Ankita Jain holds a diploma in Fashion Designing. She makes gorgeous portraits and creative wedding invitations. She has illustrated for the Telugu movie Valliddari Madhya and has designed the most relatable character AJ who is just like us!
Ankita Jain loves to work all day, and her Instagram page ‘Illustration by AJ’ is where she finds her solace. Local Samosa was in an Illustrating conversation with Ankita to know about her journey of being a successful Creator, Illustrator, and Designer.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I have been born and brought up in Hyderabad. Post my graduation, I got a chance to explore my designing side after finishing my diploma in Fashion designing. Started a clothing studio, The Manthan Studio, in 2015, post which, I started an accessory venture by the name Chic Pitara. I strongly feel that I have always been right-brained with a lot of inclination to the creative side. Hence, my interest in designing and now illustrating. I started Illustrations By AJ to satisfy my hunger and passion for doodling. As time passed, my work was greatly appreciated by followers, and I started getting commissioned work. I have been in this field for about 2 and a half years now, and there was not a dull moment all these years.
Can you walk us through your journey of becoming an illustrator?
Since my childhood, I always had an eye for detail and was a lot into drawing, painting, crafts, etc. I never really thought, as a child, that I would take it up as a profession. But after my graduation, I really wanted to do something that interests me, and hence, I started exploring the creative direction. When I started Illustrations By AJ back in 2018, it was majorly only to cater to my passion for art. But, when people showed love for my art form, I really wanted to do more and that is when I started taking commissioned work. I am very glad that I can bring a smile to people’s faces through my art.
What is your illustration style? Where do you find inspiration?
I do a lot of portraits, comic strips, caricatures, etc. For the commissioned work, I usually ask my clients what is it that they are looking for and work around it, but for my engagement content, I usually pick instances from our daily lives. I try to give a comic angle to a serious topic or a mundane topic. This way, the followers can laugh about it when they come across the content.
Tell us the thought or a story behind your work that is close to your heart.
Before I started Illustrations By AJ, I used to render art and gift it to my special ones in the form of comics, portraits, etc. The kind of joy I could see on their faces would lighten me up, and that is one of the main factors because of which I started this. Art is indeed a special way to bring happiness.
Tell our readers about The Manthan Studio
The Manthan Studio was started in 2015, to enter the designing world. It was the brainchild of my best friend Archana and me. It has an online presence- Facebook and Instagram. We had showcased the products in multiple exhibitions in Hyderabad, like The Label Bazaar, Akkriti, etc.
Currently I have taken a break from it, but I’m planning to work on it very soon!
If not illustrating, what else we would find Ankita Jain doing?
I am a big foodie. So, it’s most probable that you find me munching on something at home or out in a café, or brewery.
Other Indian illustrators and creators, you look up to?
I really like the work of Alicia Souza. She is talented, and her new planners are stunning!
Ankita Jain, what is about Hyderabad you love and adore the most?
Food is something I really enjoy in this city. Besides that, I feel this city has a sense of balance. Nothing is extreme here. Be it the pace at which the city functions, be it the weather, be it the culture. Anyone who comes to this city can easily blend with it.
If you have to make an illustration of a local place, a spot in the city, or a favorite eatery, which place would that be?
It would be Charminaar. Since, it is the one of the oldest part of the city and basically talks about the essence of the city.
You have been living in Hyderabad for a while, tell us your favorite local spots!
Prost is my latest favorite place- when it comes to food, besides Le Vantage and 10D. Concu is my go-to place whenever I have a sweet tooth. La Makaan is one place where I go with my friends and enjoy having long conversations while rejoicing the titbits that they offer. Moonshine Project is where I visit when I am in the mood for some live music. For the Momo lover that I am, I love this place called the Kathmandu Momos on Raj Bhavan Road. Vacs is the one bakery for all my bakery cravings for the last decade or so.
What are your future plans? Any other detail that you would like to share with us.
I would continue illustrating and doodling for as long as I can. This is one thing that gives me true and immense happiness. In addition to this, I am contemplating the idea of starting another venture. Will surely keep you guys posted about it once it materializes.
You can check Ankita’s Instagram here.