I am an illustrator and graphic designer who started out in fashion and have worked on projects for Vogue, Benetton and created prints for designers and various print & digital platforms in India & the UK. I started focusing more on illustration while working as a graphic designer for an e-commerce website, and then moonlighting for more editorial and conscious-choice projects that came my way and some that I volunteered to be a part of. I use a lot of Adobe Illustrator, but always start out projects with rough drafts and a table full of ideas. For me, the best part about creating, is the process work and the banter that goes along with it. My mom always instilled a great work ethic and that kind of drives me to keep scouting for projects and keep the flame lit (..and also my general love for working).🔥🔥
Could you describe your path to becoming an illustrator and graphic designer?
I started out in fashion and print development, and illustration was something that always stuck with me throughout the whole process. As a kid, I would always be interested in sketching faces and people I would see at the airport or in a shop. And now everything has in a way come together and I don't like to be restrictive in the subject area I chose to illustrate, be it fashion, prints, editorial or political pieces.
How does identity impact our lives as creative people and how does yours impact your creative work?
Identity for me comes down to the most basic aspect of an individual -their gender. The world we currently live in, it is important to have equal representation of all classes of individuals, without discrimination. For me, I like to focus on women, their sense of being and to be able to give a voice to those who can't speak for themselves or those who have social barriers that prevent them from living free and equal.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity for me is freedom of expression and it is something that has no boundaries.
How do you nurture your creativity?
I love knitting, I pick up my needles every time I want to think. My fingers do the work while my mind strays away into its own thought process. Also, at times when I lack inspiration, I know that I can always turn to a good book, no matter its genre or subject matter. Always find inspiration in the oddity.
What cultural barriers have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I've not faced cultural barriers as such, they've been more gender-centric issues. Growing up, my mum always told us we could do whatever we set our hearts to. So, when I started working, I kept experiencing gender inequality when it comes to pay and as basic as how I got treated in the workplace. I think initially it was extremely overwhelming and frustrating, because it was happening to me even when I didn't notice it, but then I started setting standards for myself - if I am not getting rightfully paid, I will not take on the project.
What has been an important lesson you’ve learned so far?
I think the most important lesson I've learned is that let your work speak for itself. When it comes to art or illustration, I think it is important to not overshadow your work with over explanation. Second to this, I'd always say time management is key. Its not my best skill, but it is really important!
How has social media and the internet helped you as a creative?
Social media is such an incredible tool for creatives across various fields. People have been able to track me down for projects through my Instagram and also what I really like is that there are no barriers for a person who is sitting in India to interact with someone on another continent. It really breaks the barrier between the artist and the art director. One of the best things about this is that, it can act as your cv or portfolio. Its really difficult for a creative to pin down their life's work on a 2-page impersonal document, now I mostly just share my social handles for when someone wants a quick look at my body of work or illustration style.
What kind of projects are you working on now?
Currently, I'm focusing on studying for my Masters degree and exploring subjects like politics, refugees and expanding my work into those spaces. I'm building on my language and always looking out for collaborations with people and topics that interest me.