Born15 November 1977
Place of BirthN Delhi
City of residencePune
- Knocked Up
- Squiggle takes a walk
Vikram Nandwani is an engineer and also a holder of a management post-graduate degree. Of course, these have nothing to do with what he does now. He started cartooning by replicating Disney characters and then graduated to caricaturing his least favourite teachers in school.
He loves dogs as is evident from his picture above.
He is the founder of “Verry India”, a design studio based in Pune. Started in December 2012, he designs fun and quirky lifestyle products inspired from India. Apart from designing products with quirky illustrations, Vikram also illustrates books and creates wall murals. Drawing cartoons comes naturally to him and this is visible in his work!
You can view most of his work on his Facebook page.
Fantastic Five – Five of my favourite books
Yes Minister – Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn
Malgudi Days – R K Narayan
Book of Nature – Ruskin Bond
India of my Dreams – M K Gandhi
Asterix 🙂 the entire series – René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Tell us about your earliest attempts at illustrating. When, where and from whom did you learn the nittygritties of illustration?
I have been cartooning since the age of 5. I started with replicating Disney characters and then moved on to doing caricatures of my least favourite teachers in school. I have no formal education in art.
Where do the ideas for your works come from?
I am inspired by everything Indian.
– the positives, the craziness. You have so much to draw in India.
What does your typical work day look like?
I generally draw during the first half and second half is generally full of meetings and phone calls. Sometimes I travel out of my studio to clear my head and get my creative juices to flow.
What is one habit / trait of yours that makes you effective / productive as an illustrator?
I think the subtle sense of humor that can be added to the cartoon gives it the punch required. Sometimes it works and you get a real good illustration.
What is the one thing that you recommend every aspiring illustrator should do?
Tell us something about yourself that very few people know?
Well not a lot of people know that I am not a trained artist – as in I have no formal education in art whatsoever. I have been working in the area of process consulting for ITES for last 15 years. I quit two years back to draw full time and though it is very challenging and slightly risky, I have enjoyed every moment.
Does technology (the Internet, software tools) help you in your work? If yes, can you tell us about them?
Yes absolutely. Android is a big help and gives you a lot of flexibility as far as research and ideation on the go is concerned. It also is a very useful tool for collaboration with all its apps. I also use Adobe Illustrator and wacom tablet for my digital illustrations – can’t do without it.
Can you tell about what you are currently working on and other works in the pipeline?
Well… I am working on a few projects right now, which includes a wall mural for an office, an illustrated children’s book and one project which involves collaborating with local artisans.
What were the challenges in illustrating a book like “Squiggle goes for a walk”? Is it any different from other children’s books?
As far as Squiggle was concerned, the biggest challenge was to do the character design, design the character in the first place – it had to be a simple doodle with all the complicated expressions and situations. And that took the maximum sweating. Once the character was done, rest of the illustrations were smooth, and actually we went ahead without any iterations, which is very rare.
You are working on diverse areas, from political cartoons to children’s books to art workshops. What do you enjoy most?
I like doing all of these mainly because it breaks monotony. But I did start with political cartoons in 2006 with an editorial cartoon blog called Point Blank so political cartoons remain my favourite.
A few decades back, an illustrator needed an infinite imagination, a paper, a pencil and practice. Today, would that suffice? What are the indispensables in today’s context?
Yes – that is basic. Everything else follows. But today the world has changed, tastes have evolved so an illustrator will have to work double hard with conceptualisation, quality of work and to do something innovative. But that said, today the opportunities also have increased many folds, and you see illustrations absolutely everywhere – not only in books, but on packaging, billboards, user manuals, office presentations, quirky products, social media. So I guess it is much more fun than it was 10 years ago.
Find me at
PlusMinus’n’More: Thank you Vikram, for being our guest on F-pages and sharing with us your experiences as an illustrator.