Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday Tips: A career in the Artistic Field-Decoded

I am the eldest of 6 children, belonging to a somewhat conservative family( though my father was pretty relaxed about his rules as long as we knew our boundaries) and my mom mostly bore the brunt of letting her daughters spread thier wings and fly... but he always played along, thank God!
Which was a big thing a couple of decades back when girls even thinking of getting a job were heavily frowned upon... 
But as the first child to flex her wings... I had quite a struggle to get where I wanted to, with no one to charter the direction or give me options....And there was no Google to help me out!
Having secured a high percentage in my 10th exams, my father was ecstatic that bas! This daughter of mine is good enough to become a doctor.
No matter how much I protested that I wanted to become a Fashion Designer (that was the only career I knew that let you draw and sketch)...
So science stream in 12th it was!
But in my 12th, I studied biology less and practiced my art more. I kept sketching and drawing fashion figures and models and tried my hand at everything that I thought would get me through the NIFT entrance after my 12th.
With no one to guide me as to what was required for the entrance.
And I had no idea whatsoever that there was any other college or any other stream that could take my love for art and turn it into a career!
I obviously couldn't crack the entrance exam for NIFT and obviously didn't go anywhere near to getting through the Medical Entrance!
My life was finished.
I was demoralised, dejected and resigned myself to doing English and hopefully become a teacher or a writer someday, much to the despair of my father.
He had finally realised that I didnt have what it takes to get through a Medical college, so henceforth should now start looking around for a suitable groom for his first-born, brilliant yet disappointing daughter!
but a chance meeting with a cousin of mine who was doing BFA (whats this?) got my hopes up and my creative antenna buzzing...
I appeared for the entrance, got through and was finally doing what I wanted to do... draw, paint, sketch, and lo and behold even had the option of a career after it.
I worked as a Graphic Designer, an Animator, a freelance illustrator and now a creative blogger!
So to bring this rambling of mine to a close... even though these days we have a plethora of choices in terms of career options and all the information is at our fingertips... parents and kids are still confused.
Which line in the Art Field is good or better? which pays more?
What colleges are there?
What if you dont become the next MF Husain? what do you do then?
If you are creative, you love to sketch and draw and paint...
There are loads of options open to you now.
And I'll break them all down for you:

The main Colleges of Fine Arts that you can apply for, are all here at this link:

so to choose exactly what kind of field you want to follow even in the Fine Arts or Design genre is quite a mind boggling task...
There are soooo many options to chose from.
If you are very arty... that is you want to only draw and sketch and paint...
well then a BFA from a Fine Arts College is the one for you.
even in that, you can choose between Painting, Scuplture, Printmaking, Ceramics
The above are all part of Painting and Fine Arts.
  • And with this behind you, you can hold Exhibitions of your paintings and sculptures, become an art Curator or an Art Gallery owner, an Art Historian, a Museum curator, a Museum Manager.
  • Or else do an MFA and become an Art teacher in a school or a College,
  • Do a further course and become a professor in an Art College.
  • Or else. advertise and network and take you own Art classes.

These Fine Arts Colleges also offer Applied Arts in BFA.
In this they teach you graphic design and illustration and photography.
With the Applied Arts degree, you can work in:
  •  Advertising Agencies as visualisers, illustrators and move onto becoming big-shot Art Directors or Creative Directors.
  • Another logical step you can take is to become animators... whether 2D or 3D. Animation is a BIG industry that is the backbone of today's advertising and movie making world.
  • Or else you can also venture out on your own as a freelance illustrator and book designer. The Children's Book Industry is also a very lucrative industry and freelancing gives you immense freedom to work on your own terms.
  • You can do a multimedia course and become a Web Designer- a very good option in today's internet dominated world.

Then there are Top Design Colleges that offer you everything in terms of design in all forms- furniture, product, industrial, Fashion... to name a few!
They are all at this link:

With degrees from the above mentioned top Design Colleges, one can become become a fashion designer and work in a Fashion House ,
  • Become a Visual Merchandiser that sources products etc. for various big companies.
  • A Fashion or an Accessories Designer.
  • Costume Designer, or Set Designer and you can work for movies and TV.
  • Display Designer or Exhibit Installer that work for showrooms and exhibitions.
  • Interior Designer has a lot of scope in today's homes and hotels.
  • Become a Furniture or a Product Designer..
  • Have a technical mind? Become an industrial Designer
  • Landscape Designer also has potential.
  • A Textile or a Leather Designer.
  • Toy and Game Designing in which you can design Video Games
Many of these institutes also have degrees in Film and Media as well, wherein you can learn film making and commercials.

Now that you know what varied courses are available in the Art and Design world, to apply for them one can prepare via taking cues from the internet or coaching institutes that actually prepare you for the entrance exam of these colleges. Not like me who went into it blindly!
But my two bit is that, yes... a degree from these colleges is like an entry ticket into this industry.
Its important.
But the Colleges themselves don't teach you much, other than the basics... 
What I learned on the job, while freelancing or working in the Animation industry is something that the colleges don't teach....
YOU have to strive... learn... learn from your peers, learn from the internet, and learn from your seniors.... but keep learning and evolving.
Try getting summer jobs during college in various advertising and design firms to se what works for you.
Dont stagnate. 
You might feel after joining an industry... that maybe this is not for you (like I felt when I worked in advertising).
Don't despair.... try another genre in the Art world.
Maybe that will work out for you?
And stick to the job if you are loving it, because nothing is better than to love what you do... count yourself lucky.

If you are the blessed few who have the choice of working from home, then try out these tips on How to Work from Home

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Art School: How to Draw Pikachu Pokemon

I am restarting my Saturday Art School from this week...
hopefully even though I do have my hands full, I will be able to keep up the consistency, if not every week, then at least twice a month at least.
Mostly because I do love making tutorials and also because I know the kids love it too!

so to start with, I'll make what my kids (my two boys) enjoy these days.
And its Pokemon.
whether its my 13 yr old or my 8 yr old... both of them love Pokemon, and even thier cousins.
So I guess it would be a popular thing to learn to draw?
and especially the Pikachu Pokemon...


 1. Draw a medium sized circle. This will define the face structure.
2. See how the Pikachu is tilted in the above colored drawing?   So to get the angle of the pose, draw a tilted vertical line cutting through the face circle like shown.
also draw a horizontal tilted line like shown in the circle that is cutting the circle again in half.

3. Draw an oval in the lower half of the Pokemon face and then the lower body shape like shown in the sketch.

4. Draw two lines emanating from the top of the head on on both side... see the angles shown in the drawing.
Also make the two lines tilted upwards which denote the arms with circles at the end.
See how the feet are made at the base of the drawing? Make them just like this... elengated and one end thicker than the other.
Draw all of them with a light hand (not too dark)

 5. Make the ear around the lines that you had drawn at the top of the head.
Join the line around the arms+hand circle that was made in the previous step, like shown.

6. Make the teenie tiny fingers and thumb around the hand circle like shown.
Then draw the legs on both sides of the body shape, joining the foot.

7. Erase the extra lines in the ear, hand and the legs like shown in the step below.

8. Now we come to the face... remember the lines that you had drawn in the face earlier?
That will help you in the placement of the features of the pokemon.
Just see the drawing and draw the eyes touching the oval of the face on both sides of the centre line of the face.
The tiny nose will go in the centre of the face just where the oval cuts the centre vertical line.
In the same way add the mouth and the cheeks like shown in the drawing.

9. Please remove all the extra lines that are there in the drawing, while checking in the image shown below. Make sure not to erase any important line.

10. Draw the zigzag tail of the Pokemon like shown in the image below. Make sure that the end of the tail is thicker than the base that is attached to the body.

11. Take a black marker/ Sketch pen and draw the outline of the Pokemon that you have made.
Color in the eyes and the tips of the ears.

12. Color your favourite Pokemon in its bright yellow colors and use it in your cards or display it in your home!

I hope you enjoyed this simple drawing tutorial and would like to leave a comment?
Also if you want some more kiddie tutorials or even adult tutorials on how to draw eyes, how to make a portrait, do visit here
Or go to the ART TUTORIAL button at the top of the blog.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Fashion

Making a sample for clients is one of the pitfalls of freelancing... especially if there are hundreds bidding for the project and its something that you soooo desperately want to work on.
I made this for a fashion house based in New York and they had a particular style in mind.
spent a number of days going back and forth with the prospective client,
In the end they ended up cancelling the project.
Oh well... thats called life!
but then the illustrations end up here.....
for you all to see and enjoy because I cant otherwise display the work that I am doing for my clients without their permission.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

SPICY SUNDAY: Tangy and spicy Fish Roast.

Fish is an extremely easy meat to make and is one of the best quick dishes for your weekly lunch/dinner...
And though I make a mean kerela fish curry, my kids are not too fond of any kind of fish curry...
They prefer the crispy fried fish that my mom makes, but last night I was in no mood for another batch of fried fish!!
So I tried my hand at another version of not fried, but pan-roasted spicy, tangy fish fillets...
The recipe was something that I had seen somewhere on the internet, I wasn't able to recall where but the ingredients kind of stayed with me.
I think its a south Indian version of fried fish, because I remember it having curry leaves!
So with whatever I could remember, I tried and believe me, it came out lip smacking good!!
complete thumbs up, and most of all, with minimum oil!
And the kids gobbled it up!

So here is the recipe... simple and quick and completely guilt free.


8-10 pieces of single bone fish with skin
1 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder (adjust to your taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
salt to taste
8-10 curry leaves
1 1/2 tbsp oil


  1. Mix all the masalas- coriander, turmeric, cumin, chilli powders with ginger garlic and lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Rub the marinade generously on the fish and leave for half an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan and add the curry leaves first, let sputter and then add the fish pieces one by one.
  4. Don't crowd the fish, cook on medium heat till golden brown on one side.
  5. Flip the fish to cook till golden on the other side.
  6. Cook all the fish in a similar fashion.
  7. Serve hot off the pan with lemon wedges and onion rings.

Friday, September 8, 2017

September 2017 Calendar- art with Tea

Like I tried my hand last month with a portrait (here), painting with tea or coffee gives a different feel.... though it has the same requirement as a watercolor.
But it needs a lot more patience (lots of building up of layers) and a really good quality of watercolor paper so that with the umpteen applications of water loaded brush, it doesnt warp.
And it has a lovely warm sepia tone to it, so this time I took a different route than my usual portraits...
I made a sepia toned, old door that I drew from my collections of old door photographs of my ancestral home...
they've all been torn down (except one) and I have a lot of childhood memories associated with this doorway!
I am still not very happy with the details, but one cant put too many details with a tea art... the color pigments are too weak.
But I hope you like it! :)

This one is for your phone and tablet:

And this one is for your Laptop and Desktop!!

If you like it, dont forget to share and comment below in the comment section.
I would love to hear from you!!

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