Jit Chowdhury draws everything except a monthly salary. A Visual storyteller based in Calcutta. His studio is called, Jitch Art Studio. He is a keeper of sketchbooks and loves penning down every concept in his sketchbooks for safe keeping. He works with publication houses like Penguin and also does wall graffiti , interiors and graphic design. He dabbles with multiple mediums and styles and mixes them according to the concept.
Why are you an Illustrator?
I have always been a bit poor with words. So to express myself I took up sketching. Now through illustrations I can express and explain myself the best. And Illustration is what I love to do everyday, religiously.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I took my fine art classes at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
Then I learnt under an artist working in his studio for a few years. Then I joined Srishti school of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore for designing.
You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I always wanted to have my own style, so I kept dabbling with a lot of mediums and styles and did experiments to figure out my style. Can’t say when I developed a style as I only realized that when others started telling me about it.
But as I have practiced and worked on so many styles. I do not find it difficult to jump from one style to another. And also adapt a completely new style.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
All my teachers have been great influences. They kept playing the role models one after the other…
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
Impossible to pick up one name as there has been many, many, and many. I love the world of illustration and all the old and new masters have influenced me deeply. Nandalal Bose, Satyajit Ray, Rabindranath Tagore to name a few but this list is a long one.
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
Seeing the array of work happening in the market lured me in and also had some projects I wanted to work on personally, I decided to start freelancing. I started 3 years ago and worked for advertising, corporate, publication houses, NGOs, Interiors, collaborations, etc, etc…
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Yes, I think there is a lot of illustration work happening in advertising these days. I work mainly with publishers. They come to me asking for a different flavor, handmade touch, also handmade illustration gives a feeling of exclusivity and it stands out.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Ha ha… They will be horrid toys… very inappropriate.
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
As I have already mentioned the list of masters is long but to name a few… Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Nandalal Bose, Haren Das, etc…
Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Among the current rulers my favorites are Shilo Shiv Suleman, Pratap Chalke, Anand Radhakrishnan, etc.
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?
Absolutely… take up illustration as a career. There is a lot of work happening and there is always room for more. When you start you will experience turbulence but then which startup doesn’t… then through your talent and networking you will find your position in the market.
My honest advice would be to find out what difference would you bring to the market and work on mastering that trait. That would be your weapon for survival.
Whats your dream project?
Travel the world and collaborating with artists from all the countries.
Mac or PC?
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Open invitation… whoever comes. Dinner is on me.
What’s on your iPod?
Listening to a lot of instrumental these days. Mainly Turkish.
Whats your Twitter Handle?
Don’t have one.