illustrator, Graphic Designer

Pranita Kocharekar is an artist based out of Mumbai, India.
She grew up in a family full of artists where the walls of her home became her canvas. As she grew older, she learnt the language of visuals and as of today excels at expressing herself through visuals. She graduated from Rachana Sansad College of Applied Arts in Mumbai with a degree in Graphic Design and Type Design. By profession, Pranita is not only a Graphic and Type designer but also a self-taught illustrator and letterer. She documents her thoughts and observations every day on her public journal – Instagram. Pranita’s work has been commissioned by various brands like Vodafone, Chegg, Oreo, Quikr, Adidas, Netflix, Nivea, Dell, Lenovo to name a few. Pranita also collaborates with brands as an influencer. She donates illustrations for merchandising to Welfare for Stray Dogs from time to time. Besides brand collaborations, advertising and illustration projects, she also runs her own artist shop. Pranita enjoys exercising, meditating, reading books, watching films and playing with animals.


Why are you a Graphic Designer(an Illustrator)?
Because I enjoy drawing!

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I attended school for Applied Art & Type Design. I taught myself how to illustrate after school.

You have a distinct style of Design (Illustration). How long did it take you to develop your style?
My illustrations always had a style right from the beginning – I always drew what felt comfortable. Eventually, I kept developing the style.


Karan Rawat : Interview With A CCO

Karan Rawat is the Founder and CCO of Autumnwinter Communications & Design

Started his career at McCann Erickson after graduating from the Sir JJ School of Applied Arts. He then moved to JWT, followed by Enterprise Nexus. Grey Worldwide was his next stepping-stone, which preceded him taking up responsibility as the President & Executive Creative Director at Umbrella Design. Karan also pursued his other passion and studied filmmaking from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) and went on to assist Ram Gopal Varma for a year. He started / founded his own design and advertising agency AUTUMNWINTER COMMUNICATIONS & DESIGN in 2014. He has handled the prestigious brand ‘Killer Jeans’ for more than 10 years and carved a niche for the brand. Other brands include Times of India, Femina, Coke, Close-Up, Lawman Pg3, Integriti Clothing, Reliance Communications, Raymond, Vimal to name a few. Karan has won more than 100 awards, national as well as international. In the first year, his agency AW picked up maximum awards to be at the no. 1 position in the design category and no. 6 in the overall rankings at Goafest 2014. In 2016, it retained its good form and claimed the no. 7 position in the overall tally.

Why are you into Advertising?
I was never an academic student. I hated studying, I hated sports, but I loved drawing. I loved sketching and expressing my observations on paper through a pencil, so the choice of going to JJ School of Arts was something that just came naturally. More than planning my future in advertising, I was organically drawn to the subject and then there was no looking back. It’s been 20 years since.


Smriti Choudhary : Art

Airphish was founded by Smriti Choudhary for the love of nature, for the love of art and for the love of beautiful things. Her inspiration comes from everything aquatic & aerial and her obsession with detail. She loves to make birds swim and fish take flight. She uses pen on paper to create surreal visual experience that takes one on a journey through tranquil scenes of nature.

At Airphish, art travels from paper to beautiful handcrafted products that people can touch, hold and even eat on; art and products that become part of people’s homes. All designs start with hand-drawn illustrations that are hand-transferred on unique products, so each item is slightly different and has a lovely handmade feel.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I am an illustrator because drawing makes me happy. I have always loved to draw, ever since i was a little girl. Though when i was in school i wasn’t much aware about the career choices in this field. My world changed and things got clearer when I joined National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in the year 2000. After one year of foundation at NID, i knew i wanted to explore more in the field of visual design and chose graphic design as my specialisation. Soon after my graduation i started working as a freelancer and worked on all kinds of graphic design projects. During the initial years my primary tool was my laptop. Even the illustrations i created were mostly digital. It wasn’t until 2010 when i was pregnant that i started to draw on paper again and reconnected with my love for nature through illustrations. After that i knew i wanted to concentrate more on creating art and since then.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

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?

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.