Vrushali Somavanshi : Interview With A Graphic Designer

Vrushali Somavanshi (Artopus) is a graphic designer, an Engineer and a pattern lover. She is also an occasional poet and loves watching films. Often looking for inspiration in the nitty gritty of things, and finding ways to communicate the commonplace observations visually through her idiosyncratic art her work ranges from colourful flat illustrations to intricately detailed pattern art. She currently is freelancing and also sells her artwork online on different types of merchandise. She has never attended a design school and is planning to pursue a Post graduation degree in Visual communication

Why are you a Graphic Designer?
A quote I read sometime back by Ira Glass kind of resonated with me, she talked about how in the beginning all of us who do creative work get into it because we have good taste and it is because of that good taste that our work keeps disappointing us, so only after time and lots of practice one day our work will be as good as our ambitions.

I think it’s the joy of being able to see my ideas come alive on paper that got me started. It’s because of the funny feeling of weird satisfaction I get when I see good typography and clean design.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I’ve had no training in fine arts or design, infact I’m looking forward to get some training and have applied to design institutes for my further studies in design.

You have a distinct style of Design. How long did it take you to develop your style?
It did not take very long. It’s something that just emerged out of my love for geometrical patterns and my love for tiny things. I like to incorporate a lot of meaning and detail into tiny spaces and create structured and beautiful designs each intricately made in conjunction to the broader picture, tediously coloured to ultimately form a vibrant bohemian design. Although there are a few artists who have similar styles I think there is room for everyone due to our varied influences, the different themes and elements that we combine in our work, which is what makes us all different.

Whereas in context to my illustration style, I’m still exploring and think I don’t have a distinct style as yet.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Sadly I don’t have one of those stories where I always knew what I wanted to become when I grew up, infact it’s something that’s dawned upon me just a few years ago. I was always inclined towards creative things and art was always close to my heart but I never really thought that I would one day pursue it as a career. So I didn’t exactly have role models relevant to the design or art industry and I’ve never exactly had role models, I just get inspiration from many people mostly the ones on behance.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in graphic design?
Can’t pick just one! There are a lot of artists that I absolutely love and draw inspiration from like Storm Thorgerson, Malika Favre, Lois Van Baarle, Sanna Annukka, Steve Simpson, Jessica Hische, Tobias Hall and I find 100 more on Behance everyday.

When did you start freelancing?

Was there any time when you wanted to quit graphic design?
Haven’t been in it long enough to have the urge to quit! But I don’t think I ever will. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing.

Are many advertising agencies hiring graphic designers? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I think suddenly over the past few years the advertising industry has realized the importance and true potential of communication design and they’re willing to invest in that sector so yes, I do think many advertising agencies are hiring graphic designers. But I haven’t worked with any of them yet as their work requirements and the kind of projects that they’d want me to work on is not something I’d like to do right now. I like working for start-ups and having a flexible work structure and as I am also studying engineering I usually like to do a lot of freelance work or sell my artwork online on different merchandise.

Do you have clients who give you steady work or do you advertise for new clients often?
I like to work with different clients most of the time so as to get varied experiences and work on different projects.

Any other Indian graphic designers who you admire?
Had the pleasure of meeting Mira Malhotra recently and I absolutely love her work. There’s also Shaivalini Kumar, Sameer Kulavoor and Prabha Mallya.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
Well from what I’ve gathered since the time I’ve entered this field is that in the Indian market currently graphic design can actually be considered as a “lucrative” career option provided you have the skill. I’d definitely like to advice aspiring creative professionals to choose design as a career option and also to dabble in different aspects of design as a more mixed and varied experience will give you an edge and individuality. Also being able to comprehend different areas connected to graphic design help in making a good final product. The visual part of design can be worked on and improved through practice, repetition and time but it’s the thinking process, clarity in thought and understanding the purpose of design that really counts.

Do you think Clients are opening up to keeping aside a decent respectable budget for design work? Do you think clients understand 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?
I truly think that there are very few clients who understand what is “good work” or well maybe that’s just my experience. Most of them don’t realize how much hard work a graphic designer puts in even for seemingly simple work. It’s the small nuances that make a design better and look professional.

In the industry there’s a stark contrast in opinion when it comes to giving importance to design depending upon the type of company. If we talk about start ups and young companies, their priorities are very different from larger companies and sometimes settle for low quality work by paying less money. But there are also a few from the same category who understand the difference design makes and invest highly on it in the starting stage itself.

Then there are the big companies who are actually making products, services, providing marketing solutions primarily based on design thinking and invest heavily on design and they do understand that good design comes at a price.

But overall I think there is still a need for clients to invest more on design as a communication tool as it can make a major difference in the way their brand is perceived by the audience.

Mac or PC?

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Darren Aronofsky. He’s my favourite director. I’d like to pick his brain.

What’s on your iPod?
Don’t have an Ipod but I usually listen to Floyd, SQURL, Arctic Monkeys, Daft Punk, Sinatra & Amit trivedi,

Whats your Twitter Handle?
I don’t use twitter.



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4 thoughts on “Vrushali Somavanshi : Interview With A Graphic Designer

  1. Saumya says:

    such wonderful work Vrushali! Love all of it!

  2. Vrushali says:

    Thank you Saumya! 🙂

  3. Can your tell us a little more about the Valur Marghulis art piece. What was it about? Looks cool.

  4. Vrushali says:

    Hey Hrishi! Its a Game of Thrones catchphrase! Valar Morghulis is a greeting which translates to All men must die which is often followed by Valar Dohaeris which translates to All men must serve!

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