Yogita Butala and I are both illustrators and graphic designers – and
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite users. I first came to notice Yogita´s work via
the official Corel community forum www.coreldraw.com. She is based in and
works from India. But with no further ado, I present to you – Yogita Butala
Well, none yet, but I have art-page on Facebook. Link to my art-page on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Dzyn-Studio/178155215567817
I’m on Twitter too, so you can follow me there too:
What type of work do you produce?
I design package-designs [e.g. plastic pouches/box designs], visiting cards, hoardings, banners, vehicle-wraps, labels, logos/symbols, leaflets, brochures, booklets, gift-tags, letterheads, book/magazine-covers, etc. Recently, side by side I have also started to work as contributor vector-artist for websites like www.zazzle.com, www.redbubble.com & www.shutterstock.com. Here, I supply designs [whenever I can] which are printed on the mobile/laptop-covers, t-shirts, mugs, etc. & for downloading too. And, most importantly, as an artist, I love creating artwork that can be categorized as fine arts, done manually on paper & canvas.
You, like myself, are a user of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. What was it that
made you discover and ultimately drew you to start using CorelDRAW
I got introduced to CorelDRAW gradually. While completing my 9th std [grade] in school, I started learning to use computer in 1998-99. That time, I was being tutored by computer-trainers. After learning the basics through MS-office in 2001 & basic HTML concepts in 2000-01, my elder cousin brother who always had encouraged me to learn using computer, requested a computer-trainer to teach me a short course of DTP [Desktop Publishing]. She introduced me to CorelDRAW for the first time in 2004 ! It was version 8th ! I already bought a book on version 7th which I had studied & I still have it ! Later, I completed my graduation in 2006 & studied some more details about using computers & internet on my own using a book my friend had which was included in the computer-course by Government. Later I completed a correspondence course called ‘Diploma in DTP’ from a private institute. Still, I wasn’t satisfied by the short study of CorelDRAW. I wanted to learn more & more of it & I kept studying it myself in details for next 2-4 years. I studied CorelDRAW since version 7th, 8th, 11th, X3 & X4 & now I use X5 [my own original registered copy of X5 won in ‘CorelDRAW International Contest 2011’]. Very soon, I’m going to get myself my own registered copy of X6 !! Meanwhile, I had seen some printed proofs of package designs by another artist for my father’s factory since my childhood, which were of course made in CorelDRAW ! So, I was more curious to know how the designing is done & that curiosity led to learning CorelDRAW !!
What year was it?
First direct Introduction of CorelDRAW was in 2004 ! Though through a very short course of DTP. It was just an introduction of very few tools in CorelDRAW along with little bit of Adobe Photoshop & PageMaker.
Which computer programs do you use, Corel and none-Corel programs?
I use CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5, Corel Paintshop, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe PDF Reader, MS Office [especially MS Word], MS Paint. Currently, I’m learning Corel Painter 4 & 12. Soon, I’m going to learn Adobe Illustrator & InDesign too, but that’s just to be an all-rounder. CorelDRAW is my topmost preference for designing, my all time favourite software since the beginning & it will surely remain my all time favourite always, no doubt !!! I I have used Xara [similar to CorelDRAW] & Corel PDF Fusion too on the trial versions. Now-a-days, I use Box app [a cloud-based app, easy to use & provides 50GB free space, safe & secure, works well on my PC & my android phone too ! ] to store & share my design files. Other than designing, I also use Instagram, OfficeSuite apps & Adobe Reader for android as well as Any.Do app (a to-do list app) [all of these are available on Google Play] for my android device. I use some sketching apps on my android device too, but they are finger-sensitive. I use iTunes for my iPod & WinAmp for listening to music while working. I keep learning new programs too for self-improvement & better quality of my work. Apart from these, I’m learning to use my Bamboo stylus & tablet won in ‘CorelDRAW International Design Contest 2011’ for improving my design-work more & more day by day. I plan to buy my own Wacom Cintique 13HD graphic tablet, one of my dreams to achieve in the near future ! I’m techsavvy, so I love to learn new softwares & implementing new technology to improve my work.
Do you use any non-computer aided tools in conjunction with your work?
Yes, I do sketch out roughly my ideas on paper with pencil or my favourite black gel-pen before I create vectors & digital artworks, especially while creating commercial artworks. Then, I click its photo with my android device’s camera, if I feel I might lose the sketch or even if I wish to think over it later by viewing it again. If it’s complex to re-draw, I either scan it or simply transfer the photo clicked in my android to my PC. If I’m creating fine art piece using CorelDRAW, I generally create it directly in CorelDRAW. Also, I love creating artworks by hand directly using gel-pen & colour-pencils on the paper & oil-colours on canvas. I capture photos on my android’s 12 megapixel camera, so that i can use them as references for my graphics or handmade drawings. I keep cuttings of advertises or other graphics printed in magazines or newspapers, designs by other artists on print, etc. It helps me to study designing & improve my work accordingly to new styles & trends & also, to keep my designs as classics that will transcend beyond time-being.
Many artists remember a time when they made a decision, consiously or unconsiously. For example when I was thirteen, I decided to become an artist, while I was learning to joggle with oranges, while I was pondering over what I would be when I got older.
Was there any particular moment you remember when you felt that art &
and design was something you wanted to work with?
I gradually realised that ! This is how it happened: I dreamt so much since beginning about my career passionately, since my childhood. The options changed by every situation. During the school-days, I felt my dearest teacher as my ideal, so I decided to be a teacher. Later, when the treatments, operations & frequent hospitalization started in my life, I felt to become a doctor & treat the people well to become fine again, just as my doctor did. Afterwards, I felt I must become a scientist as I always loved & I still do love science. I was scoring very well too in science in school-days. My science-teacher used to show my diagrams & science-sketches in the journal to others proudly to tell how well a diagram should be drawn science in 10th std of school. [Being a science-lover, I still keep learning something from science almost daily, you won’t believe it !] After that, I discovered I love fashion too ! So, I wanted to become a fashion-designer as well ! I love star-gazing & such celestial bodies like planets, comets, or events like eclipses, transitions, etc. I always was & still I’m fascinated by the work done by NASA, ISRO, ESA & JAXA & by Astronauts. Late Indian Astronaut Kalpana Chawla’s & Indo-American Astronaut Sunita William’s works inspired my dream of being an astronaut, which I had considered very seriously & I found it shattered when I discovered I wouldn’t be cured of Osteogenesis Imperfecta [OI], a genetic disorder causing brittle bones. The type of OI limited my physical movements & made me confined to wheelchair forever, so being a scientist or an astronaut was a futile dream. This made me frustrated & depressed. Meanwhile, I was studying arts [English & History] for graduation. I had kept drawing going on inspite of all throughout since childhood upto graduation. In the graduation years, I felt the strong urges to draw.
So, I kept drawing on the backside pages of textbooks & notebooks too even during the lectures given by professors ! Once, one of my professors caught me red-handed while drawing on a page in the book during the lecture. I felt afraid that he would be angry now & scold me for it, but he didn’t ! Instead, he asked me to lend my book to him to see the drawings after the lecture. Next day, he returned me my book with a smile & complimented that “Yogita, you have done really good sketchings & you should carry on your drawing”! I completed a correspondence-course on drawing during graduation from a private-institute called ‘Kalaakalp’ from Pune. I also appeared for drawing-exam externally after graduation. When I was about to complete my graduation, everyone including my family, friends & professors were asking me what career I would be pursuing after graduation. They all were suggesting & insisting me to do post-graduation studies & become a professor at my college or teach little students from schools. But, by then, I had made up my mind to learn deeply the digital arts & drawing only & start my own designing business. Business is in my genes as I’m born & brought up in business-oriented art-loving paternal family. So, I sensed my ambition of combining art & business. My shattered dreams ache sometimes but I’m happy with my designing business & it sooths my aches. I sensed my ambition of designing business gradually this way.
Which year did you start your business, going freelance?
It was 4th April, 2011 when I officially started my freelance designing business from my home-office. It was an annual Indian festival of ‘Gudhi-Padwa’ which marks the beginning of new year according to Marathi calendar system in India & is considered a festival of victory.
Would you recommend CorelDRAW Graphics Suite?
Yes, of course! Any time, today, tomorrow & always in the future as it is kept innovative, advanced & improved with every new version & still easy-to-use. It’s an amazing software !
What made you begin working with the work you do today?
The urge to prove my own worth to myself first & also, to the surrounding world which doubted my capabilities fuelled my ambition of diving deep into the digital arts. Even during the toughest situations like my dad’s accident & the tragedy that followed or accepting a most bitter fact about my non-curable disorder or accepting the rejection from living a ‘normal life’, I was sketching, drawing & creating graphics. It gave me the peace & ambitions. I always wanted to make my success much more huge than my pains, shattered dreams & the insults I had faced personally in the tough times. I wanted to prove to myself that I’m much better than the problems life inflicted on me. I always believe life can take shape properly only by our own efforts. My elder sisters, my cousins & my family supported my decision of starting my designing-business. Hence, it all led to starting my own designing business.
What is it that you like with your work, as a freelancer, company?
I like the aspect that I can decide how much to work, when to work- early in the morning or in late noon or in mid-evening or even upto midnight till dawn to my heart’s content ! It’s not a 9 to 5 type of job as creativity isn’t limited to time. Also, freelancing has given me self-esteem. My work has given me my identity ! Side by side, I can focus on learning more of the art [done manually] from my art-teacher Mrs. Swapna Joshi since last few years via correspondence while working. So, I like being a freelancer !
Is there anything you would like to see in future versions of CorelDRAW
Yes, I would like to see some more advanced mesh fill settings, for example if I want to colour the circle or some odd shape with the mesh fill, the mesh fills should take up the shape. Currently, it’s rectangular when applied & then the designers have to adjust it somehow accordingly. So, sometimes, it’s bit difficult. If this advanced settings are added, I think, creating complex mesh fills would give better results.
And now the question I ask everyone so far – do you drink coffee or tea in the morning?
I used to drink coffee twice or thrice a day previously until few years ago. Later, I felt sleepless nights & also, I was facing some more ailments. So, I stopped drinking coffee. I seldom drink a little bit of coffee. Now, since last few years, I drink little half cup of milk almost twice a day,- once in the morning after my exercise & once before I sleep at night. I drink almost 1.5 to 2 litres of water throughout the day daily. It keeps me fresh & I feel good during creating art.
When creating art and designing, where do you get inspiration from for the
I feel inspired from the nature mainly. When I feel the lack of creativity, I either go out in my little backyard full of trees & plants & by studying other artists’ works. I read tutorials or watch video-tutorials to keep myself updated always. I daily study by observing the work created by other artists.
What inspires you in general in your own work, where do you get your
influences and inspiration from?
As said above, I once again answer you similarly: I get inspired from the nature & every little bit of it, other artists’ works, in CorelDRAW.com community & some other art websites. I love to study paintings from the art-galleries directly. I feel creative when I’m in my home-office. I love travelling too, so that also gives me new experiences which inspire my art to improve. Even being with creative people of various fields or reading books, magazines, newspapers, etc makes me feel creative. I also glance at the prize-softwares I won in the CorelDRAW contests & competitions, just to remind myself that I can do something better than my own previous works every time. Whenever I’m confused about the appeal of the appearance of any design or artwork I create, I seek my dad’s opinion, he has been a best critique & a guide for me.
What do you think is important to think about running your own business
or in your line of work. Is it discipline or something else?
Yes, one must be particular, disciplined & perfect in everything to be managed while running a designing business, for example, from sketching out ideas, keeping those sketches together rather than scattering them here & there, keeping the things tidy, composing or replying to emails/SMS/replying to phone-calls by clients & printing-firms, managing your finances & accounts, learning the online banking systems if you don’t know how to use it & also, to keep yourself updated always & forever about the field of your work & anything else that interests you. Also, manage time to be spent well with family, friends & dearest ones. It makes life orderly & beautiful, giving bliss & keeps creativity flowing.
For someone just starting out, what do you think they should think about?
Well, I’m still amateur myself, how can I say I’m old enough to give advice?! Yet, from whatever I have learnt by now is to keep your mind open & grasp the details by observing. Maintaining good relations with clients & printing-firms becomes very necessary. The beginners should never feel ashamed or feel low just because others make fun of your capabilities. Feel good that you have chosen a beautiful field of work & you can add to the beauty of life by your art. Very few people are really blessed with creativity. Just don’t let the chaos in your life destroy your dreams or your creativity. Keep practising whatever you learn. Keep learning new tricks & techniques of graphic art even during the period when there is no work at hand, as in freelancer’s life such period occurs again & again. Do seek advice of experts if needed, be flexible rather than having an egoistic, rigid mindset. It helps a lot by being down to the earth always as an artist- be you amateur or expert. In the initial period, my dad had helped me buy required things for starting my business, but I never forgotten that if I had taken a loan from any bank for it, I would have repaid it. Same way, I decided to earn 1st as I’m bound to repay him, just not to let any kind of feeling like I have got things ready-made. So, I would suggest the beginners & amateurs in this field that never take things for granted & never be lazy, otherwise it will ruin you.
Is there any big change in how and what you worked with when you first
started out. Have the business changed in any way?
Yes, in case of heavy files above 25MB, when I started I had to send the designs initially using a CD or a flash-drive (pen-drive). Now, I send them simply through Box app. I can converse about the designs with my clients or printing-firms through GTalk or through SMS too, it’s not just limited to a telephonic conversation.
And lastly back to coffee. Do you like myself go out and brainstorm and
sit and work at cafés. And if so, do you bring only a sketchbook and
pens or do you even bring the Wacom tablet?
No, I don’t go to the cafes for inspiration. Sometimes, I do go to the restaurants with my family, but that’s just for spending some quality-time together. I do carry a little notepad in my purse along with a pen every day if I need to jot down something or for a quick sketch of any idea that strikes.
Thank you, Yogita!
Great talking with you !