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Meet Anjali Mehta

Meet Anjali Mehta

Meet Anjali Mehta

Using illustrations as a mode of education and spreading ideas and issues ranging from animal endangerment, body positivity, women’s rights, feminism and breaking the stereotypical bars of society’s perception of men and women, Anjali Mehta creates energetic, bright, bold with confident mark-making art while most of them celebrate modern femininity in a way that has captured the attention of many.

Now let’s hear, what she has to say about her journey as an illustrator.

 

Art can be perceived differently by different people. How do you perceive art?

 As a necessity to survive and a catalyst for change. 

Your Illustrations are so adorable, yet send a very strong message. What inspires you to do these?

Yes, I was doing my MA this year and I used to attend lectures by different artists every week, which inspired me to question my practice and think about – “what my art is doing?” and “what I want my art to do?”. Once I gave that thought I realized I just don’t want to make pretty things I want to add meaning to it, so it can help empower someone or spread a message. Since then, I’m working around that.

Can you run us through your thought process while brainstorming for artistic inspirations?

Its a very long process for me, but now its a part of life rather than a brainstorming session. I usually take mental images of my musings and things I’m reading, sometimes I take notes on my phone of things I like to draw on. Then mostly on my own, my brain comes up with images and compositions of what I can do with the images and inspirations I’ve observed to create something new. The ideas come to me at random times, so it’s important to keep taking notes whenever you can. 

As an artist, what is the most asked question to you?

The most common ones are ”what is your inspiration?” Or “what is your art about?”.

How have criticisms helped you shape your career?

They are a very important part of your artistic practice. If something doesn’t force you to change your existing comfortable methods and try something new,(which can be scary) your practice and talents cannot go forward.

Could you tell us about your experience of working with H&M?

Oh, it was a very small gig, The person who I was in touch with, Sidharth, was a very cooperative and creatively open client. I did those drawings and he liked my work, we did a few changes according to the brand guidelines and it was done. The whole event was cool to witness because seeing your art on the H&M logo and all the other communications in-store was a good feeling!

How differently has your perception changed as an illustrator?

My observation skills have changed completely, also the way I look at things will be very different from someone who isn’t an artist. Others might feel like that’s just a bird sitting on a pole, but for us, it could be beautiful composition if observed artistically. To be honest everything around you can be made into art you just need to see it.

If you were to learn an alternate art form which one would that be?

Probably, learn to play musical instruments, preferably a violin. 

Are you ever faced with a creative block? If yes, how do you get over it?

Yes, the only way I think for me is to keep creating, don’t stop, if its not the best work you are doing, it still is leading you to your best work.

If you could go back in the past and change a decision that you made, what would it be?

That’s difficult to answer, I don’t regret doing something so strongly. On a lighter note I would have bought a bigger Ipad, the one I have is good but I realized later that the bigger one would have been better for my artwork.

What advice would you give for the upcoming artists?

That’s tough, but I’ll just say believe in your art and keep making it. It will help you in many ways. Also, don’t run after being famous on social media, those things don’t matter. 

How important is traveling for an artist? Do you seek inspiration from every place you visit?

For me, that is the most essential. Travel can teach you things which no book can. And once you see the colors, flowers, paints from a different place and a different artist, it has the power to inspire you to create something beautiful like you haven’t done or seen before.

If you were to be a character of a TV show, which one and why would that be?

I relate to half of the characters I see on TV, it’s difficult to choose one. Maybe buttercup from Powerpuff girls, cause of her attitude towards things, it’s very me or Gina from Brooklyn Nine Nine, simply because I would love to be her, haha. 

 

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Meet Jasjyot Singh Hans

Meet Jasjyot Singh Hans

Meet Jasjyot Singh Hans

What do you call an artist who catches your attention by his amazing illustrations, and then makes you contemplate through the unconventional drawings and at the same time makes your jaw drop with the striking illustrations for the fashion industry? 

Well, we know him by the name Jasjyot Singh Hans. His art has made it into journals, newspapers, clothing, walls, and hearts of the people. Here are a few insights from the conversation we had with him.

Art can be perceived differently by different people. How do you perceive art?

I think of art as an expression of one’s identity. What we draw or create is often a reflection of our own thoughts and beliefs.

Your Illustrations send a very strong message. What inspires you to do these?

I believe regardless of the final outcome, my artwork usually, revolve around themes that are quite personal to me. My work mostly expresses nostalgia and expands on ideas of body image, beauty, and identity, all of them being quite close to my heart.

Your urban depictions are beautiful. What kind of ambience do you look for the most?

I like the idea of creating something large scale much more than the work that can be seen in my sketchbook or website. There’s something really powerful to witness my work at that scale and see it spreading the message of strength and togetherness.

There are such times too when it’s just about creating something that feels playful, something that could put a smile on people’s faces. But whatever it may be, the idea usually comes together keeping the location and the canvas (wall) size in mind. 

Have you ever collaborated with an artist or a brand? If yes, How was the experience?

Yes, because as illustrators, collaboration is central to what we do. We often rely on a body of text/ context to create imagery around. The experience varies on how close the subject is to the illustrator per se, but personally, I find the process of working on varied themes in different styles very interesting and invigorating. 

How has your perception of seeing things changed after starting illustrating?

I feel like the perception of things/ subjects keeps evolving as you create more artwork. So many times I get work on subjects I know little to nothing about but through research, I’m able to expand my knowledge. This helps me in making my artwork more impactful and present it in the best possible way.

Could you tell us about your teaching experience in Baltimore?

I just finished teaching illustration for the first semester at Towson University, Baltimore. I never thought imparting what I know about the industry would bring me as much joy as it actually does. There are certain things that I don’t particularly feel comfortable with (like dealing with paperwork/ scheduling/ public speaking), and teaching has really helped me stay on top of these things.

I still have a long way to go on this journey as a teacher, but so far I’m enjoying mentoring the next generation of illustrators!

Have you ever faced a creative block? If yes, how do you get over it?

Creative blocks are part of the creative process and it’s best not to dismiss them. I usually listen to new music, read a book, sulk, watch a movie, take a nap, go out to a new neighbourhood, etc.

Most importantly, what helps me get over a creative block is drawing through it! It sounds silly, but you have to work your way out of it. It’s different for different people, but this usually works for me. 

If you could go back in the past and change a decision that you made, what would it be?

I strongly believe that my past has helped me in becoming what I am today. So I don’t think about it as a set of mistakes but something has contributed to my growth. Hence, I would not really change anything.

What advice would you give for the upcoming artists? 

Just one thing – PUT IN THE DAMN HOURS 🙂

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Interview with Surya Shetty | Water color portrait artist

Interview with Surya Shetty | Water color portrait artist

Interview of Surya Shetty

Surya Shetty is a brilliant water-color and digital artist who creates prodigious paintings. Just like every other Indian-kid, he studied engineering only to realise that his passion lies in the field of art.

Reading an interview of an extremely passionate man is enough to fill anyone’s appetite who is hungry for true a unbiased inspiration. Let’s take a look at his journey.

When did you start drawing? How did you develop an inclination towards art? 

I started the following art passionately about three years ago, during my final year of engineering. It all started with mindless doodling and then gradually developed into fine art. Art gave me a sense of freedom  and I just got hooked onto it.

When did you decide to take up art? How has the journey been so far? Were your family and friends supportive? 

Surprisingly, I always thought I would end up doing an IT Job, but destiny had different plans for me.

I started drawing as a hobby but as time passed, I realized that art is my passion and this is something I would love to pursue. The journey has been great.  I have had the opportunity to work on some really interesting projects with some great minds, from portraits to murals.

Currently I am working with Dunzo as a visual designer. Instagram has played an important role in encouraging me to pursue art. My parents were not very happy with my decision initaially, but over time they came on-board after seeing that I was doing well.

What made you choose watercolors as your preferred art medium? 

Watercolor is an unforgiving medium but it comes with its sense of beauty. I love colors and the only watercolor would allow me to play with colors the way I wanted to.

What is the first feature that you observe in people while drawing their portraits?

Eyes. The rest of the portrait is shadowed by the eyes.

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

As I said Instagram had a big part in exhibiting what I could do and it got me commissioned work. 

If we take digital illustration software, it has opened art to more people.

 

Any current projects that you’d like to talk about? What’s your ultimate dream project?

Just going with the flow for now.

Being an artist, you might have faced criticism. How do you deal with this?

I am always trying to learn. So I consider it to be constructive criticism and try to improve on the next one.

What are the things that you’re tired of listening, as an artist?

“Can I get a free portrait?”

Many ask me this, and I don’t know what to say. 

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Absolutely nothing. I am too young to be advising my younger self. I am still learning and figuring out a lot of things. Some years down the line, maybe I’ll have some piece of advice to share with my younger self. 

Your thoughts on Stoned Santa?

It has been a great platform to start my career in the art field. It got me a lot of visibility. It has been a fun ride with you guys.

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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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