Illustration

Interview With Illustrator Preethika Asokan - Lollypop Design Studio

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The world never stops to amaze you and I suppose it’s us humans who keep on adding spice to it largely. My current stint at the Design Studio has made me realize a very different picture of a corporate house or start-ups. It is amazing to find myself into the world of designers and making sense to the logic that only work with designs and not numbers, phew! No numbers imagine :)

Within my discovery of this alien land, I found one person who gets to work with everyone in the team from designers to marketing to business development, and I thought how wonderful it will be to discover Lollypop from her eyes. She is Preethika, our Illustrator. Post her bachelors from Coimbatore, she pursued her Post graduation in Animation at National Institute of Creative Communication, Bangalore.  She has always been fascinated by mysterious outer space and the beautiful sea, and is in love with flora and fauna. Basically, an art lover in any form and medium.

What made you choose your career as an illustrator?

Drawing & painting has always fascinated me; I used to love how colours could magically liven up everything. But, it was only after my engineering, I could gather courage to pursue what I really loved to do. I was already introduced to digital painting by then and I truly loved it. I started posting my artworks on social media and got amazing response that added to my motivation. Finally, I joined a design college and learnt Design and 3D animation along with other mediums; But, I discovered that illustration was my zone and medium, I could strongly relate with.

What is art to you?

Art is definitely the most beautiful form of self-expression.  It is everywhere; from cave paintings to video games graphics; and, it is only through art that I can connect emotionally with the world. It gives us power and freedom to channelize our unbounded creative imagination. If i see an artwork that portrays my feelings, I just feel all brighten up, that’s how powerful art is.

What is the kind of illustrations you do at Lollypop and which one do you enjoy the most?

At Lollypop, I get to work in diverse set of projects from different industries. It’s lot of fun to get my hands on to new stuff every other week, I have created illustrations for more than 10 industries now starting from IT, healthcare, fin-teach and so on. Different industries require different kind of styling of Illustrations. Though, my favourites would be Medical mobile application, where i literally had to research and illustrate some hundreds of medical conditions and second one was project for pets.

What is your process of illustrating?

For self-initiated projects, honestly, there is no process that I follow. I randomly get inspired from my day to day life, take a note of it on my phone and make them after enough procrastination. For commercial projects it doesn’t work the same way. The element of professionalism and creativity infuses together.  I start with understanding the client’s requirement, where communication plays a major role; talking with them directly helps me interpret their likes and dislikes consciously and subconsciously. This is followed by sufficient research about the subject matter and I collect some references and make a mood board with the colour palette, patterns and textures that goes well with the artwork. If the client is happy with that, I go ahead and make the final artwork which is followed by feedbacks and iterations.

What are your tools?

Wherever I go, I carry a small backpack that has a sketchbook and a pencil for my on the go drawings. Other than that, I take a set of Micron pens, kneadable eraser, watercolour cakes, brush pen and a palette. When it comes to digital paintings I have my Wacom Bamboo tablet. The frequently used software’s will be Photoshop, Illustrator and an application called ‘Paper’ by Fifty Three in iPad.

Describe your style

I try to explore different styles in Illustrations and keep up with the trend. But I always come back to digital painting as it is the closest form of traditional painting with an added power of digital tools. However, I love the random brush strokes, textures and the tiny details. And most of my personal artworks are usually themed around space, sea and a wandering girl.

When do you know that an icon or illustration is finished?

There is a very thin line between beautifying and overdoing something, and at times we lose the focus on the actual concept. So, I make sure that my concepts, style and colours are in place and then I can keep on beautifying by adding supporting elements and refining for the final finesse. And, I keep on doing this till I could see that even the minutest of details blend and fit together. 

How do you balance between your artistic vision, client requirement and UI Designer requirements?

Everyone needs to be a team player and that is how we assemble the best qualities of everyone into one masterpiece. To me balancing is synonymous to communication and that is what I do. I always have prior communication with the team and share my concepts and styling, so that we all are on same page and heading one direction. And, if we talk about Clients, I try my best to incorporate all their requirements, but if I feel that something is not adding up right I give them suggestions for a better solution; and, I suppose that is what designers are for, to improvise and add value.

How is it working with designers and marketing team?

I work closely with both the teams. And, the difference in the outlook and perception amuses me the most; in fact even the style of approach is very different. Designers are more aligned with my artistic vision and we understand the pixel perfect theory. We are more oriented towards the details and creation. With designers, I get to learn the aesthetics and the technical aspects of design. But, when I work with marketing team, I get to understand the business side of design. They help me understand the psychology of the audience and what catches their attention the most. They are driven by numbers and always thinking on how to communicate with the world what we have been up to.

How has digital illustrations transformed?

Digital Illustrations are incredibly versatile tool for customizing your design, conveying concepts and telling stories. Flat illustrations being passing trend or not is extensively used in responsive designs. And all the cool SVG animations that you can do with your icons and illustrations are just amazing. Now all the websites and mobile applications are filled with illustrations that are lively and interactive.

 Where do you get inspirations from?

Apart from traveling, I get my daily dose of inspiration from the world around me; but I guess mostly it comes while walking my dog, from all the random incidents that happens on the way and inside my head. Other major source of inspiration is social media, where I discover amazing artists, especially, from a group called Dailyspitpaint in facebook; and then there is Behance and Dribbble. Few of my favourite artists would be Goro Fujita, Jessica Walsh, Izzy Burton, Malika Favre, Marjane Satrapi, Elliana Esquivel and the list goes on.

Give 3 steps to help people create meaningful illustrations
  • Be best friends with Paper and pencil. Draw, draw and draw. Put your ideas on paper. If you don’t know how the object looks like there is always your good old friend Google.
  • Choose a medium that you are comfortable with, be it traditional or digital. Get familiar with your tools and software’s.
  • Practice, practice and practice step 1 and 2. Some of the brilliant artists I know are not born talented but with dedicated hard work.

But most of all love what you do.

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