A small town boy from Kannur in Kerala. Now in Bangalore, doing what he always loved doing; as senior illustrator at Happy Creative Services.
Why are you an Illustrator?
Have been doodling in my notebooks ever since I can remember. And when I realized I can get paid for the same, gladly chose that career. It gives you a lot of freedom to create and experiment.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes I did. Got BFA in sculpture from Fine Arts College, Trivandrum.
You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
All of us start with some kind of inspiration that we can relate to. I’ve had many such in my life (used to be smitten by Cubism once), but over time you end up deriving an individual style from those. Difficult to pin down how long it took, though.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Not really. When you are really young, it?s more about the things that catch your eye rather than the people behind them. But yeah, by the time I graduated there were quite a few stellar artists I looked up to, like Gustav Klimt.
Did you always dreamt to be an illustrator or was there something else on your mind?
I guess there was something else on my mind, but the closest that came to it was the job of an illustrator.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
Apart from Gustav Klimt, the Austrian genius of a painter, I used to revere one of my professors, Mr.Rimzon, for his artistic brilliance and sheer dedication to work.
What is it that has made you stick to designing an illustration?
There are simply no limits to where you can go with illustrations. You can let yourself wild in styles and treatment, as long as the purpose of the work is served. That kind of freedom is irresistible for artists like me.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Never. Draw to your heart?s content and get paid for it. What more could I ask for?
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I work with agencies mostly.
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Well, it’s a pleasant surprise that you ask this, since I started work on toys just a day before writing this. My current obsession though, is painting on canvas shoes; individually personalized for every buyer. The toys range is also going to be similarly custom-made.
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
There are many like A Ramachandran, whose works I love for their mural styling and vivid colour combinations.
Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Sameer Kulavoor and Dilip Khomane have been pretty impressive with their innovations in mixed media.
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 would advise them to first find out what they really love to do, and then work on polishing it. Second, never undervalue or undersell your own work and creativity.
And yes, now that agencies realize the value of quality art, illustration is certainly a lucrative career option. But if you ask me, take the job only for the love of it. Money will follow.
How is commercial designing different from other aspects of designing?
Well, it is certainly different. You have to follow certain norms for a commercial work, and there are quite a few limitations to experiment. I try to bridge that gap as much as I can.
You have worked with so many brands?which among the all you liked the most and why?
Diesel. The brand has a madcap sense of art, and with them you can run
wild with illustration styles. Such chances don’t come often.
Which was the first recognition that you got? Share with us the feeling that you went through!
While at college, the sculpture I made for the final year project was selected for exhibition by a famous national gallery at Delhi. That sure felt awesome.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Between Penelope Cruz and J. Lo, depending on spare time. My spare time, that is. Ha ha.
What’s on your iPod?
I don?t own one! But love listening to Pink Floyd.
Mac or PC?
Mac. Any day.