Sri Priyatham is a professional freelance artist based in Hyderabad. An Illustrator with a background in Fine Arts and expertise of 10 years in the creative industry, some of his clientele includes Netflix USA, Amazon Prime Video, and Wacom.
Sri Priyatham: It started from being a kid with a narrowed focus on Cartoon Network and its cartoons. With my poor performance and lack of sharpness in academics, art grew over me in the early phase of my schooling, where I recreated almost every cartoon I watched.
This included a few hundred Pokemons and Beyblades. Eventually, I was sure I’d pick something in relevance to art, even though I knew nothing about a course or designation until I enrolled myself in an art school. There I started freelancing around my 2nd-year with a few independent commissions, to begin with.
Please name a few projects you’ve done that you’d call your best so far and also kindly take us through it, from brief to result.
Sri Priyatham: A significant assignment was a medical-based project with LVPEI, Hyderabad, on ophthalmological anatomy for the Microsoft HoloLens project with CYIENT. I got to be the design consultant to help 3D artists convert 2D illustrations of human eye anatomy into AR compatible models for students.
It was a massive learning curve as I got to understand the depths of the ophthalmology department while working closely with veteran eye surgeons for many months.
Which illustrators inspire you in particular and what about their work or style fascinates you?
Sri Priyatham: Artists I’m inspired by are Jason Seiler for his realistic approach in caricatures and textural aesthetics in digital pieces; Jan Op De Beeck for his masterful lines and exaggeration techniques; Viktor Kalvachev, for his unlimited fantastical characters and lines; Jens Classens for his simplification of forms and Benjamin Bjorklund for his abstract portraits.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?
Sri Priyatham: Advice I’d give myself if I could go back in time would be to interact with more people and not let awkwardness or introversion become a hindrance to growth.
What kind of clients do you prefer or look for and what is your process of collaborating with them?
Sri Priyatham: I prefer people who are realistic in their projects and know what they want – a bit of what they’re getting into, at the least. Also, ones who are totally fine with fluctuating commercial aspects alongside mutual respect for other professionals.
What would you say are your dream projects and why do you consider them such?
Sri Priyatham: My dream projects involve working with show creators and writers because of my love for screenwriting and filmmaking. The visualization part is what highly fascinates me towards a script more than anything. Precisely, a storyboard or a visual narrative–something written by Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould.
What, according to you, is the purpose of illustration and what is its current relevance in the world?
Sri Priyatham: The purpose and relevance of illustration, according to me, is to fetch away and realize someone’s thoughts into reality; to make people believe about something unusually beautiful in everything we see every day. To make the world a better place through a lot of transcending messages with art.
What was the nature of your illustrative work with Netflix, Amazon and the likes?
Sri Priyatham: Most of the creatives I do for production houses pertain to post-release promotion campaigns for their films and shows.
If you could change one thing about the illustrative world today, what would it be and why?
Sri Priyatham: I would like to change the perception about caricatures and exaggerated illustrations as an art form, in general.
Finally, what are your artistic influences and inspirations?
Sri Priyatham: I draw a lot of inspiration from popular culture, cinematographers, writers, and musicians like AR Rahman, Hans Zimmer, and Max Richter. Also, people who deal with a lot of nature i.e., people, light, landscapes, psychologies, auditory patterns inspire me.