“As artists we sometimes forget that no one else gets the joke except us”
Where did your love for drawing start and how did you decide to move towards Illustration or Graphic Design as a career?
I started drawing at a young age and though I didn’t have a dedicated art teacher until much later, I remember spending my vacations drawing out small comical scenes about my family. When I joined a design college, I went with the intention of becoming a film student but the amount of fun I had while illustrating lured me towards visual art.
Have you undertaken any formal training for the same and from where? What role has it played in your growth as a designer?
I studied at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, which has a very open system of giving the student the choice to explore more than one aspect of design. It exposed me to a lot of ground-breaking ideas, artists and mediums. As a designer, I went from making very esoteric work to creating something with the intention of being relatable to the masses. As artists we sometimes forget that no one else gets the joke except us.
How would you define your personal style and how is your workflow pattern for any assignment?
I’m still working on three-four different styles that I am comfortable with. I don’t want to stick to any one in particular because it tends to get boring after a while. When I’m not digitally illustrating, I try photo-collages, hand-drawn sketches, inking. I’d say that my personal style has more to do with the topics I choose. As for any assignment, I work out a schedule first, decide what kind of strategy could be taken forward by the brand/project and then decide the medium to execute it in.
Which has been your most memorable piece of artwork that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it and the tools that you used for the same?
I recently started exploring GIFs with either my illustrative work or simple photo collages. This is a recent one drawn from observation and executed digitally using a pen tablet. I try to draw out random things that catch my attention. Like this lady sitting in the Second Class compartment in a local train, wearing a blingy sari. The afternoon sun made it sparkle, which made me decide to take note of it and draw it out later from memory. Bombay is a great place to observe such incidences.
What were the challenges did you face while working on such projects?
One of the challenges is to get the basics right, such as shadows, proportions, colour balance and movement. Its very important for GIFs to move smoothly and not end abruptly. Any small mistake can make it seem like an amateur artwork. Currently I’m learning After Effects to make the movements more natural and the process simpler.
Who or what has inspired you to create such unique artwork?
I get inspired by people and the projects they undertake all the time, so its very hard to pinpoint one artist/project. I generally love projects that powerfully depict complex ideas and simplify them. A lot of projects include a social commentary without seeming preachy and I find those to be most effective. I am also fascinated by religious iconography, historical events and theories of parallel universes.
What does the industry demand in terms of technical / soft skills from a fresher artist?
Technical skills of an artist, whether fresher or not, should always keep improving. An equal focus on traditional media and digital rendering helps in having portfolio that is varied. One of the only ways I find to broaden an artist’s scope of work is to keep looking at other more established artists and trying to understand their process for the project. Most of them will gladly respond back if you inquire.
Where do you look yourself 5 or 10 years down the line?
I generally don’t plan that far ahead but hopefully an artist with a varied portfolio, collaborating with talented people from across the world.
What message do you have in mind for the aspiring artists?
Try and spend time in keeping a personal portfolio apart from a commercial one because the quality of work is going to be a lot closer to what you want to be doing in the future. Explore different styles without worrying about finding/deviating from your own!