Ashwin Chacko : The Daily Illustrator

Ashwin Chacko is a storyteller, illustrator and designer. He works under the moniker, Whacko Ink. We connected on Instagram and he's The Daily Illustrator for today. 

Originally based in Delhi he recently moved to Dublin. He has been working across various design studios for the past five years and is now working towards starting his own studio and clothing brand, Custom Clay. 


WHEN DID YOU FIRST START ILLUSTRATING AND KNOW WAS IT SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO DO AS A PROFESSION?

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been drawing. My mom said that when I was young all I ever wanted to do was draw. I was the kid in class with doodles for notes. I studied to be an animator but I found it was very restrictive and tedious. Illustration on the other hand allowed me to explore my creativity, create new character, tell a story in one visual. 

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

I love stories. There is something about a story that can touch someones heart and make an impact that lasts a lifetime.

I am an avid reader, love comic books and graphic novels. Most of my illustration are an expression of my thoughts and my storytelling ability. Dan Christofferson is also a great inspiration for me, he has really mastered the art of storytelling. 

HOW DO YOU GET THE IDEAS FOR YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS?

I usually carry a small notebook with me to jot down ideas and doodled illustrations. There are times when I just sit down and draw allowing my subconscious to reveal the inner turmoil of my mind. Other time I write and the words invoke a picture in my mind. I usually start with a thumbnail doodle, move on to a rough sketch then finally ink in the details.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM TO WORK WITH?

Ink on paper is my favourite medium using a mix of brush and pens. I also enjoy using digital media to clean up or at times create the whole visual on it. 

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

I am currently working on a project called the Dublin Diary. It is a series of illustrated observations I’ve been making since I moved to Dublin this February. A new city is fully great insight and inspiration for creativity. 

CURRENT PLAYLIST AS YOU WORK?

My current playlist is the new album Pieces of Mind by my friend Jordan Johnson’s band North. 

ARE THERE ANY ILLUSTRATORS THAT YOU ARE A FAN OF THAT DESERVE SOME EXPOSURE?

Dorothy Kikon is a good friend of mine, she has a very unique style of illustration. The amazing thing about her is that she had been working as an editor in a publishing house but two years ago she quit to become a full time illustrator.