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Interview with Rohit Chari, Red Canvas Studios

Interview with Rohit Chari, Red Canvas Studios

An interview with Rohit Chari, illustrator, artist, and the Founder of Red Canvas Studios.

Born and brought up in Goa, Rohit Chari is an illustrator, artist, and artpreneur who runs Red Canvas Studios, a venture he started in 2016. In this creative studio, ideas come to life in art on different canvases such as walls, frames, and memories. 

Rohit started playing around with sketches early in his school days where he’d draw, doodle, and soon enrolled into a full-time fine arts course where he learned traditional art forms and techniques in a formal setup. Today Rohit caters to special art commissions where he draws beautiful caricatures, paints on walls, has his line of merchandise; in short, he’s found his passion and made a living out of it. 

In this interviews, Parth interviewed Rohit, where they talk and explore the world of being an artist, an entrepreneur, and suggestions for the fellow community of artists and creators.

Story of your first customer? 

Well, the first few projects were majorly for friends, and I did them for free. But the first paid project came to me instead as a surprise. I had made a digital caricature for a photographer friend, and I think after minutes of it posting, it went viral in our little friend circle. 

Everyone wanted to know who made this caricature, and there I was flooded with requests, most of them free, but some of them translated into orders, and that’s how I kickstarted my Freelance career as a Digital Caricature artist. 

Freelancing and the early challenges 

Underpricing and not being able to strike that early balance where I get quality clients who pay decently. I think the first few paid projects, I was underpaid, but then I guess that’s all a learning process. 

When I realized I was charging lesser, I decided to increase my prices, but then the clients stopped coming in. With time, I reached a sweet spot where the clients are comfortable, which allows me to be satisfied. I think the sweet spot of pricing your art “just right” can be determined only by talking to customers, and this process takes time. 

How do you explain Digital Art to your customers?

I was introduced to digital art years after graduating with a degree in Art, so I am very empathetic to my customers when I explain to them about Digital Art or Digital caricatures to help them understand and appreciate the process of creation. 

Many people think making caricatures digitally is when the artist uses some apps or simply traces it, but that’s not how it works. Usually, when I encounter clients who do not know much about Digital Art, or the creation process, I educate them first about this art form because this helps set the expectations right and makes the process of creation and approval smoother. 

I walk my customers through the process, share the work in progress pictures with them, answer their queries before starting work; I think this has many advantages, and the client’s chances of negotiating to go down significantly.

 

How do you price your digital caricatures? 

I decide the cost of my caricatures based on the combination of the following factors, and a lot of times, if the order is to required urgently, there’s an added cost. 

    1. The number of characters – A lot of my customers think that the price of caricature quoted can include as many human figures, but that’s not how it works. Therefore one of the criteria for deciding the price is the number of people/characters drawn.

       

    2. The caricature style – Is it the Realistic Caricature or Flat(2D) Caricature? It takes me more time to work on the realistic caricature. Therefore this one is charged higher.

       

    3. Background – Clients often demand unique backgrounds, such as the Eiffel tower, or the Taj Mahal, or other requests, and to accommodate such requests, I charge extra.

      In India, it’s a little tough to find clients who will not negotiate and respect the price you quote, but it’s so much easier with foreign clients, and I can charge them higher too. 

Drawing a celebrity caricature vs. Drawing for customers 

With celebrities, I have the freedom to experiment, exaggerate, and let my creative juices flow, but I have to be very careful with client projects. People want to look cute but not funny. 

I think there’s a nice balance, where I get paid for the commissioned work I do and the time I have left after such projects; I experiment, play around with colors, strokes, and let my ideas flow without being constricted by the client’s expectations. 

(Rohit has created fan art versions of famous Netflix TV shows like – Money Heist, Scared Games, etc.)

 

Wall Murals vs. Digital Caricatures 

I like both forms of art – Making digital caricatures and murals, both of their unique charm, and I thoroughly enjoy working on both mediums. 

Still, the outcome of completing a mural is much more gratifying than a caricature, primarily because of the heavy hard work required to create a mural. 

First, we prepare a design based on the input given by the client and then get the digital design approved; post this, the digital design is transposed to the wall. This process from idea to execution takes 3-4 days, or more, depending on the size of the wall. But I love working on murals. I usually start early and work in sprints to finish it as per the agreed timelines. 

When the project is big, I collaborate with other artists, and it’s fun working on such projects.

How do you feel when people compare your work with other artists? 

I’ll be honest, early in my career, I’d get offended easily and react, saying, “if you like their work, go buy from them,” but now I try to explain to them the reason for the difference and explain to them my art process. 

Other Hobbies? Skateboarding? 

Well, I love to skateboard, and I represented my state in Skateboarding back in the days, and I think I found a lot of artists from the skateboarding community. Skateboards are usually hand-painted, uniquely communicating what the owner wishes to with colors and visuals. 

I’ve got many gigs because of the community, and I think having a hobby is an excellent release to your creative juices, but in a different environment.

Future Aspirations

I aspire to work with more prominent brands where my skills are tested. I meet fellow creators, and I learn and grow while doing so. I have worked with some very famous brands in the past, and I look forward to working with more brands as I grow as an artist. 

Advice to fellow artists in the community 

Digital art is comparatively easy when you are tracing it, but I would strongly recommend against it. Try to draw it manually instead of tracing, and it’ll help you in the longer run. 

If you want to draw caricatures, don’t immediately jump into drawing caricatures. Start by drawing portraits; it’ll help you understand the human face anatomy better. Once you’ve mastered that part, it’s easier to play around with human facial features to make fun caricatures. 

Closing Notes

Rohit concludes the interview by saying, “I would just say, support all the artists, because this is a small business we are into, but when the audience supports us, we can prosper. And I would request you to respect the artists, try to understand them, and value their efforts.”

Deciphering Doodles with Sumouli Dutta

Deciphering Doodles with Sumouli Dutta

Deciphering Doodles with Sumouli Dutta - Meet the mastermind behind "Woode Doodle Designs" Sumouli Dutta, Illustrator 20th May,2019 Sumouli Dutta is a self-taught illustrator and a visual artist  based in Kolkata who throws light on the stereotypes prevalent in our...

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Interview with Anumeha, creator of comically sane.

Interview with Anumeha, creator of comically sane.

Interview with Anumeha

An all in one package of Designer, Illustrator and Storyteller,  Anumeha, the creator of Comically Sane has touched the hearts of many through her art.

With over 20K followers on social media, she is successfully using her talent to create hilarious and  relatable comics. Let us delve deeper into her unique world of colors and quirkiness.

 

Everyone has their own definition of Art. What is yours?

Art to me is a source of happiness and something that helps one relax. It is like meditation, you meditate to keep your sanity intact and art does the same thing.

What are your earliest memories of drawing as a child?

Diwali was usually the time when I could put my fascination with colors and obsession with art to use. I remember asking permission from my mother and then drawing rangoli in those very corners of the house which she allowed.

Are you self-taught?

Yes, I didn’t take any professional training and all that I am today is a result of practice and self-learning.

Are you a full-time illustrator? How has your journey of choosing an off-beat career been?

I am not a full-time illustrator, with a big ‘yet’ in between, for I would love to turn this into my full-time profession. Currently, I am a UX Designer by day and illustrator by night. As for the journey of choosing an off-beat career, I must say that it had its ups and downs but has been a fantastic one nonetheless.

When did you start making comics, and how do you think your comics have evolved over time?

I used to subconsciously draw at the back of almost all my notebooks since school-days. At that time, it was not a comic, but random thoughts stitched together to tell a story. It was from 2017 that my somewhat irregular journey of drawing structured (theme-based) comics began.

Towards the end of March 2019, I created my Instagram and Facebook page, Comicallysane. The idea behind creating the page was to share my work continuously which in turn would help me become regular.

My comics are still evolving as it is an on-going process, but so far I have seen my progress, both in terms of character refinement and content clarity.

What is your favorite part about creating comics?
This is the part of the day I look forward to the most. It doesn’t seem like a task to me, for I love creating comics, and feel like I can keep doing this without getting bored or tired.

As an artist, you must have worked on several interesting projects. Could you talk about projects that deserve a special mention?

With every project I have done so far, there has been a special personal connect. One of them is the workshop I did with kids for Google, India. I could see myself in those kids and it brought back beautiful memories from my childhood.

Then there are these personalized e-invitations that I do, they too hold a special place. Trying to understand the clients, their journeys and then expressing their story in a single frame, nothing can be compared to the amount of satisfaction and relief that one feels on seeing the final piece of work.

What would be your advice for the budding webcomics?

Just start with whatever you have in mind. There is no right or wrong time, all one has is

How do you think technology has changed the dynamics of art?

It has made it more accessible to both – the creators and the consumers. It’s not restricted to either museums, physical books or newspapers.

Now you don’t necessarily need 100s or 1000s of sheets of paper to create something, as long as you have a digital drawing pad and a stylus/pencil. (But again, I will mention for the budding artists, that not having these digital pads and pencils should not be an excuse for you to not start.)

On a different note, I also think it is eco-friendly for it saves a lot of paper and clutter.

What do you wish to convey through your comics/ cartoons?

Through my art, I want to make people realize that everyone is going through something similar and nobody is alone in it.

Who are some comic creators that you admire?
I like Brownpaperbag Comics, NehaDoodles, Alicia Souza etc. to name a few. And my all-time favorite is Diamond comics.

If you could learn another form of art, what would it be?
It definitely would be pottery.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I would like to say – Think less do more.

What are your thoughts about Stoned Santa?
It’s a good medium to know about the community of artists and connect and explore all that’s new in the world of art.

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Interview with Rajat Prajapati

Interview with Rajat Prajapati

Interview of Rajat Prajapati

Rajat Prajapati

Rajat Prajapati is an architecture student from Hyderabad. He prefers to keep his art minimal as he believes that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. He manages to capture the person’s identity through his simple strokes and designs.

Exposure to architecture helped him  figure out his style. Read on more to find out about this young and talented artist’s journey.

Tell us a little about your childhood. What inspired you to start art?

I will not want any kid to have a childhood like mine. Due to a major downfall in my dad’s business, we became financially unstable. I used to help my mom make Papads and sell them to earn some extra dimes.

Eventually, things became better and we shifted to Hyderabad. My neighbour, Priya Didi helped me to deal with the unfamiliarity of the place, language and culture. She is the person who instilled passion for art, in me.

How do you perceive “Art”? 

I view art as a medium for self expression. Having faced difficulties in my childhood, art helped me cope with stress. I started expressing my thoughts through art and channelizing all my energy towards it.

After 12th grade, I took up architecture which helped me to understand the meaning, concept, need and importance of art and experimentation.

Are you a self-taught artist? How has the journey been?

Yes, I’m a self taught artist. The journey has been very exciting, and I’m bound by nothing. I’m free to experiment and explore new art styles. Curiosity and zeal have taken me a long way. As they say, the journey is more beautiful than the destination.

How do you think technology has impacted art?

I have mixed feelings about advanced technology. I agree that it has introduced us to infinite possibilities; reduced the cost of stationary and it’s a one place destination for all tools, but nothing can beat the beauty of traditional handmade art form.

Many of your artworks are on famous music artists and bands. Which is your most favourite band?

There are so many artists whose music caries me away, like The strumbellas, Kodaline, The paper kites, The lumineers, Bon iver and Coldplay.

What inspired you to keep your art minimal?

I’ve read and researched about various philosophies and design theories. Of all the art styles, I like minimalism the best. I believe that simplicity is the best sophistication.

 

As an Artist, what’s your biggest pet peeve?

I do not like customers who don’t understand art and have unrealistic expectations.

Any dream project that you’d like to work on?

I would like to work on a space-themed project. Eg- Mars Colonization

If you could go back in time and change one decision that you took, what would it be?

There are so many decisions I wish I could change. But, I wouldn’t as all those wrong decisions have played a crucial part in becoming what I’m today. I might be disappointed with the decisions, but I do not regret anything.

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Interview with Shailly Gajjar | Caricature artist

Interview with Shailly Gajjar | Caricature artist

Interview of Shailly Gajjar

Shailly Gajjar, Illustrator.

Shailly Gajjar, is an illustrator and a comic creator. Be it illustrations, wedding invitations or comics, they definitely will put a smile on your face. 

What started as a desire to design her own wedding card, has now become her full-time career. Despite the ups-and-downs, she chose to do what her heart wanted to. Now, she is one among the loved artists who delights her clients through her striking style of art.

Read on more to find out about her journey.

 

Everyone has a story which has brought them to the career path they’re pursuing. It may be good, bad, simple or challenging. What has your experience been like in choosing art as your profession? Were there any challenges or confusions? 

I hail from a very small city of Bhuj, Kutch in Gujarat, where awareness regarding diverse career options is scarce. I ended up doing my bachelors in IT engineering.

During my second year of my college, a realisation struck me that I am not very keen on coding. I felt the  need to follow my passion, which was drawing and doodling.

I looked up about different colleges which provide courses related to my passion, such as NID. Unfortunately, I was a year late to apply for the Masters degree.

After completing my engineering I decided to appear for the entrance exam hosted by NID. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it after the second round. That’s when I met the love of my life, who’s my husband now. He encouraged me and believed in me even when I myself didn’t.

Soon after that, I started interning as a Graphic designer, and got a job in the same field which I had to leave after y marriage as I had to move to Dubai.

My initial days in Dubai was very hard, as getting a job without a relevant degree or work experience seemed impossible. That’s when I decided to devote my time for freelancing seriously. Along with the freelance projects, I took drawing classes for kids at my place.

After a couple of years, my husband and I moved back to India, and my freelance career started to see a lot of growth.

Many years have passed by and I do not regret anything. Thanks to my supporting family and my loving husband my freelance career is going well after all the hardships. Currently, I am focusing on wedding invitations and other illustration projects.

 

Anything you would like to say to your fellow artists?

Keep following your passion no matter what. Your dreams will come true eventually and on that day, all the hardwork, confusions and frustrations will be worth it!

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Interview with Jay Sanchaniya | Charcoal Artist

Interview with Jay Sanchaniya | Charcoal Artist

Interview of Jay Sanchaniya

Jay Sanchaniya, Sketch Artist

An engineer by profession, Jay Sanchaniya carries the heart of an artist. His drawings are not just sketches on paper, but artworks which speak to us as if they’re alive.

Let us give you an insight of Jay’s life and his amazing works through the wonderful tete-a-tete that we had with him.

Tell us about your childhood. What inspired you to start drawing caricatures?

In my school days, I enjoyed drawing for science projects. Being quite eclectic in nature, I seek inspiration from everything around me. Majorly, Comic books and Superhero movies led me to develop an interest in drawing.

In between my college breaks I started drawing portraits. As time passed, I wanted to try new things and explore and experiment with portraits, that’s when I took a route to the world of Caricatures. I must say, what a wonderful route it has been!

Art can be perceived differently by everyone. What is “Art” to you?

I am an engineer by profession and I developed my love for Sketching/Art as a hobby. Art is my escape from the pressures of professional life.

As Thanos said “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be”, it balances my professional life as well as helps me pursue my passion.

I would like to call myself an engineer by day and an artist by night.

Are you self-taught? If yes, how has the journey been? What keeps you going?

Yes, I am a self taught artist. I have no parameters on what is right or wrong. What I started as a hobby, has now changed my whole life. Not only did it save me from work stress, but I can now connect with so many souls all through the medium of a paper and a pencil. 

Although my journey as a freelancer has just begun, I have been applauded by many celebrities on Instagram. Netflix’s TV Series NARCOS: Season 3 actor Matias Varela & Amazon Prime’s BREATHE reposted my work.

Basically, reading comic books; watching movies and TV shows is where I derive most of my inspiration from and the energy to do this every single day comes from the love and appreciation that my work receives.

How do you think technology has changed the dynamics of art?

Although the beauty of traditional art cannot be compared with that of digital art, technology has certainly helped me to gain more insights about the dynamics of art. Software & tools help to explore an artist’s skill as well as make their artwork more impressive.

How do you manage to get the balance between realism and exaggeration?

For me realism and exaggeration take almost the same effort. Various standard proportions and distances between features is one of the most important factors to be taken care of.

What’s the first feature you observe in people?

Eyes grab my attention. As the saying goes, “Eyes are the gateways to the soul”, and I too believe that they clearly demonstrate a person’s feelings and expressions.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Oh! There are so many. I do not like it when clients request me not to sign on the sketches or stare at my artwork while I’m working on it.

Any dream project that you can’t wait to work on?

I have worked with Comedy Cafes and Merchandising companies. I really want to create something on the lines of a promotional poster for TV and Comedy shows, preferably for platforms like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime. 

If you could go back in time and change one decision that you took, what would it be?

I would’ve graduated in fine-arts, but I do not really regret being an Engineer. Both the things have worked quite fine as I have learned to balance my work life and my passion.

 To check out more of his sketches, click here.

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Interview with Caricature artist – Sri Priyatham

Interview with Caricature artist – Sri Priyatham

Interview with caricature artist – Sri Priyatham

Sri Priyatham, Caricature artist

15th July, 2019


Sri Priyatham is a caricature artist based in Hyderabad who makes awe-inspiring quirky caricatures. He likes to play around with realism and exaggeration to create his own unique style of art. Having worked with brands like Netflix, he has been greatly appreciated both by the art community and the common public alike.

He also conducts workshops with the aim to increase awareness about caricatures  and motivate more people to take it up as a hobby/career.

How would you define art? 

I don’t have a specific definition as such. As a kid, I used to draw for fun, but eventually, it became my escape where I could rediscover myself.

I have been drawing since I was around 5-6 years old.I enrolled in an art school later, but it was just to fine tune my skills rather than learning something from scratch. I’d like to think of myself as a formally trained self-taught artist.

How do you strike a balance between reality and exaggeration?

The caricature is a style of drawing a figure that is blown out of proportions. It depends on the artist to follow a certain style, a few try to detach completely from the reality to make a comical caricature, while few go for a tinge of realism in it.

I fall in the second category. I find realistic textures fascinating and I would say I that I have got an eye for detail, which helps me bring out the intricacies required for the detailing.

What’s the most common issue you face, as a caricature artist?

Most people don’t receive caricatures that well, but the scenario is changing slowly and steadily. When people see a caricature of a celebrity or politician they find it amusing, but when it comes to a caricature of themselves, they are a bit biased.

I receive a lot of customization requests, most of them are like ‘can you make me look cuter’ or ‘can you tone down a couple of shades’. I think self-acceptance is crucial before getting a caricature done. *laughs*

How does it feel to be selected as the only Indian caricature artist to work with Netflix on the Stranger Things illustration?

 I felt privileged to have been selected. The process wasn’t that complex as they were expecting artists to draw the gist of an entire episode in a single drawing. The goal was to have people relate to the episode just by looking at the artwork.

They came across my Instagram profile and concluded that I would a good fit for the task. They used my style of rendering for the Episode 5 from the Season 2. The best part about this project was that I was given complete creative freedom, this is something every artist hopes and wishes from his clients. 

What can one expect from your workshops?

The main intent of a workshop is not to learn something by the end of the day, rather it is to introduce one to a particular art form. It is about getting an idea of what caricatures are and how to perceive them, it’s not possible to learn something completely within a few workshops, so I generally try to simplify the process. 

Even if a single person from the participants likes the art form and continues practicing it, it is an achievement for me. The goal is to encourage people to take up art as a hobby or maybe even as a career. In the end, we need more people who are aware of the art form, who appreciate the artwork and are willing to buy it.

Could you tell us about your podcast, “What the art”?

It was slow in the beginning, it took me some time to gather my thoughts and compile them. Around 4-5 months down the lane, ‘What the Art’ took shape with the support of Aditya, a fellow charcoal artist, and a couple of collaborators – one being Gokul from MyCopie and the other being Keshav who is a Chennai based YouTube cartoonist.

Having professionals from diverse fields gave a four-point perspective that helped to structure the podcast well.

If not art, what would be your career choice?

Although art is my only field of expertise, screenwriting and film making have always fascinated me. I would have loved to try something in those fields if not for art.

Have you ever hit the rock-bottom? If yes, how did you get back on your feet?

As freelancers, we’re prone to hit rock bottom more often than others, but we can not stay that way for long. In such situations, we need to hustle, change things a little bit and stay positive. Something which I personally do is get my stuff together and try not to panic. I try to focus on working on new portfolios which might pave way for new opportunities.

What quality should every aspiring artist have?
Certain qualities that all the budding artist should develop are staying committed and remaining consistent.

What are your thoughts on Stoned Santa?

The art scenario in India, currently, is an agent-based system, where agencies refer the artist for work based on their expertise, thereby acting as an interface which connects artists to the art consumers. And the thing I love about Stoned Santa is the way they are working to bridge the gap making it easier for artists.

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