Questioning Creatives


This article was written on 30 Jan 2018, and is filled under illustrators.

Shreya Gupta

Hello, I’m Shreya Gupta. I am an Indian illustrator based in Queens, New York. I illustrate for publications, websites and packaging.

When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
My undergraduate degree is in Computer Science Engineering.  So before I became an illustrator , I was working as an IT engineer. However, after working there for around 2.5 years my job got frustrating and I realized that I needed to make a change. I have always been interested in art and drawing. So I looked up online different creative fields and found Illustration. As I had already experienced what a stable uninteresting job felt like, illustration looked like the right move.

Would you recommend studying at art school?
I benefited and learnt way lot from studying at an art school than I could have by myself. Not only was I able to improve my work very quickly, I got faster, learnt industry know hows and also built contacts. SVA is in New York, so the school has many great illustrators as faculty and is also able to invite art directors as guest speakers. But that is my experience. I know there are self taught artists who are doing great. And going to an art school does not guarantee success either. So before deciding to go to an art school, know what you want to get from it as it costs a lot. I have seen some students who had no change in their work while others transformed completely.

Could you describe your typical day?
My day starts around 8am. The night before I usually make a list of things or jobs that need to be done the next day. So first thing I do in the morning is check my emails and the list. Then I get ready and have breakfast by 10am. After that I usually make another list with time duration for each job next to it (hard to follow each time though!) and plan my day according to that.

What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
It is not scary to negotiate the illustration fees as well as the contract terms. As long as you feel what you are asking for is fair, the art directors will always consider.

What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
The thrill of seeing the artwork published, especially in print or on products, and being recognized by others too.

What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
When illustration is not seen as a business by certain clients who ask for free work.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
I have already been an IT engineer so I’ll stick to illustration for now. But I can consider designing book jackets as I love lettering too and using it with illustration.

Any other tips you could share?
The art directors will always contact you for assignments similar to the work in your portfolio, so make work that you love. Also never give sketches for an assignment that you would not like to draw even if the solution may seem right. Illustration is a tough field and if you cannot draw what you like, it will get tougher. Also do not include work that may lead to jobs that you may not want to do even if that work looks great. This sounds very obvious but an easy mistake to make!

instagram – @shreyaillustrations

Twitter – @shreyaillos

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: