What do you do?
I work as an architect during the week and spend my weekends doing freelance illustration work. I mostly do stuff for bands - gig posters, album covers, merchandise etc but I'm open to all kinds of work involving illustration.
What is your education?
I studied architecture. I have a Bachelors in Architecture (B. Arch) from Sir J. J. College of Architecture in Bombay. I graduated in 2014.
We need an illustration but are short on ideas. Do you think you can you help us?
Definitely - in fact, it is something I find most exciting. I'd love to help you out.
What is your process like?
Once I have an outline or a brief from the client, I sit and start my homework. Sometimes I insist on having some visual references to further understand what the client needs. They aren't absolutely necessary and I can work without them too - but it makes it easier to understand the client's aesthetic sensibility. I put a lot of time and effort in research, intently looking for an impetus. I'm mostly working with bands, promoters, labels that are deeply involved with heavy metal – a genre known for its heavy sounds and strong subject matter. So picking an idea doesn't take as much time as interpreting it. I'm always finding a way of representing the chosen idea in my own language in a way that I feel most comfortable with. Sometimes the ideas are too strong to be subject to that sort of visual treatment and I have had to give in. Brief is key, always.
Next I put my ideas on the board and share the rough ideas with the client. It is only once the idea & the composition (rough pencil sketch) is approved that I start work on the final drawing. The sketches then go back and forth as we develop the concept, so one could expect a few e-mail exchanges at this stage.
Once I have the client's approval, I spend the next couple of days meticulously planning the overall layout and putting the composition together using ample photo references. I’ll typically have an illustration fully developed in my head before I put it on paper. I spend more time thinking, envisioning an illustration than actually drawing or inking it and I really appreciate it when clients understand and respect that.
Once the drawing is completed, I scan it and use the basic Abode suite on my PC to convert it into a vector, add colors, do the layout etc.
How fast can you complete an assignment?
I will at least take a week to send you the rough ideas - text as well as some kind of rough pencil sketch. I have absolutely no control over how long the concept development could go on for but once it's approved, I take a maximum of 15 days to finish the drawing and send you the final product. Please understand that this is the maximum time needed and I have, almost on all occasions, delivered the final drawing way before that.
What are your favorite themes and influences? Would you be open to trying something outside your comfort zone?
Most of my work involves nature imagery – birds, plants, animals - for the simple reason that I think I’m better at it than most other things. The kind of dynamism that can be achieved just within the pen and ink medium is incredible and I think, drawing the natural physical world including plants, landscapes and creatures helps me explore a variety of textures and patterns.
That said, I'm always up for newer things as long I like it.
How does it work with deadlines and delivery?
It is really important that I know of deadlines, if there are any, so that I could work around it. In case there isn't one, I usually insist on deciding a tentative date - that way I get to devote a certain time to each commission. It is also important that I know what files the client needs, so that I have them ready before the agreed deadline.
What techniques do you use? What software and equipment do you use?
I work in pen and ink. I use Sakura Microns mostly, but Steadtlers and Pilots are cool too. I use a HP DeskJet 1050 All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer to scan my work and the basic Adobe suite on my PC for the post-processing.
What does it cost?
I currently have a fixed rate for band logos, t-shirt illustrations and album covers. Please drop me an email and I'd be glad to send the details. This is for a certain degree of detail and complexness - a quick look at my work will help you understand this better. That said, I'm definitely open to doing bigger, complicated pieces but they will obviously cost more.
If there is an established budget, I can often find a solution that fits so please do not hesitate to ask but please understand that I don't work for free.
Okay, everything sounds good. We want to work with you, how do we proceed?
Write to me on email@example.com and we'll take it up from there.
Do you do tattoos?
Will you work for free?
"Anoop's work stood out from the many artists I was looking at and once we emailed back and forth his professionalism was clear. Aside from getting an amazing piece of art from him, I learned to let the artist interpret freely. Anoop's patience with us was commendable. Both of us were happy with the results, we were able to reach compromises that made the artwork the best it could be. It was the highest selling item on the tour we did right after we received it." - Paul Rivera, La Armada
“Anoop is not only extremely talented, having his own flair and style, but he’s also reasonable and flexible to work with. His art isn’t flashy or gimmicky, but delves into the old school sketching method and captures the vibe perfectly. I’d highly recommend Anoop for his artworks because his style is always improving and he’s eager to hone his skills and more importantly, understand where the band is coming from.” - Kunal Choksi, Transcending Obscurity
“Anoop Bhat is one of my go-to guys when I need art for a concert or project. He has a great eye for visual metaphor – give him an album or concert name and he’ll get back to you with a visual treatment that’s fresh, appropriate and completely different from anything you imagined. Which is good! His style incorporates nature imagery, strange, wonderful hybrids and a certain Steve Ditko-like sense of weird spaces that works especially well with the kinds of music I play – doom, sludge, stoner and such. His background in architecture gives him an eye for structure and detail and his immersion in dark, fantastic music and literature informs his vision, although his art certainly isn’t just for the metalhead or gorehound. In fact, it’s the quirky, nature-influenced bent of his work that makes him stand out from the pack.” - Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Djinn and Miskatonic
"Anoop Bhat is an insanely underrated artist whom you should put on your radar right now. His mastery of subtlety allows him to create works of art that simultaneously stun and inspire the viewer, while maintaining an elegance that is unmatched by most. His professionalism and ease of communication streamlines the process and really enforces that he and his clients are genuinely working towards the common goal of making something longstanding and amazing." - Justin Dimig, Tvsk
Transcending Obscurity - Kunal Choksi
Extreme metal label/ webzine/ PR company from Bombay, IN.
RDM Visuals - Ross D Mckendrick
Artist/ illustrator from Glasgow, UK. Loves heavy music.
Scribble Bandit - Rahul Chacko
Artist/ illustrator from Bangalore, IN. Plays in Bevar Sea.
Cylcopean Eye Productions - Sandesh Shenoy
Extreme metal label from Bangalore, IN.
Berns is the Bastard
Straight-edge grindcore nerd from Johannesburg, SA.
Vegan metalhead writer from Bangalore, IN. Writes weird fiction, plays in Djinn & Miskatonic & runs an animal rescue organization.
Mark Angel Brandt
Music writer/ publicist from London, UK. Founded Broken Amp.
as any fule know - Mustansir Dalvi
Poet/ writer from Bombay, IN. Also, the biggest Deep Purple fan I know. Buy his book of poems!
Expiring Sun - Brandon Duncan
illustrator/ musician from Kansas, US; also runs a label.
Gumani - Pia Meenakshi
Illustrator/ tattoo artist from Bangalore, IN. Collects skulls.
Loud-music + internet nerd; runs Skulltoaster & Workbench Podcast.
Mahatobar Distribution - Vikram Bhat
The only heavy metal music-store in the country.
Eternal Abhorrence - Hassan Dozakhi
Grindcore/ crust-punk vocalist from PK; sings in a dozen bands.
The Doom Cave - Srikanth Panaman
Recording, mixing, mastering studio based in Bangalore, IN. Plays in Bevar Sea and runs a distro/ label.
Fabled. - Xi Lu
Artist from Bangalore, IN. Loves cats.
Photographer/ motorcyclist from Bombay, IN. Wears a GoPro on his helmet.