A journey in design that began from a small village in Palghar, Maharashtra, this is one of resilience and passion. Pritesh Gharat, a Mumbai-based illustrator never dared to see art as an opportunity while growing up. But his illustrative instincts fought their way to an arts university in Mumbai. ‘At work, in trains, on platforms or at home, wherever I could find time, I found myself drawing in my sketchbook. It was at art college that I came to know that it is called an “illustration”.’ He realised the potential of his artistic abilities only after achieving first rank and distinction upon graduation.
After learning and experimenting with digital software, he refined his characters and figurative style of illustration. Now working with Enormous Brands as an art director, he takes upon different projects with a persistent interest.Gypsies of Maharashtra is a result of his imaginative power of putting life into mundane things. Conceptualised by Shailesh and illustrated by Pritesh, it is an ode to almost obsolete traditional art forms of Maharashtra. Comprising different shapes and colours, the various art forms in the project connect well with the lifestyle in the state. The character of Vasudev in this campaign is a messenger who went from one house to another spreading the knowledge of festivals and everything else through songs. His colourful dressing, hat made of peacock’s feathers and musical instruments were his symbolic attire.
Gypsies of Maharashtra
To create each composition, a completely different style of digital illustration was conceived. Blending parts of different images, line drawing and forming various types of shapes gives the visuals their folk inspired aesthetic. ‘The design form is very intricate and as an illustrator, it was very challenging and equally rewarding in the end. It gave me not only numerous awards and nominations, but also a lifetime of learning.’ Pritesh’s experimental work received acclaim at the Kyoorius Design Award. With his team, he was determined to send a message behind the compositions: ‘Forgetting our own, we are adopting other countries’ cultures when the entire world is interested in ours.’ His other works include a series of illustrated posters named Feast in a Tray for a brand of the same name. The posters took a creative spin on two popular children’s stories—The Three Little Pigs and Hansel and Gretel. Hoping to evoke interest and curiosity among young artists and art students, the posters are dedicated to the indigenous art forms and forgotten culture of Maharasthra. Much like his work, Pritesh’s artistic endeavours hope to find their way to more platforms and people.
Text Garima Gupta
Feast in a Tray posters