Interview: Ritaban Das

Ritaban-Das---illustrator
Name
: My name is Ritaban Das.

Where do you live: I live in Mumbai, India.

Known for: I’m an illustrator/character designer/storyboard artist working in Animation industry for over 6 years.

Currently working as:
As a senior character designer and storyboard artist in an animation studio called Hopmotion. Oh, and I’m working on an awesome web graphic novel called Chimera, with my friend and writer Soumali Chakraborty.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
Well I have always loved to draw and have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I remember spending most of my time with a box of chalk and slate which was gifted to me by my father. Like every other child, I also loved to sketch my favourite cartoons. I usually sketched these animated characters on the back pages of all my notebooks and also my classmates’ notebooks. In fact, I was well-known among my seniors for my sketches. I was mediocre at studies but very good at art.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Ohh man! There are so many places..ummm.. Probably France? Yeah French people are uber talented and they got the craziest brain ever. Also I would like to stay and work in Japan. Japanese people are dope!

How would you describe your creativity?
I’m a very imaginative guy. I always try to keep all my creative juices going through my designs and illustrations. As a kid I was fascinated by movies, animation, comics and music so I found I could exude my feelings by my drawings.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
After my school I did a diploma course in 2D Animation of one year and after completing it I started working in an animation studio as an intern. That time they are working on an animated telefilm for Cartoon Network and that was my first real project I worked on. It was a huge learning thing for me.

What do you do at the moment?
I am currently working on an animated TV series as a character designer and storyboard artist but unfortunately I can’t tell you about the project. Beside this I have several illustration projects lined up. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, they are SO manyyyy!!! -_-

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Do what you love to do. If you want to work on this, don’t chase your dreams. Always listen to the most experienced, learn from your mistakes and never surrender. Stay focused and creative.

Tell us how it all started.
After completing my Animation course I sat back to my home for 2 months and prepared my portfolio. Then I shifted to Mumbai and applied for jobs in several studios. That time was really tough for me. Got rejected with so many studios and most of them are looking for an experienced one! But fortunately there’s a studio called Animagic who’s looking for artists (intern and experienced, both!) for one of their projects and I joined there as an intern.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
I think it’s nice to have good equipment, a proper place and to have creative and cool people around you that you can trust.

What is your favorite film?
There are plenty! I can’t tell you any particular one. But one film I can watch over and over again would definitely be “Into the wild”.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
To all my close friends, most definitely yeah! I do it quite often actually.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
With good movies, music, travelling.. Yup!

What is luxury for you?
Luxury means freedom to me, yeah! Doing what you want to do and what you love without having someone telling you what and how to do it, and making a living out of it.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I don’t remember, but I always get really happy when some artist who I admire likes or compliments something I did.

What do you fear most?
Spiders! I effing HATE that creature. 😛

What is a happy life to you?
To live a life with no big worries.

Tell us about your dream project.
Ohh man, it would be so awesome to work with Disney or Dreamworks or even in any animated show of Nickelodeon. Also I am a huge fan of European animation, so that too would be cool.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Umm..I don’t think I have any role model. There are millions of kickass artists out there who make me awestruck everyday and I kind of devour almost everything that they make. Sometimes I like someone’s style of work and then bump into someone and it keeps changing. Although I DO have couple of artists who I follow but that list is kind of toohuge to put in here. Also you’ll never know from where you can get creative vibes or ideas which makes you inspired. It can be an object or nature or music or anything.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
Well after creating thousands of bad drawings (even still I’m creating those everyday) I’m not quite sure whether I’ve achieved to create my own style or not. But mostly my artwork/illustrations are kind of character based and very much graphical. I like to play with various shapes and silhouettes and usually keep things simple. Lately I’ve been following some designs where various polygonal/geometric shapes have used and I find it really cool.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Sketchbook, Photoshop, music! Sorry I wrote three.

What inspires you?
I think the most inspiration I draw for my work is from the place I live and Mumbai helps me with that. The people, the super-crowded local trains, the sea, food, the culture, old houses (I absolutely LOVE the old houses and mansions in the town side. Wish I could live there at least once!) – these are some flavors which have been inspiring me since the beginning. Also, great working environments lead to good work and I’ve been part of this environment for awhile now. Most of the people I worked with are so damn talented. What I noticed and realized is that, if you stay in this artistic environment, you’ll eventually start producing quality works. Also this city’s got so many options and connections happen very fast here. If you do good, people notice you. There are so many events happening: Comic Con, various animation and art festivals where you can meet with so many good artists and build connections. These are some of the elements which really helps me a lot.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Code name: God

Connect with Ritaban on Facebook & check out his blog
Follow him on Twitter @ronniethereaper  & Instagram @ritabandas
Also, check out his singing talents right here

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