“It is important to constantly update oneself on the latest trends in the world of art”


Tell us about your journey from being a student who decided to take up art as a career and to working independently as an illustrator today.

I discovered that I wanted to be an artist while in school. I was always drawing things in my school books and my drawing teacher told me I should take it up seriously. After class 12, I did a course in teaching art and one in animation. I then worked at a couple of places before finally deciding to join J J School of Art. I recently decided to take a break and do some freelance work to hone my skills.


What kind of formal training have you undertaken to become an illustrator and what role has it played in your growth as an artist?

My formal training would include the teaching course, the one in animation and the four years at the JJ School of Art, which opened a whole new world for me. The intricacies of art, the ways in which to view it, its many forms have all been an eyeopener for me. If I loved art before, I became passionate about it after the J J course. I enjoyed every single day of the four years I was there.


How would you describe your personal style? Also, how is your workflow pattern or your approach towards a project?

I don’t really have a personal style and am adaptable to the requirements of the job. I am, however, intensely involved when I am working on a project. I do a lot of research and homework on the subject to understand the requirement and only then do I begin work.


Which has been your most memorable piece of art that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it and the tools you used for the same?
I love all my work, as do most artists. But, there are a couple of pieces I have worked on that are especially intricate. One is a grey sketchy caricature illustration that I had made for my final year projects. Other favourites are also those I had made for various college projects. There are also a few personal illustrations that I am very happy with. The tools I have used for all of them are the Wacom pentab and Adobe photoshop.


What do you prefer, hand-sketching or digital designing?

I like both forms, but I lean more towards hand-sketching. I feel it allows me more freedom in the creative sense, I have more control over the final outcome. With digital, there are a lot of tools I can use, which enhance my work.


Among various artists, who have been your most important influences?

There are a lot of artists I admire. I try to emulate their styles, and their work inspires me to create better art. Some of whom have influenced me the most are Indian illustrators/artists Deelip Khomane, Mukesh Singh and Pascal Campion, caricture artist Jason Seiler and concept artist Dylan Cole. There are also a few advertising studios whose work I admire tremendously such as Taproot Dentsu, Ogilvy & Mather, JWT and Zombie Advertising Studio, Brazil.


What challenges do you feel an artist has to face on the job front?

There are quite a few challenges. First of all is the problem of there being no budgets for art. No one is willing to pay for good work. This is a deeply satisfying profession creatively, but not monetarily. Secondly, there are a few who are not sure how to explain what they want in an artwork. So, the innumerable changes can become extremely bothersome.


Which skills, technical or otherwise, does one need to be equipped with to become successful in this field?

It is important to have formal training in art. Just being good at it is not enough. It is also important to constantly update oneself on the latest trends in the world of art.


To see more of Chetan’s work, click here