Shakoon Khosla : Art Director at Ogilvy

I work as an art director in Ogilvy and have worked with TBWA and Rediffusion as well. Am a bit zonked out and have goldfish memory. I often forget my illustration styles and come up with new one every time : ) I like experimenting with fonts in addition to helvetica and get twitchy while using lot of bright colors together.

Why are you in advertising?
I figured out this is the only place where you can be unorganized, wear whatever you want to and get a chance to create good stuff : )
Coming back to the point, the work we churn out here has extremely short shelf life hence its fun to match up the speed. I love the unpredictableness of this place, it just doesn’t let you get comfortable with your state of mind.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I did. But school doesn’t teach you as much as your work place does.

When did you start illustrating?
I always preferred blank sheets over ruled.
I don’t draw/sketch as much as I use varied textures, materials and create art graphically. Its 1:5 hand:computer ratio in most of my work..

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
Fortunately, I don’t have any distinct style of illustration. I come up with styles according to the campaign but mostly according to my mood and time I intend to spend on the idea… I love to create characters and detail them out in my own way to make myself happy.
I strongly believe that art directors in advertising shouldn’t have distinct style of art to keep each campaign contrastive. Your work can get predictable if you get trapped in your art style.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I’m still growing up 🙂 But yeah, I get influenced by almost everybody and everything around me if things are counted in ‘role models’. As a kid I got influenced by my toys, board game, art teachers, bulletin boards outside every section, my mum, blank paper, kitchen napkin, colourful cloth and now by intricate patters, mc donalds toys, Rob on M.A.D art show, t-shirts, books,, other peoples work : ) etc etc.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising? And in Illustrations?
No one in particular. I love to learn and make sure I absorb best from my seniors and people around me including my interns.

Tell us about the work culture at Ogilvy.
Its same as any other agency apart from the fact that they have more people working here and have a bigger cafeteria : )
It is easy to get addicted to this place because of the space and freedom you get here. I believe its us who create work culture in any organisation. Over 5 years of my work experience I’ve seen the same set of people moving from one agency to another maintaining the work culture.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Advertising and become a full time illustrator?
Every second weekday and every sunday. Though I would never want to quit art but my restless mind takes me here and there and makes me think all the time.

Who is your favorite Art Director in India for Advertising?
No one in particular. But I love the art of lot of people I work with. I envy their sense of ideation, their sketch books, their color sense and the way they detail out their work.

You have such a wide experience as a top working professional, for both advertising and illustrations. Would you advise anyone to make a career out of illustrations?
Haha, I don’t have such a wide experience in advertising. I make graphic illustration/illustrations for my ad campaigns and at times for fun but don’t work as a professional illustrator, so don’t really know how is it to take it as full-time career option.
Being an illustrator or an art director in advertising or both is their personal opinion. All these career options have bad days and good days… It is more important to be creative and curious in life. It works for me!!

What’s on your iPod?
Jack Johnson, Harry Belafonte and latest bollywood music.

Mac or PC?

11 thoughts on “Shakoon Khosla : Art Director at Ogilvy

  1. saumya says:

    hi! loved yur work! its unfortunate that not many agencies are focussing on print work any more. everyone finds tv more glamourous. but the work in print has far ore scope and creative options. thanks for keeping the fire burning…

  2. Namzie says:

    Loving the textures and especially hair detailing 🙂

  3. Pooja says:

    great work!! and i agree with saumya on the point that print is more scopeful in terms of creativity. the range to explore is wider here when compared to tv!!

  4. santosh says:

    and numbers of new magazines and newsppers rising…

  5. santosh says:

    ab hamein pata chala O&M Shakoon se kaam leta hai.

  6. shivesh says:

    great work! love the iluustrations! some of the work doesnt have branding, seems more like artwork. are these all ads? I wish more such work were out in the public domain. we would have a much better loking country 🙂

  7. Gulzar says:

    Diggin these pieces! keep up the good work n’ keep em rollin man!

  8. nakul says:

    loved the KL illustration with skytrains and airplanes. great work, shakoon!

  9. vijay says:

    Great work

  10. divyesh says:


    good stuff.

  11. AjithaSurabhi says:

    It’s wonderful experience to see the visuals.I think it’s a one of a kind experience for out going students to widen their mind.i will talk in my class to my students.looking forward for more are at a best place.

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