Hricha Nilawar - I Feel Illustration Is an Amazing Communication Tool. It Can Convey a Feeling, a Meaning, or an Essence (Digital Illustrator Based in Berlin)



In 2018, for my daughter's first birthday I wanted to give her something that she would cherish then as well after growing up. Any gifts we thought of were relevant either for that time or for later but not both. Finally, I came up with the idea of creating a personalized picture book for her. About how her year was based on a collection of a few highlights from our memories. It was a big hit among family and friends which gave me a boost to explore more.


1. When and how did you choose to be an illustrator?

Illustration happened for me in the past few years. Earlier, I had  pursued a different career as a stereo compositor. For half a decade, I was working in post production of movies where my work was about converting 2D movies into 3D. (ones that you watch with the glasses on). I had enjoyed that part of my career but it was difficult with work life balance. So after moving to Berlin with my family in 2014 I got an opportunity to switch my field of work. Finding something new involved plenty of exploration and wasn't easy to choose what exactly I would like to do long term.

In 2018, for my daughter's first birthday I wanted to give her something that she would cherish then as well after growing up. Any gifts we thought of were relevant either for that time or for later but not both. Finally, I came up with the idea of creating a personalized picture book for her. About how her year was based on a collection of a few highlights from our memories. It was a big hit among family and friends which gave me a boost to explore more.


I started illustrating everyday, inspired by my daughter and my family and posting it on Instagram and I continued because of the response I got. While creating the personal story book for my daughter's first birthday, I realized how much I like the process and how much I missed it. Being a person of few words, I felt I could express my feelings through illustrations better. This is how my work as an illustrator started.


2. What is the role and scope of work for an illustrator? 


I Feel illustration is an amazing communication tool. It can convey a feeling, a meaning, or an essence. sometimes more effectively than a  text can. Illustrations can simplify a complicated idea, compliment the words and sometimes stand alone without any needed explanation.

We illustrators use various techniques to create effects, like the simplicity of black and white, the richness of color, or the use of light and shadows. Typically, one would choose to specialize in a certain industry according to their talents. One can also work for an advertising company, drawing images for labels, advertising materials or packaging. New illustrations are always needed for wrapping paper, greeting cards, books, magazine covers, advertising and for clients personal usage. 

There are many types of illustrators: 

Children’s Book Illustrator

Fashion Illustrator

Storyboard Illustrator/Artist

Technical Illustrator

Medical Illustrator

Product Illustrator

Editorial Illustrator

3. Which are some of the tools & software that a graphic designer or an illustrator must be aware of?

Here is a list of the software and hardware tools that I feel every digital illustrator should be aware of.

Software list

Procreate

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Tools

Laptop or desktop

a good printer or a dedicated printing shop

graphic tablet and stylus.

social media platform for feedback and promotion

As you consider which software to go with, start with your current needs and what capabilities you anticipate as you grow your business and skill set. Many software packages are expensive, particularly those using subscription models. Buy for what you need to find the best value with these programs.

4. How in your opinion has this profession changed over the years?

As we know technology changes over every decade, but in the past few years, the digital sphere went through a rapid growth spurt, testing designers’ ability to adapt like never before. 

With digital spaces growing at an exponential rate, designers found their workload on the rise, and their toolbox had to undergo some upgrades to keep up. 

In the meantime, not only did our portfolios move online but our workspaces did as well. All in all, there was no shortage of ways for us to market ourselves and no shortage of competition too.

5. Do you often have to keep upskilling yourself?

Yes, Absolutely! I feel no matter where you are in your career or life for that matter, you are probably constantly changing, evolving and seeking to improve.

6. How can one develop a keen sense for design and aesthetics?

I think the more familiar you are with something, the easier it is to make more sense out of it. Once you know how something works in detail, only then can you understand every aspect of it. According to me these are a few things that can help you develop the aesthetics of your creative work. 

Adding some meaningful value to it when possible

Traveling


It is an integral practice to improve your design and graphical sense. It also helps to overcome art block effectively. Besides, while traveling there is always the opportunity to come across something new and unique to take back with you.


Being flexible to new ideas.


Asking questions like why this design?, What will be the impact of a given shape in the artwork?, How will people relate to this color scheme?


Reading art blogs.


Following your favorite artist/designer and observing their work.


Playing around with colors and light to understand how it works and create different moods and emotions.


Eventually everyone has to come up with their unique style to stand out from the crowd. If you wish to be recognized for your graphical sense, make sure that you know what every color means and how to use it effectively in different situations.

Last but not the least, it should appeal to the general audience.

7. Your favorite book and why?

As an illustrator I'd pick the picture book that I absolutely love..'The Rabbit Listened' by Cori Doerrfeld.

It's a really interesting book for children's with a deep message for parents. A beautiful reminder to be in the moment with our kids. I think every parent should have it.

8. What inspires you to keep creating?

Anything and everything, especially my two daughters and Family.  Movies, Web series, people walking down the street, nature, dreams, my thoughts…whatever I get to experience in life. 

Interviewed By - Devyani Roy

Bio:

Hricha Nilawar is a Digital Illustrator based in Berlin, Germany with her family. She’s a self made artist inspired by her daughter Sarthi to start drawing. She shot to fame with her Instagram account @quirky_cloud which has become very popular (more than 100K followers) over the course of last couple of years where she started posting her work.

Her series on ‘Inspiring Indian Women’ has got her a different level of admiration amongst her audience. She works on custom illustration orders for various occasions. She has also worked on children’s books and aims to focus on that work more in future.

She’s also a travel enthusiast and has travelled to 30 countries by her 30th birthday. Before moving to Germany, Hricha worked as a stereo-compositor in India and has worked on many Hollywood movies (3D) like Jurassic Park, Titanic, Kung fu Panda, Avengers and many more. Right now she’s mostly occupied with her 2 month daughter Asmi.

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