Archive | April, 2012

Interview with Natasha De Betak

13 Apr

Natasha de Betak’s photography makes you feel guilty.
Guilty of looking at people in their most intimate moments.
When they are asleep.
And stripped of their last cover-The human consciousnesses!

Here’s my piece on the photographer, film maker and costume designer from NYU for the Kindle Magazine.

Photographer, Filmmaker


Interview with Jitesh Patel

10 Apr

This London desi has had an illustrious career so far. Out of his backyard set-up in Shoreditch, London which he calls the Jai Studio- Jitesh Patel has illustrated for high-muck-a-mucks like Warehouse,Ted Baker and big names like Miss Selfridge, Bench, Duck & Cover, NY Times Esprit, French Connection, British Airways, Economist, Guardian, Little Brown Book Company etc;

Very recently, Jitesh launched his book, ‘The Tote Bag’ with Laurence King Publishing. The Tote Bag Book showcases some of the most striking, inventive and subversive examples of the ubiquitous tote. From eco chic to style icon, the featured totes come from a wide range of illustrators and designers from around the world, with designs including floral prints, typography, illustrations and characters

Tote Bag Book

1. Where do you originally come from in India / Your Indian connection?
My parents are originally from Gujrat, India. I’ve been to my hometown a few times and loved it more on each visit.

2. What made you become an artist?
I knew it quite early in life. It was one of my strongest interests and the subject I most enjoyed academically, as well as in my free time.

3. Could you describe for us your typical ‘start to finish’ workflow when working on a design?
I enjoy receiving a new brief. In fact, it is the aspect of a project I ‘must’ enjoy. Most often then not, I formulate my ideas and thoughts straight after receiving a new brief. After reading it a few times to make sure I have not missed any of its facets, I research on it and then, go on to sketch the idea. I’m still a littlee technology averse that way. Sketching comes to me more easily than using a computer. When I am happy that my idea fits the brief, I digitally create my artwork. Depending on the complexity of the illustration, it would take anywhere between 2-5 days to formulate.

Paper quilling

4. What are your tools of the trade ?
I use a variety of tools to create my pieces of work. Experimenting with different methods like quilling and paper craft is my favourite recreation and I often end up taking it to my workstation too. I have a core style but constantly evolve with experiences and that is sometimes reflected in my work too. I like to draw, which could be using pencils and charcoal. I enjoy life drawing classes which keep my drawing skills up to scratch. The software I use is mostly Illustrator and Photoshop. 3D Max, which I’m currently learning seems to be very interesting. I am excited about how it could add a new dimension to my work.

5. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?
I believe my work is very characteristic and a reflection of my own personality. My style of work is very delicate and flowing, which is similar to the way I like to think, as my thoughts can generally move and develop from their original conception. My work has been described as being colourful and, I like to harmonise my own environment, although my work seems to be very open to interpretation, its created with a lot of thought. I like to consider the interaction of every element of my artwork and the composition of the whole piece. I tend to see things around me in a similar nature where I like to see how the things around me interact with each other. I believe everything has a way of connecting with each other, animate as well inanimate.

6. What is your inspiration for the book Tote Bag?
I started a blog to show case how creative people create on a plain canvas tote bag (in most cases it is a plain canvas and it is bought to life by a imaginative and colourful print). I have been collecting Tote bags for some time now, ever since I went travelling to Southeast Asia. The blog became viral quite quickly and soon became an inspiration for my book.

7. How did publisher initially react to the idea of the Tote Bag book suggested by you?
The publisher Laurence King Publishing invited me to have a meeting with them to discuss the idea of the Tote bag book in detail. They were intrigued. And felt the idea had potential. I briefed them on the target audience and how I would research and write the book as well as initial design concepts of how the book could look.

8. Which illustrators do you follow, both Indian and International?
Archan Nair, Sir Peter Blake, Jeff Nishinaka, Rob Ryan, Kai & Sunny and Nathan Fox all have a great style and impressive body of work.

9. Where do you think Indian illustrators and Indian illustration stand today?
Its growing at a healthy pace. I have seen some really high standard work with wonderful thought process. I can only imagine it going strength to strength.

10. Colours, shape and images that come to your illustrator mind with the 20th Century India?
The visual cues I can feel and imagine when I think of new India are the colour saffron, colossal construction work, concrete structures of various shapes and sizes, lush green landscapes and the hustle and bustle of people .

11. You favourite city in India which appeals to your design senses and you can draw inspiration from?

Mumbai, certainly. I love the pulse of the city. There is a lot going on. Being brought up in London, everything seems new. Shopping for queer tid-bits like stones, patterned fabric pieces and batik wooden blocks is my favourite pastime in Mumbai. Maybe, even Goa. They lie on the same coast and yet are so different from each other. You somehow take things as they come in Goa. I would love to be based there as a artist!

Illustrations by Jitesh Patel

Jitesh Patel illustrations