Computer Arts: Tell us about the project ...
Priya Mistry: The Phonetic Alphabet is a personal project that I'm working on in my spare time. It's an ongoing illustration series, created entirely on an iPad. I set myself a pretty simple brief: select words from the phonetic alphabet and interpret them using character illustrations. My primary aim is to familiarise myself, and become comfortable with, using an iPad as a medium for sketching and creating illustrations on a regular basis. I work as a full-time freelance animator and illustrator and, like others in my field, often find myself stuck indoors and tied to my desk. The iPad allows me to break free from this and, consequently, feels like a logical medium to try out.
CA: How did you put the illustrations together?
PM: Firstly, I'll sketch out rough ideas on paper. I'll then move onto another project or an errand for a few hours or a day or so, before drawing out a neater version of the illustration. Since I'm returning after taking a break, I'll be able to spot areas that need revising and additional features that have to be incorporated into the drawing. I'll scan and work up the drawing digitally using my Wacom, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. For the Phonetic Alphabet project, I'm using a great app called ProCreate, which works similarly to Photoshop: a layer-based application, with blending modes and customisable brushes and pencils. However, I've found that both drawing and painting on glass has been quite challenging as it feels quite unnatural and is time-consuming, so I've had to really make an effort to familiarise myself with it. I'm hoping, that with enough practise, I'll be able to really speed up my process for these painted illustrations.
CA: How did you get into illustration?
PM: I love concepting and designing characters, so I also wanted to use this project to build on my character design portfolio. My ideas for characters usually come while I'm out and about, at coffee shops, parks, zoos, aquariums and museums. I love observing people and animals – their personalities, traits, and mannerisms. It's probably the reason my illustrations are usually quite quirky, charismatic and colourful. I'm also inspired by a number of artists and my work has probably been influenced by some of my favourites: Lou Romano, Miroslav Sasek, Oliver Jeffers and Saul Bass.
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