A full-time UX designer by profession, Vartika started Beaktales out of her love for illustration and dsiging where she makes comics and reels based on the character ‘Beaku’, and it’s fun to see how this cute character deals with its life, and various situations.
Started in 2017, Beaktales is a page that is inspired by Vartika’s real life. It has fun reels, relatable illustrations, and a lot more in store. Beaku, who is the main comic character hangs out and can be seen with its adorable Teddy, and this Jodi is nothing but entertaining. Other than this, you will also see Beaku dealing with Monday blues, zoom meetings, exercise, cooking, and more. This page left us with a happy vibe, and the mind behind it is of Vertika who works as a full-time UX designer and makes Beaktales after her working hours. According to her, the name was inspired by a very lame story. ” My character has got a beak and a tail, and I tried creating a pun as well (Tales instead of tail).”, says Vartika about Beaku.
“I usually make Beaktales after office hours. It is a bit challenging because I am mostly working for 12-13 hours every day. Currently, I am managing both, my job and Beaku, as I am working from home. But, once my office will reopen, I don’t know how this will work.”, says Vartika.
Beaktales is all about Beaku’s unique take on life. From handling Monday blues to cooking Sooji to fixing a fused wire, it’s fun and entertaining. There are certain artworks and reels that give a very positive message too, and there’s a lot to take from them. Though Beaku may look like a super cool extrovert, Vertika isn’t one. She calls herself an introvert and a socially awkward person. “Sometimes I feel art is the only way through which I can have real and honest communication with everyone. Also, currently, art means everything to me because it is how I am able to express myself during this pandemic.”, she says.
Her journey towards art started when she was a kid, but she never planned on making it a career. So, she took a safer path and did her Bachelor’s in Instrumentation & Control engineering. ” I was always an artist, it’s just that now, I call myself an ‘artist’. I was passionate about drawing when I was a kid. Even though I was good at studies, I never really cared about control systems and transducers. I finally finished engineering and got selected in the National Institute of Design (NID) for my master’s in graphic design. I was happy because I felt I was a bit closer to what I always wanted to do.”, she says.
Her time at NID made her question herself, and her existence, and that was the moment when Beaku came into her life again. ” When I was a kid my sister used to draw Beaku just for fun. I have always been a person full of weird ideas and Beaku gave me a chance to communicate my ideas to a larger audience.”, she further says.
Beaku is very relatable. Be it receiving random calls from the bank, or dealing with the roaches, we couldn’t stop nodding and smiling on its struggle. We wonder where does this creativity come from and how does Vartika turn them into a fabulous story.
“There are so many things happening around us all the time. So, there is a small lizard in my house whom I always find sitting outside my room. For a few days, I couldn’t understand why I am seeing the same lizard in the same place every day. Later I realized, it was too hot, and I was using AC inside my room, and the lizard was probably just chilling there enjoying the cool air. I found the situation so funny and cute, I also gave that lizard a name. Incidents like these are a source of inspiration for me and this is how Beaktales find its different take on life.”, she says
This lizard post is yet to come, and we might soon see how Beaku deals with this situation.
Unlike most illustrators, Vartika does not follow any style. She draws whatever comes to her mind, and it’s mostly because she has a busy schedule. “I have no clue what style it is. I have just created something which is easy, quick to draw, and animate. Since I have a busy schedule, less patience, and my aim is to communicate my ideas rather than creating beautiful illustrations, so I go ahead with whatever comes to my mind.”, she says.
Sharing one of her most memorable projects, Vartika says, “I was in Mumbai during Diwali in 2017 and I couldn’t go home because the tickets were too costly. I was really sad because I was alone during Diwali and was thinking of crazy ways I could go back home. That’s when I created a comic where Beaku goes home using a rocket. It was a very emotional and yet funny post that is very close to my heart.”
In these 4 years, Vartika has made many illustrations. From fun to entertaining and to emotional ones. In 2019, Vertika was shortlisted for a zine exhibition and had to put up a stall and sell Beaktales’ products. She wasn’t prepared for it! ” I never thought that I would get shortlisted for that, and that’s why I didn’t prepare at all. Also, I had never made Beaktales products or zines before, and I had only 2 months to create everything. I think that was the most challenging project, but the output was really great. I had created the Beaktales calendar for the first time, and it was a huge success.”, she says
Taking this forward, in 2019 and then in 2020, she came up with Beaktales calendars, and it was well-received by the followers. These small Beaku calendars are her favorite, and we too adore them a lot.
Other than designing and storytelling, Vertika is a wanderlust and loves exploring. But, even though she keeps travelling to different cities, her favorite are the ones where she had lived for at least a few years.” My top three favourite Indian cities would be Jamshedpur, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad. Jamshedpur is my hometown, Bangalore is where my professional life started and Ahmedabad is where I have spent the most amazing 2 years of my life at NID.”, she says.
Another fun anecdote that inspired a series on Roaches is touching and even made her cry. ” There was a comic series which I made recently about a cockroach called ‘Roachy’ and in the third part which was a reel, Roachy falls from Beaku’s house to a spider’s web. I had used Prateek Kuhad’s song ‘cold mess’ for that reel. It was such a heartbreaking post that I was crying the whole time while making the reel. I don’t like cockroaches, but nowadays whenever I see one, I remember Roachy and feel so bad.”, she says.
What is about your hometown Jamshedpur that you adore the most?
I love everything about Jamshedpur. I have so many good memories attached to it and the fact that life and people are so simple over there makes me want to settle in Jamshedpur someday. Though I am new to Delhi, I have come here only because of lockdown and work from home. I actually live in Bangalore. I haven’t explored Delhi a lot but the food and roads are good here.
Tell us your favorite local spots in Jamshedpur.
In Jamshedpur, it would be Pizza Puram, CH Area.
Dedicate one BeakTales illustration to Delhi.
This reel I created because of the unbearable summers this year in Delhi 😀
If you have to make an illustration of a local place, a spot in a city, or a favorite eatery, which place would that be?
Champa Gali in Delhi (Because that’s the only place which I have gone recently 😀 and of course it’s pretty)
3 skills every comic artist should have?
Storyboarding skills, Observational skills, and Good Imagination.