The Story is the Crux
What was your first tryst with illustration? How did you take it forward since then now?
Ashish Boyne: Since childhood, I was keen on building up stories from my day-to-day observations. I always thought the best way to express my thoughts was through my illustrations. That’s how my journey of illustrations began. My first elective project was entitled ‘100 Kisses’. This project was an autobiography of a teacup on the Mumbai streets. It was my love for stories dwelling around me that brought me into the field of Imagination and Concept Art.
What’s your process to generate ideas, and try to keep your work fresh and relevant?
Ashish Boyne: I am fond of carrying a sketchbook along with me and I instantly pen down my thoughts into vigilant strokes through the power of imagination. I love making thumbnails and doing a lot of research work related to the subject before putting my hands into the final artwork.
What would be your message to clients if you could express yourself as an illustrator?
Ashish Boyne: Normally, clients are very rigid on deadlines, so they avoid the initial exploration of ideas and sketches. I always feel this initial stage of the project is a vital necessity behind dynamic ideas and the styling of the project. Spending time on thumbnails and a lot of rough scribbling helps us illustrators improvise our work and convey in-depth Concepts.
What has been your most challenging project so far and why? Please elaborate on the project and how you overcome hurdles.
Ashish Boyne: The project which comes to my mind is Bajaj Electrical stop-motion ads – “Magic of light.” This project, which had a deadline of 48 hours, is one of my most memorable projects. I received the brief to design the concept art of a stop-motion film, including characters and environments. Bajaj Electrical wanted to share success stories with the Indian audience – how they’ve provided electricity even in the rural and remote areas of India. The main challenge of this project was to keep the visual look very simple, such that all classes of people easily relate to it, while also maintaining the emotional impact of the story.
Four different stories of common people and how the supply of electricity made a difference in their lives was a very emotional part of the project. Such a short deadline and handling such a fresh and unique project are very new for me. So I decided to just go wild on a big blank paper; kept all the deadlines and obstacles aside and trusted my pencil to do the job for me.
“I always focus on telling a story through my illustration.”
I started generating ideas and scribbling, which my director appreciated a lot. That was how I got some amazing ideas. Exploring with a fresh mind gave this project a very unique look and helped me simplify the concepts. This further helped the later stages of the project become smoother and faster.
What are the most significant technical elements or features of your work that distinguish you as an illustrator?
Ashish Boyne: I always focus on telling a story through my illustration. That is what I feel is a significant factor in my work.
If you could be another artist, who would that be and why? How do you incorporate their influence into your work?
Ashish Boyne: I would love to be Ian Mcque, just because of the shapes and ideas he uses in his concepts. He really has a very unique way of protecting his imagination.
What would be your pieces of advice to artists starting out in the arena of illustration?
Ashish Boyne: Belief in your own strengths. Nowadays, we have a lot of diversions and online browser materials available. Yet, we should concentrate on the basics and self-explorations.
How did you nurture and develop your skill set over the course of time and how are you enhancing your skills further?
Ashish Boyne: I have been concentrating on different mediums; learning new software and doing a lot of research about what is happening around the world.
Which projects from other artists do you look up to and what about them draws you?
Ashish Boyne: I normally buy a lot of movies to learn from the big guns of films like Tarzan, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Avatar, Star Wars, and many more. I also refer to plenty of art books. I love the work of some gems like Paul Felix, John Howe, Craig Mullins, Iain Mccaig, and many more.
If you could change one thing about the current illustration scenario, what would that be and how would you do it?
Ashish Boyne: The current scenario is that we do a lot of references, which tend to have ample similarities in our work across the globe. I feel that, while referencing is not a problem, following them as it is, definitely becomes a problem. Therefore, it is worth starting things from scratch and exploring thumbnails. That will help bring out unique artwork.