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Parul is an artist based in Melbourne who specialises in digital illustration. With a background in graphic design, Parul combines her love for drawing with Procreate, which she uses on her iPad Pro. She can be found on weekday mornings at a café in Kensington illustrating a commissioned pet portrait or local scene, creating layered and detailed paintings one brush stroke at a time.
With a fresh digital illustration style and some exciting projects in the works, Parul is an artist to keep an eye on. Read on to find out more about her creative background, illustration process and plans for the year ahead.
Tell us a little bit about your creative background. When and how did you get started with digital illustration?
I grew up in India where I spent a significant part of my life with my family who valued art and music so slipping into a creative line was only but natural for me. I’ve always enjoyed drawing. I remember as a child, I would spend hours on end drawing, a lot of it was copying from the great masters and experimenting with different mediums. Art was never a hobby or a career choice for me and I always knew that I wanted to be an artist.
I graduated as a graphic designer but only started using the computer for designing much later and mostly learnt on the job. After moving to Melbourne I explored other mediums like gouache and some desktop drawing softwares. It was not until my husband gifted me an iPad Pro and an Apple pencil that I completely switched to the digital medium. It has shifted the way I work and how frequently I illustrate. I love that I can carry my studio in my bag.
What drew you to specialise in pet portrait illustration?
That happened by chance. One of my clients, who bought one of my prints, asked if I would like to illustrate her dog. I adore dogs but I had never thought of illustrating one. I jumped at the opportunity and have enjoyed every stroke that brings me closer to a happy customer.
I'd love to know more about your ongoing series of artworks inspired your suburb Kensington. Do you also sell prints of these works?
I have always been inspired by my surroundings. Anything and everything that I see fuels my imagination. My morning routine is to drop my daughter to school, go to a local cafe and illustrate either a commissioned portrait or a scene that I can’t filter out of my head. The first Kensington artwork was inspired by a tree at the Kensington station. After an overwhelming response and support from the locals, I decided to make a series that portrays the suburb in a fresh new way.
You’ve developed a very strong style using the Procreate software and an iPad. Can you share with us the process you go through when developing a digital illustration? Do you start with pen and pencil or work straight on to the iPad?
Procreate has allowed me to combine the traditional techniques of painting with the digital medium seamlessly. The process for pet portraits is very similar to oil painting. I start with a sketch on the iPad, followed by loose brush strokes to lock in the colours and work my way up by adding details. The process for my other illustrations is a bit different. I start painting straight away whilst exploring Procreate's endless brush options. Procreate, just like any other drawing app, requires exploring and experimenting. I am learning something new everyday.
How have you found having your work printed with Image Science?
Image Science's printing quality is unparalleled. I have learnt so much about the printing process through the website and the friendly and supportive staff. It has made a massive difference to the end result.
How has being able to create prints from your digital artworks been influential to your business?
Open edition prints make my art inclusive rather than exclusive which has helped me achieve a wider customer base. As for commissioned portraits, it is easier to package and post especially to overseas clients.
Where can people purchase your work?
I’m working on my website which will go live sometime this month. But for now you can either send a request through my email or message me on Instagram.
What do you have planned for your business for the rest of the year? Do you have any exciting commissions, releases or pieces you have in the pipeline?
I’ll be creating more limited and open edition prints. Some of my open edition prints will be exhibited in Kensington and as part of Flem-Ken Festival of Arts and Ideas, in Flemington. This will be my first exhibition in Melbourne and I’m really looking forward to it.