“To stand out you must be yourself in the truest form

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Could you tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a fourth year design student at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. I’ve been studying in Bangalore for the last three years but I am originally from Goa. Besides studying I also try and freelance as much as I can in the fields of illustration and graphic design.

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D'Souza

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

How would you define your personal style? Where do you draw inspiration from?

My personal style is constantly evolving. I remember starting with black and white illustrations with clean lines and a monotonous feel to it. Right now I love working with bright colours and a variety of lines and textures and patterns.
I draw a lot of inspiration from my surroundings and my memory. I love to do botanical yet whimsical looking work that takes me back to my childhood. Of course I constantly refer to Instagram and Pinterest that has some amazing artists that you can’t help fall in love with. My work is an amalgamation of what I see and what I remember.

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Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

Which has been your most memorable piece of work that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it? 

One of my most memorable pieces was an A3 size work I did when I was in 10th grade. I do not recollect what it was titled, but that was the first piece I sold. It was an illustration of owls made of parts of a machine perched on branches. It was done entirely with a rotring pen in black and white. I will never forget how amazing it felt to know that someone actually felt my work was worth hanging in their home. Receiving that kind of validation at 15 is something I hold very close to my heart.

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D'Souza

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

What are the challenges that you face while working on such projects?

I think my greatest struggle is finding the balance between aesthetic and concept. I have a lot of things to say through my work, but because I am also a bit of a perfectionist the aesthetic overpowers the underlying concept. A lot of times I have people telling me my work is ‘pretty’ and ‘so neat’, but as an illustrator that is not the only thing I want to hear. To find the right balance is key to convey a message to an audience, be it on social media or in a gallery space or to a client.

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D'Souza

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

What is your usual workflow pattern for any assignment?

I generally begin with just sketching out the first few ideas that come to my mind, then taking those forward I combine it with research on the topic so as to be well informed of the same and form some sort of voice.
However, in my personal work, I jump into the illustration straight away. Most of the time the piece just takes its own course, where lines and colours form organically. I love not planning a piece and seeing what comes out of it.

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D'Souza

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

What are the tools/software that you use regularly as a part of your work?

Most of my personal work is all done by hand. I use a variety of tools ranging from water colours and brushes to rotring pens and microns pens. The kind of paper I use is really important so me. I use a lot of water color paper by Fabriano and Canson.
For my digital work I have a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign. So far this amount of skill has served me well. Unfortunately I am not the greatest at picking up softwares so I am constantly learning more.

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D'Souza

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

Which technical skills or otherwise does the industry look for the most in a fresher?

As important as technical skills may be, I think what the industry looks for the most a passion for what you do and the ability to translate ideas into output. If your portfolio contains a lot of self-initiated projects it shows you are motivated and passionate about what you do. And these are the kind of designers the industry needs.

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D'Souza

Pic Courtesy : Pearl D’Souza

Any message for the aspiring designers?

As cheesy as this may sound, you must stay true to yourself. This has held extremely true for me. The world is full of illustrators, graphic designers, typographers, painters, etc. But if you stay real to your own voice you will always be unique. As soon as you begin copying someone else or following a trend you become one of the others. To stand out you must be yourself in the truest form.

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