“Try to look at ordinary things from an extraordinary perspective”

Rainbow Mandala / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Rainbow Mandala / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did your journey as a doodle artist begin?

I am a 19 year old Visual Artist, Illustrator and Doodle Artist from Mumbai. My journey began somewhere around May 2015 with a fine tip DVD marker and a piece of A4 paper. Thereon, I discovered how passionate I was about doodling and illustrating and have continued to be. Now clearly, there is no stopping.

Stretched Eye / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Stretched Eye / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

How would you describe Doodling as an art. Is there any specific technique you follow?

Well, doodling as an art form has been emerging constantly. There is no particular skill or technique to it. When I hold a marker/pen in hand, I let my subconscious mind do the work and gradually let it flow. As a result, what I am able to create is never pre-planned. The more I keep adding on to a doodle or an artwork, the more fascinating it gets. To me, details are very, very important. I like to capture the attention of the viewer by adding on to minute details.

Patiently Waiting / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Patiently Waiting / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Have you undertaken any formal training for your artwork and from where?

I am a self-taught artist since I was little. Being the curious kid that I am and have always been, I’ve loved experimenting and seeking inspiration from other developing/developed artists. I believe, you are your best teacher. I try to learn from my mistakes and also try avoiding them when I work on another piece. That in itself, helps me determine what I want my artwork to look like.

Colourful Dreamcatchers / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Colourful Dreamcatchers / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

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 that you used for the same?

I have quite a few favorites, each having something memorable about them.
But, there is this one artwork which is a ‘Red Lip’ drawing that I did a while back. I think, that has to be one of my most memorable and loved pieces. What started out as a 5 minute sketch/doodle took shape into an actual artwork in the span of 4-5 hours. It was my first time using Prismacolors and to my surprise, it turned out amazing. Prismacolors being pigmented, helped the colors stand out giving it a realistic effect. I also used white ink to highlight the details on the lip.

Red Lips / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Red Lips / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

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

Firstly, I think visualizing what you want your artwork/illustration to look like. Quite often when I work on a project, I am constantly worried if the person on the other end is expecting the same thing or comparatively more. Secondly, determining a price for your piece. Probably the most challenging thing for an artist as projects vary from person to person and place to place.
Also, sticking to a time frame, which could be an obstacle to some extent if the time span is very short .

Mural at Bandra Station / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Mural at Bandra Station / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

What is your usual workflow pattern?

I do not stick to a particular workflow pattern but, I like being organized while working. While doodling, if I have an idea in mind, I just go ahead and doodle it out still keeping in mind details. And for other artworks and illustrations, I try to draw inspiration from other artists, like I said. People and the conversations that I have with them play a very important role when it comes to my work. Eventually, it’s all on paper and I keep working on it until I feel satisfied and contended.

Breathe / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Breathe / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

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

For doodling, I use microns in various nib sizes (nib size 02 and 05 being my favorites), a few Staedtler Fineliners, Gelly Rolls, watercolors and white ink. Sometimes, I even stick to CD/DVD markers and ballpoint pens.
For other artworks, I use Prismacolors, Graphite Pencils and Acrylic paints.
I do not use any softwares. Although, I plan on learning Digital Art soon in order to enhance my work.

White Mandala / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

White Mandala / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

What do you wish to achieve in the future as a doodle artist and an illustrator?

It is quite astonishing how Doodling as a field has been growing rapidly and constantly. Looking into the future, I’d like to transform my doodles and illustrations into digital art. I think it would be a good and different take on it since all of my work is done by hand. And even in the process of doing so, still sticking to handmade doodles/illustration to some extent. But before achieving anything in this field, I’d still like to explore, learn and experiment because I have always believed that, “Experimentation is the key to success.”

Grow / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Grow / Pic Courtesy : Jillian Thottan

Any tips for the aspiring artists?

Try to look at ordinary things from an extraordinary perspective. Once you do, you’ll realize how differently and creatively your approach gets towards working on a particular piece of art. You don’t have to try and be like someone else. Find your strengths in your field and excel in it. Take feedback and constructive criticism from other people optimistically. It’ll help you come a long way. Most importantly, stay motivated and focused on what you wish to achieve and you’re almost there.

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