Inspiro India: How did you get started? What first got you into Illustration? Tell us a bit about yourself.
– I have loved to draw since I was a little child. My mother is from Fine Arts background and my childhood home in Rajasthan was adorned by gorgeous oil paintings that she had made before she got married. She has always been there to support and guide me. After I finished school, I joined National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and graduated as a Graphic Designer in 2005. Soon after I started my independent design studio – Pinksoda and pursued a career in Brand & Design consultancy. After years of living in big cities and working on computers, I started craving to draw again and to reconnect with nature. This finally led to me launching Airphish in 2013 and since then I haven’t stopped drawing and I don’t think I ever will.
Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of illustration? And the challenges you faced as an artist/illustrator?
– My illustration style is a mix of naturalism and surrealism. My illustrations have a dreamlike quality and are always inspired by nature and wildlife. When I started, my artworks were not so detailed. As I progressed, every artwork became a challenge. Specially with techniques like stippling one needs a lot of patience and having to sit at one place for hours is definitely one of the biggest challenge.
Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain about your work process?
– I can’t live without micron pens. I use them for all my artworks. There is no set process that I follow. Sometimes I look at a subject and draw, sometimes it’s part of my imagination, and sometimes it starts with a narrative; I just go with the flow. Ideas can come from anywhere. Once I finalise on what I want to draw, I first sketch it out with pencil and then I start my inking process. Depending on the size of the artwork and detailing, it could take anywhere from a week to a month’s time to finish one piece.
Inspiro India: Is studying illustration in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?
– I have seen many brilliant artists who have never had any professional training but can still draw far better than any artist from a reputed art/design college. I think discipline is more important. You need to keep practicing, sketching, observing and exploring. Practice does make one perfect. This doesn’t mean that art/design colleges are not worth it. I went to a design college myself and I did learn a lot. But every person is different and needs to decide what’s best for them.
Inspiro India: Can you explain a little about Detailing in your illustrations?
– I use fine pigment pens to illustrate and techniques like stippling and hatching to capture details of a subject. All my illustrations are black and white and i play around with the contrast to create depth in my artworks.
Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child?
– I wanted to become an artist or a dancer. I loved arts. I concentrated more on co curricular activities in school than studies. All my friends came to me when they wanted a diagram for their science practical. In fact, my science teacher liked me only because I would draw diagrams for the whole class on the blackboard.
Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most about being a illustrator/designer?
– The best part of being an illustrator is that I get to do what I enjoy the most in this world – DRAW! I can translate my thoughts and feelings to visuals and share with the world. Also, it’s extremely satisfying to create something that other people can connect with on an emotional level.
Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?
– I love music. I always have my headphones on when I draw. I have done a lot of design work for musicians and music events in past only because of my love for music. I also love to travel and watch movies.
Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? And Some creative tips you’d like to share?
– When you have a creative block, take a break. Go to a peaceful place for a vacation, talk to people who are not artists and give yourself plenty of time to daydream.
Check out her full feature in March’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#26 – Download Free.