October 13, 2014
This week on Knocks, we dropped in on Avinash Bhalerao, Art Director at KA Advertising in Mumbai. Below are excerpts from the conversation.
Q: What kind of work do you enjoy the most? Do you have any preferences between sketching/painting, illustration, graphic design, working with hand or digital work?
Well it started out with a lot of sketching. But then later on I tried to merge the fluidness of sketching and the somewhat ‘firmness’ or sturdiness of finished art with this. I doodle a lot and it mostly springs from humour. I think having a good sense of humour is quite an essential quality an illustrator can possess.
Q: Have you ever discovered something about yourself through your work? What would be a recurrent aspect/theme that one can find in your work?
The thing with all things simple is that they’re quite difficult to come up with. And personally, I prefer a very simple, minimalistic sort of approach to my illustrations. You can always complicate any art piece with adding a lot of elements but it’s difficult to achieve that with just one or two elements. Like I said earlier, humour is an ever-present underlying theme for most of my work. I wasn’t consciously aware of the fact but of late it is the one quality that I have discovered about myself. You need to have that eye and an appreciation for humour, be very observational or spontaneous, all the time.
Q: What materials do you usually rely on for your illustrations and the initial sketches?
Mostly brushes, sketch pens, colour pencil, colour pens and watercolours.
Q: Who or what are your artistic influences if any?
Many illustrators and designers have influenced my work. On a very subconscious level, Mario Miranda has been a huge influence on me. A lot of the vector work by Julian Opie is quite interesting. Nothing great was ever accomplished alone, and having a mentor like Prashant Kanyalkar at work, always makes a huge difference.
Q: Could you also tell me a bit more about yourself? What are you currently up to?
I was an Art student by education. I did my graduation in Applied Art from L.S. Raheja School of Art, Mumbai. Immediately after graduation I started working as a designer at Alok Nanda and Company and then I moved to KA Advertising. I’ve been working there for the past 3 years.
Q: Tell us more in detail about any of your favourite projects (personal or professional), so far.
I was assigned the illustration duties for the ForbesLife India magazine. Magazines or publications don’t have any fixed deadline they are always in a hurry. In one of the issues, I remember doing 120 illustration pieces in 5 days in different styles, mediums and themes. And all the while, I had to maintain a certain urban feel throughout the magazine. ForbesLife magazine compete with international magazine so the challenge was to keep the quality of illustrations of international standard while maintaining a harmonious colour scheme, simplicity and minimalism alongside a tight deadline.
If you see any international publication (for eg. The New York Times or Wallpaper* Magazine), their illustrations have a sense of freshness to every issue. Any art lover would keep these publications in their personal collection. That’s what I had to live up to.
In this magazine there are 4 categories – every category had one cover and each category had 4-5 stories. Cover illustrations and the story illustrations had different styles. So I had to treat each story differently; each one had its own set of characters and plots which made it easier to keep the illustrations different within the series.
It was one of the most challenging jobs of my career but it certainly brought along with it, realization of my capabilities. It completely changed my perspective towards work.
To see more of Avinash’s work, check out his blog avisualworld
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