“Now I just make art that has a positive impact on people’s lives!”
Talking with happy-go-lucky illustrator and Graphic Designer Krupesh Mistry
Join me today to meet Krupesh, whose wish is to spread positive vibes around the world! Krupesh is an Indian artist and Graphic Designer whose love of Pixar has led him to create inspired characters and illustrations that bring fresh and happy vibes to his Instagram Feed. He shares his journey into the illustration world and how he uses his surroundings to inspire him.
Sit back, get comfy and enjoy.
Conclusion — I hope you enjoyed this episode and learned something new. For me, I learned to take my time in illustration and that it’s okay to do other things in the meantime, my feed is not going anywhere! Let me know how you enjoyed this over on Instagram, and I’ll see you next week for another episode of the Pixel Paper Podcast
Please introduce yourself!
I’m Krupesh Mistry, an artist and full-time Graphic Designer, and Animator. I’m from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
I have followed you for a couple of years now and I still remember the reason I started following you is because of how cute your illustrations are! They’re very Disney-esque/kids cartoon type of artwork which is very unique! Could you tell us a bit more about your work and how you got into this style?
To be honest, it’s taken years to get to this, I would say Pixar art style which I’ve always been in love with. Illustration wasn’t something I was interested in earlier on. It started in 2012 when I graduated high school and I wanted to get into animation. I went to a small college here, because I wanted to work with big studios around the world. Pixar was a big inspiration for me.
Animation teaches you basics like drawings and proportions — after that, we do assignments and all. When I started to do it myself, It didn’t turn out as good as I imagined, but after giving a couple of trials I started to try again.
One day, I thought let’s explore more. I was searching about Pixar and digging deep into the studio. I just fell in love with them and their style. They have particular cartoons that have this kind of art style that only they can do. After that, I started to do these kinds of characters, which turned out into this style. I did 2D Illustrations and thought I’d make it into 3D Models but it didn’t turn out well! So I just focused on Illustrations.
So from all these learnings from Pixar and anatomy, I put it together into my own characters. Whenever I get commissions, they want a look-alike character. I observe people around me and I love turning that into my art style. My surroundings inspire me, which I suppose is the same for all artists. They want to put life into the things they see. In the beginning, it was just a newbie drawing putting filters into artwork on Photoshop.
I deleted my IG a couple of times because I didn’t like my art style — I had various styles like comic, 3D (no idea why I did this!), but it’s about the learnings you take and the trials and errors in the earlier stage. It’s how you can find your own style!.
Have you been drawing since childhood?
I couldn’t draw until the 5th standard, not even a doodle! After 7th Standard (about 12/13 y o ), I got interested in drawing on paper (I can’t do it now, because there’s no ctrl z!).
How does illustration fit into Graphic Design?
I actually hated Graphic Design in the beginning — but now I proudly call myself a Graphic Designer!
Illustration helps me create a better composition, colour palette, as well as understand vector illustrations. Let’s say the client wants a certain drawing like a certain head movement or a type of illustration. I know how to draw things because I know perspective, light and shadow, etc. I’ve used illustration in packaging and even children’s books. When you do both, you understand that they both require each other.
What software do you use?
Earlier I used Photoshop. Now I use Illustrator and Photoshop. For editing colours I use Lightroom. For the last 2 years, I’ve been using Procreate, which is easy to draw on because you can just take it anywhere and just draw.
Is your final artwork vector or raster? Because the edges are so clean
Definitely raster! It just takes patience (to make it clean)!
Do you start with a sketch?
Not exactly. I take ideas from photographs and take ideas from them.
How do you come up with these characters? What inspires them?
Animals, peoples, birds, and cartoons! I especially love when they bring life to inanimate objects, like in Cinderella or the Lady and the Lamp. What if my figures talk — like, what if my pencil turns into a magic wand? I like to visualise it, as silly as it sounds!
I’m also inspired by kids — I love them a lot! It’s what makes me happy at the end of the day. I scroll my Instagram full of baby reels. Their hand gestures, smiles, it’s all so pure. There are so many artworks inspired by them.
Since I’m in animation, I also get inspired by things like the walk of a person, or their talking style. Sometimes I get so excited that I can’t wait to go home and draw!
Talking to people makes you better at storytelling which you can put into illustrations. People love to hear stories because everyone's a kid at heart who loves listening to stories!
Your colours are really saturated and vibrant — how do you decide on our colour palettes?
I always put colours at the end of my artwork. When I’m done with the drawing and layout, I try to feel the vibe instinctually. I explore more photographs because they’re a part of memories.
I keep the colours fresh because it gives a good vibe and people want to see happy stuff on social media right? I want someone to feel excited when they see my post on social media.
You can change the colours at the end in Photoshop, so I keep it in the end.
You use a lot of movie references in your work like the Grand Budapest Hotel, Looks that Kill — how do you let movies influence and inspire your work? Stylistically, how do movies affect your work?
Storytelling is my inspiration. The Grand Budapest Hotel I’ve seen so many times but I’ve never looked at it closely. I thought let me see it again closer because I like the colour palette. It took longer than the actual movie time because I paused it so many times to feel the vibe! The composition, colors, and even background characters tell the story.I took a couple of shots and thought about which one I should draw in my way.
Even Looks that Kill, the storyline is pretty unique, which has its own individual storytelling. The idea is interesting. Storytelling and quirky screenplays always get my attention to make my own characters. Every movie has it’s own tone (colourwise), which explains the whole movie. If you see scary movies, they have dark deep colours. If you see inspirational movies, they use green or yellow or blue. It gives a hopeful, fresh vibe.
Who else do you go to for artistic inspiration? And more importantly, how do you use that inspiration in your work?
My first inspiration is Lois! Her art style and colour is very unique. The other artist is Beatrice Bue She is a children's book artist. Her colour palette is so fresh. She mostly plays around with natural colours which I love.
You don’t do backgrounds as much — is there a reason?
Not really — I just wanted to draw the characters. But recently I’ve moved to the environment by putting things around the character to fill the scene.
Your artwork always has a lot of positive vibes to it. What does your art mean to you and how does it affect your life?
It’s always been my goal to put positivity and happiness on social media. There’s so much happening in the world so seeing all that, I wanted to make this kind of art which got a lot more response than I thought. People love the way I put positivity out there with regards to issues. So now I just make art that has a positive impact on people's lives!
Do you make illustrations consistently?
Not really, because it’s my hobby. Recently I stopped because I was too into Graphic Design and I’m enjoying it! But I’m planning to do more when I get time.
Remember a time you were stuck in a deep creative rut — how did you break free
All people have different ways to get out of this. I’ve been here for a long time. Firstly it was 8 months, then it was 4 months. I didn’t know how to get out of it because I had never seen anyone around me who had faced this issue! I didn’t know what to name it. I used to type ‘How to get ideas’ into Google, which is what any newbie would do!
I stopped drawing for a while. I used to procrastinate a lot back then, so I would watch a lot of movies and sitcoms for a fresh start.
I’d talk with friends, or go to new places to relax. Try to believe you don’t know how to draw! Do totally different things you’ve never tried, or were afraid to try!
Appreciate the efforts of other artists and have healthy talks with them! You don’t have to feel competitive.
Do the things that motivate you to get out of that zone. Good things take time to make and so you should take the time you need!