Swati Kharbanda : In Conversation With An Artist

Swati is a self-taught artist, who believes that learning never stops. She learns from the nitty-gritties of her everyday life, her friends and even from her 7 year old son. In her words “every designer should be like an innocent child, naive but imaginative”. Growing up, her inspirations were Walt Disney, Pixar and sci-fi movies that have stayed relevant through the time.

Why are you a Visual Artist?
Like they say “you should always turn your passion into your profession”, I think art is a form of communication that can reveal your innate desires. I always loved to paint and draw. As an artist, I try to create a canvas of all my hidden emotions and watch them interact with each other thereby telling my story without speaking a single word. As a child I loved to paint and draw. My work gives me an opportunity to create new things everytime I pick a pencil or hold a brush to paint an exquisite picture of a brand. It’s a form of expression for me – ‘Speaking without uttering a single word’. I have made the walls of my home my canvas, my thoughts my paint brush and my emotions my colors. And I don’t see any difference while creating exquisite art forms for any brand. Today, when people appreciate my work, I can’t help but think of the times when my parents supported and encouraged me to become an artist.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
No, I had no formal education in design. Although I did complete a course of 2D animation from Escotoonz, a venture of Escorts Group. It was the first to be introduced in North India about 2 decades ago.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I feel learning never stops, I am still learning but my focus, dedication and patience towards my work and the zeal to always try something new has brought me here. Geometric, hand-drawn, organic, I like to create art in every way possible. The geometry of life pushed me to become an artist. Perhaps, that is why I like creating all types of design, be it hand-drawn or graphic illustrations.

How did you focus so much on graphic illustrations? When did you realize you loved doing it and wanted more of it?
I started with hand drawn and painting art forms. But as technology has taken everything ahead, illustrations have also broadened its horizon and I feel that graphic illustrations are better controlled than hand drawn or painted art forms. It’s like the movie ET, one of the first movies we remember about graphics and now we have movies like Transformers or the animated movies then and now.
My focus on digital illustration has grown because it has many possibilities and so much to offer.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
While growing up, I was just another kid who loved to draw and color. Parents always encouraged my passion towards art. I was also inspired by Steven Spielberg – the man who thought out of the ordinary. His vivid vision took cinema to a different level and inspired many others like me to spread their wings.

Who was the most influential personality in your career in graphic design?
The most influential person in my career is Mr. Himanshu Dogra. He is the Director of Illum Design and Play Clan, where I worked and learnt most in my career. He is a great mentor and I’ll always look up to him for all that I have learnt from him. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance.

When did you start freelancing?
I started to work independently since 2018

Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?

Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers or direct clients?
As the design industry has become very competitive, I feel that ad agencies are giving importance to great design work. So, yes they are.
I have been lucky to have worked with all. It gave me the opportunity to learn and gain perspective as all have different style and ways of working. I don’t have much preference as of yet.

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
I like steady work. I feel that every job requires focus and I like to give my 100% to whatever I do.

How do you market yourself?
Word of mouth is the biggest marketing strategy by far and will remain the key to any successful business. It’s just like we check reviews about every new thing. Word of mouth has got me where I am today and for reference I have an online portfolio as well.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
Though there are many great artists and inspiration, I really admire Nikheel Aphale’s calligraphy style. His art of using ink and drawn text is truly inspiring.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
My advice for aspiring professionals is to be themselves. What comes from the heart is the best form of art.
As far as to opt it for a career option, yes why not! There will always be a need for graphic design in our daily lives. Be it a pack of sugar or a major automobile company, every brand requires a designer.

Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Of Course! But only if they are truly passionate about it. Not because their friends are doing it. 😃😃
On a serious note, absolutely! Because graphics are a part of our day to day life – from signboards to automobiles, from kitchen items to gourmet food. From packs to apps, graphics are everywhere.

Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work? Do you think clients are understanding that they need to invest in Design as a communication tool
and also to cut the clutter, and that good design comes at a price?

Yes, as I mentioned earlier that the market has become competitive and that designs are definitely a strong communication tool. Graphics are a part of our day to day life. It’s important to have the right design work for the product to target the right set of consumers. Most Clients are focusing on the quality of the art work and quality comes at a price.

Mac or PC?
I have worked on both. But Mac is a good choice for design

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My husband 🙂

What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Arijit singh

Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram?

Swati Kharbanda
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