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.
You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
It is a constant process of change and growing. I guess you develop a visual style over time, as you start to find a common visual solution to most design briefs. And sometimes it’s based on the way you learn to handle a drawing tool. The brushpen led to a breakthrough moment for me.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I have always been fascinated by Jamini Roy, Haren Das and Gustav Klimt. I was also influenced by comic artists Craig Thompson and Becky Cloonan’s work.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
JAMES JEAN! The way he has seamlessly made a mark in the fields of illustration, comics, fashion and fine art is marvellous.
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
My first gig was as a graphic designer/ illustrator at Sabyasachi Couture in Kolkata. After I left the job, I found the variety of work through freelance invigorating. I was able to interact with many amazing people doing so many different things across various fields, so it also helped expand my contact base.
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Oh yes, so many mainstream campaigns use illustration/ illustrative elements now. I’ve had more experience with publishers and editorial teams for sure, but I have worked with some leading ad agencies.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
I did a project during my MFA where I worked on Plushies for adults which included big, nude women and leather daddies. The idea was to take something that would normally be seen taboo, and make it more accessible via ideas of body image and acceptance.
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I admire Sameer Kulavoor’s work and the way he is able to switch visual styles between various projects. I love the sequential work of Orijit Sen, Anand Radhakrishnan and Kaveri Gopalakrishnan (also a very close friend).
Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
SO MANY! almost too many to name. Jeremy Sorese, Kaveri Gopalakrishnan, Aindri C., Joohee Yoon, Lisk Feng, Jun Cen, Jean Jullien.
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?
I’m not sure about a top working professional, but it has been helpful for me to relentlessly create work for myself, whether or not I was getting commissioned work. I literally can’t do anything else, so I guess this was the only option for me. I think people would only take this profession if they are really passionate about it. And when you put in the work, you will find a way to make it work for you.
Whats your dream project?
To work on concepts and visuals for a collection for Miuccia Prada.
Mac or PC?
MAC MAC MAC.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My sister, she deserves some time away from her two little naughty kids.
What’s on your iPod?
do people still use iPods? I’m currently listening to Erykah Badu, Kelela, Lizzo and St Beauty.
Whats your Twitter Handle?
@jasjyotjasjyot, same as my instagram handle and my website 🙂