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Coming up: A series of blogs on Italy

19 May

Italy was nothing we expected and everything we didn’t. Rome was overpriced but the food and drink in the pretty Trastevere area were a stifling amount. Venice isn’t half as exotic as it sounds but Burano island near Venice is a grown up’s toy house.  You get pizza as good as Naples woodoven bakes in most good Italian international restaurants but rarely will you find crime and pollution sidling up with palaces and mighty museums to create such an exhilarating blend. Every street in Florence tells you a story. Apart from being hallowed by Hollywood stalwarts like George Clooney and Madonna, Bellagio blossoms pretty in the spring. No amount of reading, romanticised travelogues or photo essay can actually prepare you for the beauty of Tuscany.Image


 Everyone has their own tale of their Italian rampages. For me, Italy was piecing together bits of my history textbooks, living through the Bard’s Julius Caesar, seeing shooting stars in Tuscany and downing limoncellos in the salty air of Amalfi Coast.  

A series of blogs coming up next. I cover Rome, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Lake Como and Tuscany. Some fun tips, what to keep your eyes open for when walking through these streets and two guide of each of the counties mentioned above.

Happy Reading!


Interview with Lokesh Karekar, Illustrator and Brand Designer

16 Feb

Here’s introducing Lokesh Karekar. The rhythmic lines, popping colours and quirky with an essential nationalistic element in his designs and illustrations speak a language of their own. Corporates like Asian Paints, Vodafone and Chemistry swear by him. Her personal designs and illustrations get picked by niche` stores, design houses, magazines and museums, all alike. Rarely does one see work with output, as consistent and unique as his. Read more to know what tickles his imagination-

Indian Illustration

Illustrations for Centre Fresh

A little about yourself. Why are you an Illustrator?
I am from a middle class Marathi family. My father was an artist, I grew up seeing his drawings and doodling on floor with a white choc. I was more into typography and design when I was doing my degree course at sir jj institute of applied art. After completing art college I worked at design firms like Grandmotherindia and Aloknandacompany where I use to draw, sketch, doodle a lot. While working on projects I started using illustration as a medium of communication. After working 3 and half years as an Art Director I decided work individually not only on illustration projects but also on typography and design. That’s why I call myself visual artist and not only illustrator.There is a fine line between both. I don’t differentiate between my personal and professional work. I do pure design projects like identity design to creating Illustrations for brands, books, magazines and products etc. I do lot of experiments with graphics, materials, mediums. I try to convert my design-illustrations into products which people can use it. I supply these products to select lifestyle designer stores in India. Its nice to see my illustrations turning into 3d objects which you can touch and feel.

What is your design style?
My design style is simple, happy, sometimes bright and vibrant. It has a modern twist to the subject and touch of humor to the design. I like trying things out rather than having a fixed formula to work. I like to try new techniques to enhance the project like paper-art, clay-modeling etc.

Why did you take up typography as your specialisation?
As I said, when I was student I was more inclined towards design and typography. I see typography as a design with discipline. I enjoy the process of creating typefaces and playing around with type and balancing forms with aesthetics.. I also worked at NCST as a junior type designer when I was in art college, with my professor Vinay Sainekar.

Inspiration is in-
Alot of things. Modern contemporary design styles and colours, holidays, clicking pictures, folk art, vintage posters, miniature art, local food, local hand painted typefaces, fashion, busy bazaar of colaba, Electronic and Indian-classical instrumental music, cloth printing blocks, etc.

Which aspect of Indian culture do you find most interesting?
I think the boldness, originality, saturation and intricacy of local Indian design culture is interesting.

Your hobbies which add to your professional perspectives?
Clicking photos, listning to good Music. Aesthetically good music teaches us about compositions, rhythm, flow, timing, mood. Same principals we apply when we create any illustration piece or painting.

What gets you in the creative mood?
My sketch book, good music, good food, beer, big blank sheet of paper and pen or a huge canvas.

Your favourite piece of your own work?
Apart from that I really like what I did for THE ARK PROJECT – a bible of animals.

Lokesh contribution to the Ark project

Do you see yourself doing any other sort of design?
Umm..I don’t know.Maybe yes. I would like to learn book design in detail. Also maybe some exhibitions and installations.

If you could pick a song , movie or book (all three) to describe your state of mind what would that be?
Into the wild – I feel very much attached to nature when I see this movie or hear the songs of this movie.

Indian illustrators and artits who you admire-
Mario Miranda,Ravi Paranjpe, R K Laxman, Jitish Kallat, Dhruvi Acharya,Sameer Kulavoor

What sort of advice would u give to ppl with creative startups?
Respect and value original and good work. Good work creates good opportunities.

What sort of music do you like to listen to while creating/ideating?
Electronic and indian classical music.

What is your daily schedule like?
I reach office around 11. Usually I sleep and dream for atleast one houe after eating beautiful food made by my mother [lunch break]. After working very hard I go home around 8-9. I strictly spend Saturday – Sunday with my friends and family. Strictly Go on two big and two-three small holidays in a year.

What do you do for fun?
I watch movies.I have a Royal Enfield on which I go on rides when Im free to get a fresh air and open my mind.

If you could live in any other part of the world right now, where would that be?

Are you working on anything currently ?
Yes I am working on one very interesting project. It’s on a preparatory school and Im developing the identity, look and feel, illustrations of the brand, space design etc.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
No. Never.