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Interview with international awards winner Neha Katkar

Posted By : Mukesh Dube    At 1/12/2015 10:20:06 PM

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Tags : International Awards Winner      Neha Katkar     Doodlee-Do    

From an Applied Arts student to a national and international awards winner ... tell us about your journey of artistic achievements. What makes you tick?
Neha Katkar : I was born in Pune but had my initial scholling in Hubli, Karnataka. We moved to Mumbai as my father got transfered there. I graduated from Sophia Polytechnic  in Applied Art. After my graduation I did a stort  stint at Big ND Studio and there after worked for Studio Eeksaurus where I had the opportunity to work  under Suresh Eriyat. My tenure at Eeksaurus helped me not only to get new insights and sharpen my skills but also got opportunities to do ad films and illustrations. I have also worked for reputed agencies and design studios as a freelancer and have done some illustrations for Cannes Festival. I have won national and international awards and stood 1st in Ibdaa International Award which was held in Dubai in the year 2009. I have now started my own venture under the brand name "Doodlee-Do".


How did you get started as an illustrator?
Neha Katkar : When I was in 6th std I had participated in a contest the drawings of which was sent to Japan. In this art contest I won silver medal. My artwork got printed in a local newspaper as well. The satisfaction that I got after knowing that my work was published in newspaper cannot be compared to any other joy. It was a great fun for me :). This brought my hidden creativity to the fore.  Then I realized that I loved drawing and painting. I remember as a child my Kannada teacher never took any tuition fees from me but made me do some artwork for her which she greatly liked and framed some of them :). As a child I lived a lot in my imagination making up stories and creating more exciting world. My parents were very encouraging.

Making the decision to join an art college was probably the most important milestone in my journey into art. But for my mom's encouragement I wouldn't have been where I m today. I took illustration as my major subject because it was so much fun. I could have any style I wanted which could be funny or serious, and there were endless possibilities of where my illustration would end up. From then on I focused on illustration. And it paid off. 

Who are some of your favourite illustrators? Were any of them particularly inspirational?

Neha Katkar : Some of my favorite artists are Steve Simpson, Aitch and Yeji Yun, I admire their style and technique and how complex their style.

How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started.
Neha Katkar : It’s a bit difficult to say how I developed my style. It has been a long journey since I first started drawing. And I usually love to do experimental things and just not stick with one particular style. Exploring is what I like to do. And sometimes I draw without expectations or even thinking, it turns out to be the best illustration. That’s probably the best way to develop ‘style’. My illustration is only finished when I am completely satisfied with it.

Can you briefly explain your creative process, medium, etc?
Neha Katkar : Fifty percent of what I do is pencil work, sketching. It’s where the ideas get fleshed out and where I find the solutions to my briefs. The other half is working digitally. So pencil first, computer second. I some times like to plan the piece as I go, sometimes using scissors and moving parts around. It’s good to plan and draft, but the best things often happen by chance.

I usually tell humorous stories in my illustration. It’s important for me to try and connect with the audience on some emotional level…usually happiness. The biggest reaction I get from my work is that it makes people smile.

How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
Neha Katkar : I constantly evolve in developing new ideas and style. I actually feel completely free when it comes to creating and working and above all, I like to follow my intuition and take advantage of happy accidents.

Do you have creative slumps?  What do you do then?
Neha Katkar : Yes, I do. To keep myself motivated I try and go out everyday and see new things. Travelling gives me lot of happiness and opportunity to unwind myself. Also, yummy food, good music, and tea time snacks keep me going when I am feeling stuck.

What is the most “fun” part of your job?
Neha Katkar : It feels weird to call it job as I find it fun (most of the time). I’m always amazed when I get a message from someone halfway across the world. You never expect that the artwork you do for fun will end up touching someone in UK and China. & I think that is the amazing part. And yes working with some creative people is really exciting.

... and the most difficult part of your job?
Neha Katkar : I work like one man army and from doing the designing part,  accounts and printing. At times it is stressfull (but I enjoy it!).

Please share your experience at Comicons?
Neha Katkar : My experience at Comicons was fabolous. I learnt what I could do given a fItting platform. In fact it is a great platform for all upcoming artists where they can showcase there talents and make money as well . The fact that my products sold like hot cakes speak volumes about the kind of response I got from art lovers. After the exhibition my phone never stopped ringing. :)

5 things inspiring you / your work right now?
Neha Katkar : I am always inspired by how people work in Mumbai and its infectious energy .I also can get inspired by a colour scheme of a candy shop, animated movies, or a song that pops up on the playlist. It can be any thing actually!

Could you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?
Neha Katkar :I have some exciting projects in early 2015. I’ve been working on some illustrations and for mobile app. I want to even focus on my own brand Doodlee-Do because I am getting lots of response from art lovers. And there are a couple of other projects which I need to keep under wraps because its confidential.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Neha Katkar :I have very offen heard people /friends call me lucky as they perceive that everything I get on a platter. But the seed that once sows and thereafter  the kind of nourishing one gives to it finally bears the fruit. Success is never a matter of chance.

Thank you  Neha Katkar for sharing your experiences with us and all the very best for your future endeavors.

Join Doodlee-Do on facebook 

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