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Sumouli Dutta

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Sumouli Dutta
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I am based in Kolkata, India, working as a fulltime Illustrator. You will experience a jolt of happiness and sunshine that exuberates through my artworks. I am mostly into Children Book Illustration, Digital Illustration, Customized Illustrations and Illustration for Brands (packaging design, promotion work, wall murals, merchandise design, etc.). Also I do a lot of workshops for budding artists and children. My Clients: Netflix, Google, Amazon, Cadbury, Himalaya, SnapChat, Plum, Voot, Times of India, Saathi Pads, Benefit India, Bajaj Finance, Kotak Insurance, Better India, Fab India and many More! Very excited to share that I have designed more than 20 Children Books and Covers!
Playing with Light and Shadow
Q

Could you please elaborate on your journey in the field of design, in terms of formal education, personal learning, projects, clients, and experiences?

Sumouli: I have been very inclined towards creative work since my childhood. I was the one in the entire class who used to wait eagerly for the art class. Jumping straight to my graduation, I did a course in Multimedia. Then my art journey took a detour from the creative to the corporate field. Interestingly, art was within me and was not willing to give up on myself. I ended up making random, small illustrations using ballpen and paper during work breaks. A colleague suggested starting a social media art page. I then got exposed to a whole new world of

A mother and her many children

Illustrations, great artists, and much more. My goal changed immediately and I started working hard with all my passion to achieve certain short and long-term goals. The journey I am living is the best. I have learned a lot from my first commission to what I am doing now. The girl who was willing to work for free now collaborates and works with top brands.

All my illustrations are full of warmth and a lot of playing with light and shadow. That’s my style. I struggled a lot to find it and, now that I’ve found it, I am just living my best time with it.
Krishna
Q

What design elements do you apply in your work to ensure it gets the ‘jolt of happiness and sunshine’ you characterize it as?

Sumouli: All my illustrations are full of warmth and a lot of playing with light and shadow. That’s my style. I struggled a lot to find it and, now that I’ve found it, I am just living my best time with it.

A woman playing sitar on a swan
Q

What kind of expectations do clients have when providing the brief and what’s your process to execute it?

Sumouli:  Each work is different from the others. My range of work starts from children’s book illustrations to digital murals for restaurants, personal projects, and brand collaborations. It is a very general routine for all types of work that I take 50% advance after the brief. I only take up the project if I see the client is very crisp and clear with it. I tend to avoid clients who come with vague briefs. Once the work is done with a two-step approval (one after sketching and another after coloring), I share the final file and take the remaining amount. That’s pretty much it.

Two children Christmas morning
Q

How did you get into specializing in illustrating Children’s books and covers? Could you please highlight the most noteworthy

Sumouli:  l love this question. After being active on social media. I instantly realized my love for Children’s books illustration because of the composition, dynamic gestures, colors, and light and shadow play. Every book is very unique yet similar. I struggled to get my first book for 2 years but, since then, have got multiple opportunities. The most noteworthy one is my recent one – I illustrated the whole book for Ruskin Bond’s, ‘Tales From My Heart’ in collaboration with Westland Publications.

A woman hugging her knees
Q

Having also illustrated for such a variety of brands, could you please elaborate on your most significant projects in that genre?

Sumouli: My best Brand Collaboration project was definitely with Google. We educated underprivileged kids about Google Doodle. For best learning, we also allowed them to learn to doodle during the event.

A woman standing outside
Q

How do you achieve making your work relatable for children or even the childishness in adults and what differences do you find in it from illustrating otherwise?

Sumouli: I try to illustrate keeping the child in me alive. That’s the key when I illustrate children’s books. I try to imagine what I would have wanted to see along with the script.

Q

What kind of customized projects have you been involved in and do you choose any particular kinds?

Sumouli: Couple illustrations, family portraits, and wedding cards are most of my projects. I take a maximum of 3 in a month to manage along with other commercial commissions.

A worried woman
Q

What’s your vision for the kind of work you wish to do and your further growth as an artist?

Sumouli: I want to upskill my level as there is no end to learning. I am always looking for better opportunities to collaborate and bring out the best in me, which I feel is yet to come as I am trying to improve my skill set regularly.

Portrait of a woman
Q

How do you feel children’s illustration has evolved, from the not-too-long-ago pre-digital era to a more digital phase now?

Sumouli: I missed such colorful illustrations during my childhood. I wish this digital era evolved earlier. I feel this is it! We are here in the oceans of colors and more imagination. The transition was required and we are still evolving for good.

A boy in the woods
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