“I focus more on the celebration than the struggle”

Portrait - Bansri Thakkar

Give us an insight into your journey from being a student of art to being a successful Graphic designer today.

As every other artist always has to say, I have been drawing a lot as a child. Since childhood ‘arts and crafts’ was the only co-curricular activity I was into. It was just something I enjoyed a lot. I wasn’t thinking of it as a career option until much later. It was, in fact, my mother who pushed me to actually pursue art and design for a career. That’s when I joined Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.
When I first joined, honestly, I did not have a clear idea about what I wanted to pursue. In fact, at first I thought I’d be good at Product Design because I enjoyed object drawings with exploded views and isometric and perspective drawings. By the end of my foundation year, I was exposed to elements of graphic design through my friends who were very clear about what they wanted to do – Visual Communication, as we called it in college. I started taking Typography, Layout Design and Branding courses and began to enjoy it a lot, mainly because I did not know much. So it was exciting to learn through trials and errors! And that’s all I did for next three years till Graduation and I explored a lot of different styles and concepts within Illustration Art and Graphic Design through various projects.

Illustration for Drink-Me-Eat-Me-Packaging / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Illustration for Drink-Me-Eat-Me-Packaging / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Where did you undertake formal training for the same and how important do you feel is international exposure in the design industry?

I’ve had a formal education in design from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore. I’ve learnt about creative process through a variety of courses in art and design. International exposure is very important, according to me, now more than ever due to rapid westernization around us. It gives you an idea about how different designs, aesthetics and styles are influenced by the shift in culture. It also help us realize the value of our rich visual culture in India that we take for granted.

Destruction / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Destruction / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

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

I take pleasure in the ordinary. I create work based on what I see around me, stuff I really like (most of it ends up revolving around food). Most of the work I create is playful and has a whimsical twist to it. I am the kind of person who focuses more on the celebration than the struggle, and that somehow reflects in everything that I create. Besides that, I must say, wordplays and sarcastic, funny one-liners really drive me. It might not always be useful for serious client-based projects, but it helps me keep an active thought process to come up with fresher ideas (no matter how simple they are) with a hint of quirk!

Illustration for a project Silence of the Cramps / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Illustration for a project “Silence of the Cramps” / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

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

My final year graduation project, according to me, is the most memorable work I have created. It is kind of a breakthrough in terms of the kind of work I have done so far and it has finally made me realize what I might really want to do in the near future.

The Visitor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

The Visitor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

The project is called “The Visitor” (for now), and it is inspired by Roald Dahl’s characteristic style of blending humor with macabre. The project explores the unraveling of our animalistic tendencies that are hidden behind the façade of everyday, ordinary scenarios. It is a play on the personification of death and the motif of macabre behind a deceptive stage of seemingly harmless charterers who are leading ordinary lives.
This is manifested in a series of four “books” with glimpses into the lives of four individuals who have led deceptive lives and are involved in horrific crimes.
It signifies our own capacity for destruction and come away a better person for it, and also of course, how every individual is more than just his or her face value – both good and bad.

The Visitor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

The Visitor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

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

This was the first time I have worked on something like this – which was completely hand-made. The artworks are all painted with Gouache on paper cut layers and the “books” are also constructed manually. So technically there were a lot of challenges – in terms of visualizing an image in a 3D structure and creating a narrative that will hold a certain kind of suspense. Gouache was a medium I hadn’t used before – so learning and doing a decent job at it through trials in the project itself within a timeframe was a challenge again. Besides, the overall process in this project has been quite different from “Graphic Design” that I had been doing in the past. To get myself to think in terms of a more “artsy” way was the bigger challenge.

The Visitor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

The Visitor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

What is your usual workflow pattern for any assignment?

My work is very process-oriented. I work a lot through trial and errors, both conceptually and in terms of execution. I usually have a basic vision or a rough idea about what I would like to do, but it usually transforms through a lot of trials, questioning, feedback and of course, procrastination.

Watercolor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Watercolor / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

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

I work a lot with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. I also work with watercolors and Gouache paints have been my recent obsession.But sketching and scribbling is the most important of them all.

Recipe Book Illustration / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Recipe Book Illustration / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

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

The most important quality one needs is to be able to take (and also give) feedback. It is also important to be open to newer ideas while being experimental. Besides, a sound knowledge of all the softwares you would need for your field is a must.

Naughtella / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Naughtella / Pic Courtesy : Bansri Thakkar

Any message for the aspiring designers?

Look for what works, what is needed and what you enjoy..not just what is in fashion.

To view more works of Bansri, click below:

Instagram, Website

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