Dharmali Patel

Dharmali Patel

Represented by Illustration Online LLC
Dharmali Patel Interview

Dharmali Patel

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

Drawing pictures has always been my happy, go-to place. My love for story telling and expressing my ideas in a drawing led me to a career in illustration. 

Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

Yes, I graduated from Rachana Sansad School of applied arts, in Mumbai, India, majoring in illustration. It was a four-year program that focused on design principles, graphic design and other Illustration aspects.   I continued my education at Vancouver Film School in Canada.

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Who or what have been some of your major artistic influences?

Some of the amazing artists that continue to inspire me are Len Norris, Tadahiro Uesugi,Mark Davis, and Victor G Ambrus.

Describe your working technique and how you came to perfect it.

Once I meet with the client and/or read the brief, I will sketch a few thumbnails to see what character poses may work the best to express the story visually. Once I am happy with the thumbnail, I proceed to do a clean line art pass for the client. When this stage is approved, I then proceed to color. 

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Tell us about the creation of your favourite character from one of your books.

My very favorite characters are named Asha and Baz. These two kids, a boy and a girl, were created for an upcoming educational book series about strong female characters in history. It is exciting to be a part of this new series that will debut soon.

Do you offer more than one style, if so – talk us through the different approaches and the audience you are targeting for each.

Yes, I have developed 2 different styles of illustration for my clients. My first style is tight and refined, and I use this style when I have the gift of time for deadlines and such. My second style has art with a trap line, and the color treatment is a little more organic / loose. I like to switch between these 2 styles depending on the brief / story of the book. 

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Have you ever thought about trying out a different technique or a different style?

Eventually when time permits I want to dive back into watercolor and pencil. During my college days, I trained in different color treatments,  and gouache and water color were my favorite. 

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What do you hope children take away from your drawings?

It would make me very happy if my illustration caters to children's imaginations and sense of whimsy. 

A child’s imagination holds so much potential. My goal is to nurture and inspire that free sense of creativity that lives inside all of us.

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What do you do in your spare time?

Drawing, sketching and painting are my very favorite things to do.

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