Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lost between Corbett, Diwali and Goa

I know I haven't updated the blog for two months now, but trust me its been two months of super hectic action, so much that just a quick blog post like I am putting up today was also not easy.

Anyway like everyone knows there is a new office from where I operate, small one but cozy. But in between all that, I managed to design one coffee table book for a client based out of Chennai. Another wedding album, and then Diwali also came so have been doing nothing sometimes and everything most of the times.

Yes, that coffee table book was a long distance work, but whattay client. Sometimes your work just becomes easier when the client is prompt, precise and as excited as you are while designing the book. The book is in printing as I write this and its based on his time at Corbett National Park.

And then there is another destination wedding book which I am about to finish. So life's been tied up in between designing these books and office and my husband's constant crazy ways. Also I have to say sorry to Diggie, Gautam's former colleague, who has ordered for a customised shoe based on a Jim Morrison theme in October and I have been sitting on it for almost 2 months now.

But I will do it. Maa kasamm!! Diggie I owe you this one at a discounted rate. Though my husband says "don't worry, he also must've forgotten". But I want to finish it. I have already sketched the face on the shoes, its just a matter of filling the colours which is the tough part. 

Update soon. bye for now!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My first client get another first from me

Yuvaan I tell you is one lucky boy for me. Besides being my first client, he also happens to be one of those chocolate boys I would love to eat every day. While my first work, a photo collage for Yuvaan, was made when he was about to turn one, my second work for this cutey pie was made yesterday, on his 2nd birthday.

Life's been full of colour since I got his photo collage done, and of those, I splashed the best colours on a tiny little size 2 T Shirt. Yes, on his 2nd birthday, me and my husband thought of giving him something that he would not get his eyes off. And after spending almost every alternate day out with this Mehta Jr. we realised that he was obsessed with Chhota Meem (Read Bheem) and after his American sojourn, he started loving Mimmie Mouse (Read Mickey).

So we decided to get the two together. The question first that stood in front of us was kya banaaye? We thought of making a bedsheet, but already a hand painted bedsheet from our studio had gone into that house. He was too young to get a hand painted shoe, I mean we couldn't find the right shoe size. And anyway we made shoes for almost every second client so it had to be something different.

So then we decided to get a plain white T Shirt and I had to do my magic on it. So we went to a baby clothing store to get a plain T Shirt, saw a few things that got us excited and I started telling my poor hubby that, "Listen these kids clothes are expensive man!! But when we get a baby and because of his or her shopping, you cut down on my shopping budget, I will cut you into pieces."

But he quickly diverted my focus back to finding a T Shirt for Yuvi. We found one, liked it, took it and painted it. And yes, we got a birthday message on it too which got Bheem and Mickey saying, "Yuvaan's mom has told us not to let him date any girl till he turns 18"

Here's a quick glance at how the work on it progressed and eventually how the birthday boy looked when he got it. 

The plain vanilla Tee

Work in progress

Colours done, outlines left
All done

Papa Purav gets Yuvi boy to pose for a pic

And then the dude after wearing this Tee decides to comb his hair. Dont know for whom though!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Emmy Awards winning character on my shoe

Finally Vinny got what he wanted for months now. Yes, Gautam's colleague Vinayak Shenoy had ordered a Breaking Bad themed shoe like 3 months back. We made one in quick time but unfortunately it didn't fit him. Then with loads of backlog, we had to keep his shoe making on the back burner.

Finally, I started work on his shoe about a week ago, and yes to make Heisenberg's face on the shoe takes that long. And last night I finished it. It was as big a challenge this time as it was last time around too. And I didn't want to make it in a rush because I personally liked this challenge of making a human face on the shoe. 

While making them, Gautam told me how Bryan Cranston, the actor who plays the character won his fourth Emmy Award for the role. When I saw him on the screen, he looked so different from what the character looked like. At the awards nite, Cranston looked pretty old and soft unlike the character where he looked menacing.

But anyway, I managed to crack the look this time too, not without Gautam messing around while I made them. But alls well that ends well. Hope Vinny loves them. And yes Vinny if you are reading this blog, I am warning you that you better wear them. I have had to work really hard to get the right look, and that too with Gautam around. 

P.S.: Coming up next; two rock band superstars. One a drummer, another a lead singer. Keep watching this space to know who they are. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Bello!! Me want bananas

For some time now I was looking to get an order to paint shoe which would be out of the box. Then came in this order from Aanchal, who wanted a pair of gobbledygook but cute Minions on a shoe for her niece Uttara and a Spiderman for nephew Uday. Now Spiderman isn't anything new, but these Minions excited me so much. And they are so cute!

Honestly when Aanchal first told me about getting Minions on the shoe, I was wondering what are these Minions. Then google, as usual, came to my rescue and the moment I saw their picture, I knew I got an order which I was yearning for for such a long time. And then when the work started, I didn't stop for a moment, kept continuing on them till I actually finished them.

Probably these were the first pair which I actually completed in just 2 days. Thanks Aanchal for getting me to do this. I hope Uttara likes her pinky Minion shoes, and Uday makes the most of his web merchant Spiderman. 

Coming next: Heisenberg and another rock star. Wait and watch this space for more. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

World on their bed

I have come back to this blog after almost 3 months, a month of which went in planning my trip and going for the trip. After which I immediately got on my backlog, the destination wedding album and a wildlife coffee table book. While working my a** off on these, I got one of my most cherished works till date, an interactive bedsheet with World Map on it and another two single bedsheets with every cartoon character I've ever loved.

So this order came from my husband's former colleague Rahul Teny. He previously had ordered for two pairs of shoes for his niece Ira and nephew Ruhaan, but had kept it on hold for some reason. After he placed the order for bedsheet is we realised that he wanted to gift them something that could remain with them for the rest of their lives unlike the shoes which they would have outgrown in a matter of couple of years.

The idea of world map of course came from him. Rahul said that his 4-year old twin nephew-niece started recollecting country names during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. So he wanted them to locate the countries on the world map which would be drawn on the bedsheet. On the pillows, their names were written in their favourite colours of course. Ira obviously would like pink and Ruhaan like I predicted liked Blue. 

Like Rahul had asked for, only a few regions were marked and rest left empty for the kids to fill in as and when they realise.

And then in a matter of week, this was what came out. Though the kids haven't seen it yet because they are out of town making the most of the long weekend. But I am keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks Rahul for this opportunity, really!!!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

My retro'est' shoe design till date

Yes. I just finished my retro'est' hand painted shoe till date. And the other unique part of this effort is that the client here is my oldest till date. Well he isn't old but then he is old compared to my other clients who are aged between 6 and 33. 

By the way shoe I made this time around is 'The Family Circus' themed. This was a comic strip from 1960 created by father-son duo of Bill & Jeff Keane. Trust me after reading their strips for research I realised their humour can still tickle your funny bone. 

The shoe has been made for a doctor who still loves the characters Bil, Thel, Billy, Dolly, Jeffy and PJ from this cartoon series. The docs doting sister decided to gift the pair to his brother after seeing her husband's Tom & Jerry shoe. Seema, the sister, has been trying to find the 1960's cartoon's comic book for her brother almost everywhere but in vain.

So the shoe probably is a substitute to the the unavailable comic book. I hope its a good substitute. Hope the doc, who is always impeccably dressed in his crisp formal shirt, a tie, formal pants and formal leather shoes can gather courage to wear colour in his feet. If he does, my efforts will be worth it.

P.S. Coming next: Heisenberg (Breaking Bad)

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Amazing Spiderman - 2, produced by Gopi's Studio

Just like Marvel Movies' second version of The Amazing Spiderman is out, how can my studio be far behind. Just a day before the release of Andrew Garfield starring The Amazing Spiderman - 2, I have also come up with my second hand painted Spiderman shoe. 

Though if I had not made the customary call to the client before starting work, the story would have been different. All this while I thought I had to make Chhota Bheem shoes, but luckily I made that one call to be reminded that it was Spiderman shoes. So with a new look and new pose, The Amazing Spiderman 2 from Gopi's Studio is released for all to see.

Check it out. Coming next, Pink Floyd, Family Circus and Winnie The Pooh. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Who is Charlie? Who is Lola?

"I want a pair of Charlie and Lola shoes," said Anuraj, one of my returning clients. Earlier she had got a pair of Chhota Bheem shoes for her son and this time she wanted something similar for a friend's daughter. Such was my ignorance about this English writer and illustrator's characters that I had to actually ask the client thrice in a week who actually were Charlie and Lola.

Yes, I come from the Doordarshan era where Tom & Jerry, Pingoo, Swat Kats and to some extent Duck Tales were considered to be best cartoons. From the contemporary lot, I do know of Chhota Bheem, Dora, Doraemon, Winnie The Pooh and others, but Charlie and Lola, well. 

But anyway, after I saw their website, I was super impressed. Though they aren't the most cute looking fictional characters, but ultimately they looked good on the shoes. Brother sister pair of Charlie and Lola, with their friend Lotta and a dog named Sizzles adorn the shoes. 

I have to admit I need to brush up my fictional/cartoon characters' knowledge if I have to keep up in this space. Better late than never. Till then take a look at these shoes and yes, visit their website which will be a delightful experience. And yes, I also have my website live, I said it right earlier. Ohh yes, I did. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Presenting to you'll

It's been over four months now after I begin a new chapter of my life. Yes I moved to a new house, with new family members but with same old Gautam. In all this time, I also happened to meet Chhota Bheem, Dora, Charlie and Lola, Heisenberg, Simpsons, Little Miss Sunshine among others. Well I brought them to life on canvas shoes.

But the newest of all this was my pet project, my own website. It got delayed for an eternity I feel. After buying the URL last June, we finally went live a few weeks ago. I didn't announce it since we were taking care of some teething issues. But now it seems all's well. Though I shall be updating it with my work and some more tweaks, but for now its live.

It's called Be generous to give me feedback on the same. Compliments and criticism will be welcomed with a smiling face. Don't forget, its

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Little Miss Sunshine, who?

“I want a Little Miss Sunshine shoe for my 8-year old niece Tara,” said my new client Mishana. Now I was dumbfounded when she told me to design a Little Miss Sunshine themed shoe because I honestly didn’t have any clue about this Little Miss Sunshine. The name sounded sweet, but then.

All Hail King Google. But it wasn't bingo on first try. I found a movie released in 2006 by this name. I was like I can’t hand paint real life faces on shoe, it’s like climbing a hill with a 90 degree steep. But then just by adding one more keyword in the search I found this cute little, round in shape with an affable smile character called Little Miss Sunshine.

My husband who does all my research into our characters mostly told me that this adorable character is a part of Little Miss book series, the 4th book to be precise. Ok then, so I sent the characters image to Mishana and she confirmed the same and swwwissshhh-swwooooossshh started my paint brush.

Let me admit this was probably the easiest character I have made in sometime. And I enjoyed doing it thoroughly. The yellow coloured Ms. Sunshine’s sweet smile can melt anyone’s heart. And in a matter of a few days, the shoe was up and ready. We missed our deadline by four days, but then I am lucky to have really cool clients.

Thanks Mishana for not making polite enquiries for the delay. And yes, for the record, this is my first hand painted shoe with the name of the person who will wear it on the back of it, Mishana's Little Miss Sunshine, Tara. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

I am the one who knocks

I didn't know the significance of these words before my husband's colleague, Vinayak, decided to get a shoe painted of the character who utters this dialogue. Soon, I realised that these words are like a gospel for die hard fans of American TV series 'Breaking Bad'.

Now my husband, a Breaking Bad fan himself, explained me that in one of the episodes called 'Cornered' of this immensely famous series, the protagonist Walter White explains his wife Skyler how his house and family are secured despite him moonlighting as a meth producer. He says, "I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks!"

And after we completed the shoe, Gautam got me to see that particular scene, just to get a feel of the character I got so involved in while painting it on the shoe. And yes, I realised that I had bettered myself while painting Walter White a.k.a. Heisenberg on one shoe and this famous dialogue on the other.  

To get the right shading, the wrinkles on his head, eyes that can scare off a wild beast and that face cut was nothing short of a nightmare. The final product was my third attempt on perfecting the look. Phewww!! Just creating that right facial expressions was tougher than making five pairs of Chhota Bheem shoes, no exaggeration.

Vinayak, fondly called Vinny, was super excited to see the shoe. He was stunned to see work couldn't wait to get his hands on them earlier today in the morning. While on one hand India lost the T20 World Cup finals to Sri Lanka, Vinny had a reason to smile despite that. His Breaking Bad shoe was coming to him. See what we somehow pulled off, I would say it was a daring heist. 

And if you are excited with what you are seeing, the pair is up for sale. Grab your pair before some other wannabe Heisenberg takes it home.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Make A Wish Bedsheet

So this friend of mine is a self-confessed unromantic fellow. He isn't the one who will bring breakfast for his wife on her bedside even once in two years. Deciding to break away from his reputation, Purav asked me to hand paint a bedsheet for his wife Mansee for her birthday which happens to be today.

Bedsheets are never easy to hand paint, and he knew after seeing my previous work. So he told me a good one month back. Brief was simple, there was no brief. He told me, “Make what you think Mansee will love. Because I like what you do on bedsheets.” While that was flattering, but in retrospect I realized that if Purav knew little-little things about Mansee, like her favourite colour, favourite cuisine, dream holiday destination, it would have made life easier.

Never mind, men will be men. So I decided to take the uncharted territory of first knowing what Mansee likes and then making a concept out of it. But how to ask Mansee about her likes and dislikes just for time pass. So me and Gautam got into arguments and called up Mansee to validate our arguments and in that all Gautam weaved around questions to know what Mansee likes.

Once we got to know little bit more, we zeroed in on four-five concepts.

And the final concept, called Make-A-Wish, was nailed. The pillow showed Mansee blowing away candles from her birthday cake. On the bedsheet, its written Make A Wish, and below there is another illustration of Mansee in deep thought making a wish. And the central creative is a thought bubble which shows all wishes that Mansee has in her mind like flying to Paris, playing volleyball, shopping, Yuvaan growing up soon, Purav and Mansee cycling together and so on and so forth.

We pray all her wishes come true. Purav hope you have made a note, now its on paper what all Mansee wishes for. ;)

The entire bedsheet set

The Pillow covers which shows Mansee blowing off the candles

That's bday girl Mansee on her bedsheet with hubby Purav sitting around

The rolling Yuvi boy, Mansee's bubbly and growing-up-very-fast son

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The usual suspect and the new cutey

I dream of Chhota Bheem these days. The number of Chhota Bheem shoes that I have made is not funny. And the count is still on. There are another couple in the pipeline. So when my friend Krishna asked for a couple of pairs, there was mixed feelings as I accepted the order.

She wanted a pair of Chhota Bheem for her son, a character which I sometimes hallucinate about. The saving grace, literally, was the Winnie The Pooh order. Yes, Winnie The Pooh is my favourite, favouritest, favouritest favourite cartoon character. I love them so much that while I was completing my studies in Mumbai and I fell sick, my folks got me one Winnie the Pooh soft toy. This was like seven years back, I was 22 then.

That's another story. So this time when I was sick of making Chhota Bheem shoes, Winnie The Pooh excited me and gave me that fillip to work. So here's the usual suspect with the new cutey pair of shoes.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Avengers Assemble at my studio

"Gopi, come rain or sunshine, you have to give me these shoes by this Saturday," said Hardik last Saturday. I was already under a pile of orders, and this demand from Hardik looked impossible to comply with. But then the excitement of doing new characters excited me and along with Little Pony shoes, I started working on Avengers shoes for Hardik's nephew.

More than me Gautam got excited knowing I got a client wanting Avengers shoes. Yes, Gautam can watch Avengers movie thrice in a day almost every alternate day. That's another story but.

While I was sceptical about the idea, I mean making Hulk, Captain America and others was tough because these guys were superheroes who relied more on facial expressions. And when I started making the shoe, my doubts came true. Making Hulk and Captain America's became a big challenge. These are 3D characters and not 2D, and that's where it just got a bit tough.

Making Iron Man came as easy as the role comes to Robert Downey Jr. But honestly, I surprised myself in the end. And Hardik who picked the shoe like just 30 minutes back was also pleasantly surprised. I hope the nephew loves them. So here is Avengers mini assembly for all to see.