Chaaya Prabhat finds that working independently allows her to make best use of her distinct illustrative style
Drawn to design
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, and have always been passionate about it. As I became more and more interested in digital art and typography, I knew I wanted to pursue illustration and design in a professional capacity. I went on to pursue an MA in Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s campus in Hong Kong. SCAD really helped shape my overall design and illustrative style and my approach to project work.
Before I joined SCAD I knew how to draw but didn’t have a definite style. I also didn’t have a lot of experience or knowledge in applying it to professional work. I was lucky to have professors who pushed me out of my comfort zone. During my time at SCAD, I worked on a typography project for which my professor encouraged me to experiment with hand-lettering and it was then that I discovered that hand-lettering was something I really enjoyed. I published that project in 2015 and it still attracts a lot of queries for professional hand-lettering related work.
Hong Kong hues
Hong Kong is an incredibly inspirational city for a creative person. From the outside, it appears to be a largely financial city with skyscrapers and bankers, but there’s also a thriving creative community within Hong Kong that’s very encouraging of art and design.
I worked for a year as a graphic designer and graphic recorder in PwC Hong Kong. My graphic recording job involved me sitting through lectures and conferences, and live-scribing or taking notes of the talks that were happening in the form of drawings/engaging typography. I would either do this in real-time on a whiteboard/ large foamboard so the audience could watch while listening to the talk, or I would scribe digitally on an iPad, which would be projected on a large screen for the audience to see. I got to travel quite a bit to China in order to be at various events to live-scribe. This was incredibly challenging as I would have to quickly translate whatever was being said into engaging visual metaphors in real-time, and also be quick in terms of picking up the subject matter of the talks.
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