Aanchal Lodhi is an independent illustrator and surface pattern designer from Delhi, India. Her work consists of bright, whimsical, and oh-so-cute illustrations! In the last two years, she has illustrated over 5 children books and worked with a wide array of clients. Apart from client work she works on a number of passion projects allowing her to explore and experiment beyond her comfort zone.
Outside of work, Aanchal finds joy in exploring new art or craft forms and loves a cozy night in.
Why are you an Illustrator?
As someone who was NEVER good at drawing, I find it quite amusing that I ended up here! My journey into illustration began after graduation when I discovered surface pattern designs by Bonnie Christine. This led me to fall in love with the boundless possibilities,and made me slowly transitioned to creating illustrations.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I have completed my formal education in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, DU. Along with that, I pursued a certificate course named “Design Innovation in Fashion and Textiles” from NIFT, Delhi.
You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
It took me almost three years to reach this stage; however, I believe my illustration style is still in progress and will probably forever be.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
I am pretty sure most of the 90s kids can relate to this. Rob from M.A.D was one of the few artists we got to see and definitely impacted me as kid as well as an adult.
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I started my illustration journey as an intern with a home-grown brand based in Mumbai. While working on that, I started sharing my work on social media platforms like Behance and Instagram, which helped me get my first few gigs. It’s been almost two years since I switched to working full time as a freelance illustrator.
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I work mostly for publishing. While advertising is something I would like to try someday, I haven’t got an opportunity yet.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Just like any other profession, working in this field can be stressful and quite hectic as well. As much as I enjoy doing something I immensely love, it can lead to burnouts and lack of creative motivation. At moments like these, it is easy to feel demotivated.
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys? Or books?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, I have launched a line of notebooks, notepads and a lot more on my website www.aanchallodhi.com
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I definitely do and there’s a huge list!
To name a few, Sandhya and Chhaya Prabhat, Alicia Souza, Pranita Kocharekar, Debasmita Dasgupta, Pankaj Saikia, Alankrita Amaya and many many more!
Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Platforms like Skillshare, Domestika and Youtube have plenty of useful resources for newbies. Along with that, artists like Sumouli Dutta (@woodledoodledesigns) have worked on brilliant courses that one can enroll in.
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?
Just like any other creative field, this field requires a lot of hardwork and patience. Experiment and develop a unique style, network, and showcase your work online. It may take you few weeks or even months to get your first gig, but the initial wait would definitely be worth it.
In terms of pay, it varies significantly. Initially, the compensation might be modest, but as you hone your skills and negotiation abilities over time you can experience success in your career.
Whats your dream project?
One, to author and illustrate a picture book and two, to work on a wall mural.
Mac or PC?
Mac with iPad, always!
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
As a big homebody, I find solace in spending time with myself. If I had to, I’ll probably take just myself.
What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Mostly early 2000s bollywood songs
Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram?