Meet Neethi Goldhawk, an evolving illustrator who fills the gap between print and design work with a passion for storytelling!
Inspiro India: How did you get started? What first got you into illustrations? Tell us a bit about yourself.
– I used to write a lot as a child. Prose and poetry were my voice and I took it very seriously. Somewhere down the line, I got caught up in the student life and later in the rat race of jobs. Words took a backseat and I lost my way. I realised one day that I was chasing something, without knowing what or why. So I began illustrating to fill the gap between my print design work and the passion for storytelling. I guess once you start doing the kind of work you intend on, it comes around in similar forms.
Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of visual art and the challenges you face as an artist?
– I try to arrive at a mood with my art, as opposed to an opinion. I naturally gravitate towards a certain colour palette which seems to have struck a chord with many. It’s great, but can be challenging while working on briefs. My style is constantly evolving, and I’d be disappointed if it were otherwise. It comes from an innate need to break anything set in stone.
Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain about your work process?
– Paper, paints and a laptop (with all my software). Although I shuttle between digital and hand drawings, most of my professional work is finished on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. My work process for each brief is different. I like to brainstorm with the project heads without the barrier of a set form or platform. The outcome best serves the idea and not any particular channel.
Inspiro India: Is studying design in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?
– Design or art school is always an enriching experience. Our art colleges are quite affordable. I got a decent fee rebate at NIFT given my family’s financial condition, so I think Indian colleges are very accommodating. You end up learning more from your peers than what’s scheduled in a curriculum. At the same time, if one has a strong inclination towards anything, they do find their own way, with or without professional training.
Inspiro India: Who/What has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
– Just asking a lot of questions. I enjoy meeting new people, and I unabashedly ask for advice. I am always open and receptive to suggestions, they influence me every day.
Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child?
– A poet!
Inspiro India: What have been your most satisfying projects to date?
– I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on a variety of colourful projects, through them, I’ve learnt a lot. It was on the job as a textile and graphic designer at ‘Shades of India’ when I began handling the ‘look and feel’ of an entire project. Art directing, writing, designing and illustrating, it was a holistic role which taught me a lot and helped my journey as a designer in leaps and bounds.
Inspiro India: Introduce us to your project ‘mpillustrated’ and the story behind it?
– I was the last out of 4 illustrators to be roped into the project. Having seen the immense scope of it, I was thrilled beyond words and jumped right into it. It doesn’t get better than travelling and drawing, so in many ways, it was a dream come true. I spent seven days in Gwalior, Datia, Chanderi and places around just discovering stories. Standing amidst beautiful murals from the 7th century and listening to legends of the Kings and Queens, Gods and Goddesses, I was completely transported back in time. In many ways, I felt like I was interacting with the history. Looking at temples and tombs which have stood the test of time, I was at one with nature. It is exactly what I wanted my readers to feel, and why I presented the series in the form of GIFs. I am pleased by the outcome and really overwhelmed by the response!
Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides work?
– My work encompasses everything I am passionate about, drawing, reading, writing and travelling. It’s great!
Illustration by ©Neethi Goldhawk
Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? Any creative tips you’d like to share?
– Everyone has to find their own way, so there’s no singular advice or formula that can be dished out! Work hard towards what you are passionate about and think beyond formats.
Check out his full feature in April’17 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#37 – Download Free.