Broti: I was introduced to the field of design at a very young age when my elder brother was giving entrance exams to get into colleges. I was in class 5 then. It was at that time I got to know something called Design and my impression of it was, "Wow! I get to draw for a living!". I really wanted to take up animation design at that moment, clueless about the fact that Design was not about drawing at all. Over the course of the next few years, I landed up in the Communication Design course at NIFT Delhi. I encountered a very exciting world there and loved being surrounded by a few like minded individuals. The course offered many specializations and I got to explore many of those. However, it was Graphic Design that I instinctively took to.
Broti: There have been a few key moments for me working for the past few years, and I can chronicle them.
Turmeric Design: Perhaps this was the most defining moment for me early on in my career. I got to work under the mentorship of Kriti Monga at Tag worldwide and eventually at Turmeric Design, which was founded by her. I found my understanding of design growing leaps and bounds, not just in terms of skills, but in terms of grasping the design process and understanding the industry itself. I was learning at every stage, from sketching to seeing the final product being executed. Apart from working on several exciting branding projects, I got to do a lot of illustration work. It is safe to say that my capabilities as an illustrator are from my learnings at Turmeric.
Turmeric Studio in 2011
Moving To Bombay and Going Solo: I moved to Bombay in late 2011 to work on more digital design work and fell in love with the city. I was working with Design Stack then and got to know the design scene in this city. In late 2013 I decided to go solo to work on projects of my choice. It was supposed to be a temporary gig, but one thing led to another and it has been a roller coaster ride since then. I got to work on a diverse range of projects, a lot of them involving illustration. I also got to collaborate with some awesome people on projects and work with several studios in Bombay and Delhi.
Seen Above (L-R): Illustration from Ezetap Branding Project | Ashwathy and the Boot of God: Cover Illustration | Gita Mehta Book Series | Illustration for a Mural Project for BASF | Illustration for a invite for a Palatial Themed Wedding at Samode Palace | Absolut Bioscope: India in a Bottle
The last few years have also given me time to do some personal explorations. One such thing was World in a Cup, a fun thing I do in my free time. I have always been fascinated by the interesting shapes formed by the residue in my morning coffee. Soon enough, I started visualizing stories and doodling around them. I make sure I do not alter the shapes of the coffee residue in any way and try to form illustrations around them.
I am also taking part in 36 days of type on Instagram this year. It is a yearly open call inviting designers, illustrators and visual artists to share their view on the letters and numbers from our alphabet. I decided to go with a theme and picked the human anatomy as mine. Its quite challenging to represent letters as elements from the human body and I have been having fun so far.
Broti: It's almost impossible for me to pick a medium because I have loved working on both digital and analog mediums. However, when it comes to illustration, I do enjoy first sketching it out by hand and then digitally colouring it in. The animated gif below is that of an artwork that I drew by hand and am in the process of colouring it. It shows a little bit of one of the illustration processes I employ. While the colouring looks like it is rendered by hand, it is actually all done digitally.
I also really want to explore motion graphics as a new medium. I have experimented with it here and there but would want to dive in fully and learn some new skills this year.
Broti: Well, I loved doing Phonosapiens, but Propagandist is closer to me. I got to do some type explorations in this and do some research on old propaganda posters from history. The outcome was an artwork that looked from the Soviet era, but with a twist. The line "Power to the Doodle" is a play on "Power to the People" and is meant to reflect the mobilising power that art has.
Seen Here (L-R): Phonosapiens - Coasters | Phonosapiens - Laptop Skin | Phonosapiens - Mugs | Propagandist - Womens Tee | Skyline - Art Print | Propagandist - Mens Tee | Phonosapiens - Cushion Covers | Phonosapiens - Phone Case
Broti: In mid-2016, I founded a design firm with my friend and colleague, Dhruvi Tolia. We are trying to define the scope of design thinking across all projects we undertake. Build journeys that start with people and their contexts to define meaningful experiences, may it be in the field of technology, finance or hospitality. We go by the name "Define". We have been working on several projects since then that involves a strategic approach to all communications which are breathing Design. It is something that we have always wanted to do, work on both the strategic and design aspects to define better human experiences. It is enabling us to deliver some cohesive projects, and we get to collaborate with people who bring new skills to the table. The projects that we are doing are diverse, yet our process remains the same. For instance, while we are working on an environmental graphics project that has turned into a large scale mural project, we are also designing a digital eco-system for a writer & reader community for another client. While the outputs are completely different, our core process remains the same. We wish to share out our progress very soon :)
View Broti Bhattacharya's artist page here.