From Mumbai With Love: Sajid Wajid Shaikh

Indian ADC Member opens his books for Illustration Month

The masters of pens, paints and pixels continue to shine as ADC’s Illustration Month forges on!Illustrators tend to be the quieter creatives in our community, but they have really stepped out in force this January, and we couldn’t happier to showcase their work to the world at large.

While ADC has tons of Indian friends and fans on our social media channels, only a handful of them are official card-carrying ADC Members. But oh, the ones that are never fail to impress. Case in point, our next featured ADC Member for Illustration Month flew from Mumbai to Dubai to become one of 24 ADC Portfolio Night All-Stars winners from around the world.



Mumbai, India



Just about every kid can draw, but not every kid is particularly gifted at it. Where did your childhood artistic inclinations come from?

As a kid my mom fueled my creative inclination, pasting all my artwork across my room, gifting me paintboxes and sketch-pens on whatever occasion. My folks trust me in what i am doing. Sometimes they don’t get it, but they are always there to pat me on my back, whatever I do.

When did you discover that “Hey, this could actually be a career”?

Late until I was ready to graduate, I wasn’t sure weather to pursue doing art and making a career out of it because i did not go through a formal training in art. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to sustain in this field. but this was the only thing i was good at, so I was more like “hey, I must make some sort of living with this!”

How would you best describe your style? Do you fight against having a particular style, or do you embrace your style as your “brand”?

I actually think even though one can fight against having a particular coherent style, one always draws and illustrates in a certain way which makes it recognizable over a period of time, which automates to you having a style as your brand.

I regularly try to distinguish one project from another but there are some subconscious decisions I make while drawing something which gives it my DNA.

Walk us through your usual creative process.

I consider myself a mixed media artist, which allows me to work across mediums and experiment. As such, I don’t usually follow a particular process.But regardless of the project, I certainly sketch it through, as it gives me a better understanding of form and composition on a paper before hitting the computer. the sketch can be just a stick figure drawing but it’s the base of all my work.If I am trying something completely abstract, then I don’t follow any process.

Tools of the trade: do you have any specific pens, pencils or other instruments that you swear by?

often I develop a particular style of drawing because the tools allow me to do so. I usually carry huge loads of stationery wherever I go. and I’m in a constant lookout to buy new art supplies. I know how each pen in my pouch functions and then i use it accordingly to get that specific result.

Moreover I prefer a local ballpoint pen, a Cello Gripper 0.7, as the inkflow is constant on whatever surface of paper i use it on, and I can use it to create awesome values of grey for shading stuff out. The lines are pretty fine considering it’s a 0.7 tip.

What is the most challenging thing about a career in illustration?

In my opinion, the single most challenging thing is having faith in your own work. It get really depressing if you focus on listening to negative critics. No matter what, one must not lose his or her art confidence. Work done with confidence often shows positive results.

“No matter what, one must not lose his or her art confidence. Work done with confidence often shows positive results.”

Is there a particular project of yours of which you’re especially proud?

I recently did a project with a wedding photographer for branding his company. The fact that the project sums up my illustration (which was based in intense research on Indian miniature paintings) to the brand ethos yet it puts a smile on a face with its quirkiness.

Cocktail party talk: how do you describe what you do to someone who isn’t in a creative field, and what’s the typical response you get from them?

It’s pretty difficult to explain what I do to someone who isn’t in a creative field, especially to folks here in India. Loads of time I end up describing my work and surprising myself, thinking “did I just say that to get away from getting more embarrassed?” The typical response I get from these people is “do you make enough bucks out of doing that?!?

Where do you most often seek out creative inspiration?

I believe my inspiration lies in constant work. If you are constantly working on a piece, the inspiration seeks you out rather than you going looking for it.

Which professional illustrators do you look up to and why? 

I look up-to Deelip Khomane, a constant source of inspiration. I love this man’s outlook towards life, and he creates something almost everyday, even when he was hospitalized and about to go under the knife. He does not have an updated website, but most of his work is on his Facebook account.

At the end of the day, what do you love most about being an illustrator?

The one thing that I love most about being an illustrator is that I am making something which will be there even after I’m gone.

Illustration Month continues throughout January, and is open exclusively to ADC Members. Not yet a Member? Join today!