40+ New Delhi Based Illustrators Who are Changing the Way We Look At Art In 2015
By: Avinash Kumai on Apr 13th, 2015
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This particular story was born out of the need to find illustrators from various parts of India. We started our journey in Mumbai – a place where we discovered artists that changed our perception of the art scene in India. In this segment we shift our gaze from The City Of Dreams to the capital – New Delhi – because one list is just not enough to contain the talent that we see around us. Read the first part here, if you haven’t already.

 

A special thank you to Cupick for helping us collate this list.

Archan Nair
Image credit: Archan Nair

There is nothing about Nair that has not been said already. One look at his designs is all you need to gauge the depth and extent of his artistic sense. Archan is inspired by various phases and forms of life to create highly intricate works that connect the various dimensions of our existence. The song Purple Haze comes to mind when we see his body of work. It reeks of positive energy – we think this is what god’s dreams are made of. He has taken the art form and made it into something everybody can enjoy.

 

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Tina Rajan
Image credit: Tinatoons

How can Rajan not be on the article? She was doing this way before illustrations got the ‘cool tag’. We love how her characters have that old-school feel and her caricatures are to die for. From illustrations to graphic design (and more) she has been there, done that.

 

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Kriti Monga
Image credit: Turmericdesignstudio

Monga is many things rolled into one – a graphic designer, illustrator, typography and hand lettering aficionado, spirited traveller, dreamer, happy wanderer and explorer of uncharted territories. She is known to wear her heart on her sleeve, is ever willing to get her hands dirty and also owns a sunny, happy studio called Turmeric Design – Phew! Coming back to her doodles… for starters, it’s dripping with positive energy. Pictures of people, food and pop culture fill her sketchbook. Her works remind us of the busy by lanes of Calcutta, Mumbai and Paris.   

 

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Seema Kohli
Image credit: Seema Kohli

Kohli’s artistic sensibility is bang on! We adore the use of colours that add life to her body of work. What also caught our eye was that all of her creations have a deep sense of desire – man or God. Perhaps she is trying to show us that desire has no gender and is something that cannot be contained. Her artistic vision also runs in other mediums like sculptures, installation and film. Kohli is all about imagination, ideas, philosophy and stories of interesting lives.

 

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Jasjyot Singh Hans
Image credit: Jasjyot Singh Hans

This New Delhi-based doodlebug has always been drawing, he can’t really remember a time when he wasn’t. It was like having a zone of his own and it made him happy. That’s when he knew this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Plus, his parents were always supportive of it, in spite of not being artists. “However, my nani’s only concern was, ‘Beta jhola le kar mat ghoomna’ (don’t walk around carrying a bag). I think she’s alright with me now,” he enthuses. Hans was always interested in fashion, so a lot of his work borrows from existing views on fashion, or subverting from it. “I love exploring ideas of gender, sexuality, beauty and body image in my work. I love working with my beloved brush pens, and am happy to draw on any surface including fragile paper doilies and café placemats,” claims a smiling Hans.

 

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Aaquib Wani

If you are someone that digs heavy metal, this is the artist to follow. We saw a subtle charm in his designs. He has worked with bands like Skyharbor, served as the Art Director at Rock Street Journal Magazine, designed art for music festivals like Jazz Utsav, Great Indian Rock, India Music Week, Big69, Control Alt Delete.

 

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Rachna Ravi
Image credit: Rachna Ravi

Ravi doesn’t really know what inspired her to take up art as a profession, but she has been drawing since she can remember. Ever since she was a kid, she used to fill up colouring books and doodle at the back of her notebooks while in class. It was an obvious choice for her to do what she does best. Her style? “From what I can tell, and from what people tell me, it comes as a surprise to most people that I hand paint all my illustrations and do not use any software at all. The themes and subjects for most of my illustrations are inspired from dreams and the things or objects I get fascinated with,” says Ravi.

 

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Kunel Gaur
Image credit: Kunel Gaur

We might just have found the Banksy of India – What? Go through Kunel Gaur's creations and you will know that we are talking about. Political black ‘n’ white doodle (mostly), with tongue-in-cheek humour that are funny to look at, but also have a strong message to convey. His body of work touches upon issues like oppression, gender equality and the current status quo.     

 

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Sudeepti Tucker
Image credit: Sudeepti Tucker

She used to draw a lot as a kid – messy imperfect drawings, as she puts it. She drew all throughout school, but somewhere during her time at National Institute of Design studying graphic design, Tucker switched fully to her laptop. “I stopped making intuitive things; everything was thought out, pre-meditated,” remembers Tucker. Adding “There’s a kind of rush to cracking a problem after much thought, but I find that there’s absolute uninhibited joy in carefree drawing. I indulge in both, professionally and personally.” Most illustrators come to be known for their styles, but she enjoys the lack of one. It allows her much more freedom, and she also finds it fair to pick a style/medium that works best for the intended piece based on its context. “Makes for more effective work,” reflects the artist. Although, a lot of her personal illustrations are a result of whatever is currently keeping her mind busy- whether it be music, mythology, curious things or some medium experiment. 

 

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Shaivalini Kumar
Image credit: Shaivalini Kumar

Kumar’s designs are all about supporting the wonderfully weird and 'fabulously fluffy' (that is the motto of her design company Oddfluffies too). Honestly, we did not find her work weird. For us, they are neat pieces of art, attained seamlessly through hours of work. It’s a window to pop culture today.  

 

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Revati Anand
Image credit: Revati Anand

For starters, Anand likes to doodle in her free time, some of them are random, but are mostly inspired by experiences she has been through. “I think life without colour is dull and boring, and yet black and white shades have their own beautiful charm,” she mentions on her website. She finds inspiration in random things around her, shadows and reflections fascinate her. Her Behance page is filled with doodles of animate and inanimate things, all put there with a purpose.

 

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Svabhu Kohli
Image credit: Svabhu Kohli

Kohli feels his curiosity with the universe is never ending, it’s an endless pool of knowledge and mystery where one can get lost understanding the beauty of its mechanics. He also feels a sense of peace and joy when he is in direct contact with natural surroundings – wandering through forests, diving through oceans, experiencing this magical knowledge. This is why his work is so profound. “My artworks revolve around reviving these myths into a contemporary language and bringing alive the magic of nature through my art,” he tells us. So when did you start doing art? “I don’t remember a conscious day as to when I decided to take up art as a profession,” he states. Further “I wanted to express and explore my mind and the relationship I share with this magical universe that I belong to. Art and its various tools gave me that freedom to build a language of my own through which I could communicate with people.”

 

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Amrita Mohanty
Image credit: Amrita Mohanty

When we surfed through Mohanty’s body of work, it gave us a feeling that she has a huge fascination for space and the things unseen. It feels like through art, she wants to break free from the monotonies of the world. She also believes in eating well and drinking often.   

 

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Khyati Trehan
Image credit: Khyati Trehan

Trehan didn’t really plan on design education, it just happened to her. She doesn’t have a particular style YET, but she really enjoys work backed by wit and concept. “At National Institute of Design (NID), we were encouraged to find connections around us. That stuck with me, and since then I find satisfaction in looking for connections between seemingly unrelated forms and ideas,” remembers Trehan. As a student of graphic design, she struggles with detaching herself from reason and logic and move towards expression and art. But, she is growing, and so is the gamut of her work.

 

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Kavita Singh Kale
Image credit: Kavita Singh Kale

Kale is a transmedia artist based in New Delhi. People- strangers, acquaintances, family and friends- are the building blocks for her narratives. She likes creating stories around individuals by closely observing them and then creating an environment of minimal essentials. She is the co-founder of an art and design studio called Underground Worm. All her works have something the viewer/audience can take away. They are deeply rooted in morals and have something to say. With people like Kale, your kid’s imagination is in safe hands.       

 

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Karthik Ilango
Image credit: Karthik Ilango

If we had to compare Ilango’s illustrations to a film it has to be Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas – trippy, exciting and ballsy. It feels like they are not from around here. We would want to know more on what goes on in his head! 

 

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Priya Kuriyan
Image credit: Priya Kuriyan

What’s not to love about Kuriyan’s work? She has worked on tons of children’s books (for authors like Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Arundhati Venkatesh and many more), followed by book covers, animations, a graphic novel and more. All her creations have a streak of happiness, the use of bold colours and themes only adds to the appeal. She is an artist who’s here to stay, for sure.

 

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Kavita Nambissan Ganguli
Image credit: Kavita Nambissan Ganguli

Her tryst with art began with a client website. “I ended up doing the entire website’s art and illustrations myself and there has been no looking back since,” she writes on her Behance page. After some rigorous learning, Ganguli is now working towards honing her skills and producing work to the best of her ability. Always a student, she tries to learn new skills with every single piece she creates. Look at her body of work and you will be surprised to know she started off as a software engineer! Where there is a will, there is a way, indeed. 

 

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Kruttika Susarla
Image credit: Kruttika Susarla

Susarla, a graphic designer and illustrator by profession, has always been a visual person. “I grew up reading a lot of comics and looking at a ton of pictures and I think I generally always had a bias towards reading books with more pictures than text in them. I wasn’t a very bright kid, but I loved drawing diagrams in Biology class,” she recalls. As she grew up, she was drawn into the arts and went on making all these amazing comics, posters and books. And the rest is history. In her personal time, she likes to sketch the outdoors. “I enjoy drawing quick sketches of people. I also make short webcomics and have been drawing ampersands recently,” she claims.

 

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Choorma
Image credit: Choorma

At first we were wondering why Choorma? But after seeing the doodles we were like ‘sweet’. Hmm... maybe that why it’s Choorma! But if you were wondering, Shikhant Sablania is his real name and his doodles are out of the ordinary. Sometimes, it is more about the thought and less about the illustration. Have a look. 

 

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Divya Tak
Image credit: Divya Tak

The biggest thing that prompted Tak to choose art as a career path was the freedom that comes with it; how one gets to express all sorts of ideas in new and interesting ways, working with new people and different materials. Most of her artworks are inspired from the little joys of life and a sense of wonder and curiosity. “I try to make artworks which will bring a smile to the viewer’s face,” adds Tak.

 

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Latika Nehra
Image credit: Latika Nehra

Nehra has always been a super imaginative person right from childhood. She remembers collecting small things like stones or leaves she found special. She liked building things. "It wasn’t a plan right from the beginning, things just fell in place,” she enthuses. “I am still finding myself. I am not complete or fully developed as an illustrator,” she reflects. Further, “I have a high benchmark set for myself. I will never be satisfied, but I will never let that drive to perfection bring me down.” Perhaps, this is what makes her different; she is not scared anymore to share even the most unappealing piece of hers. In terms of skill and style, she doesn’t constrain herself to a medium. "Art is not created on a canvas, it is first made in the mind and then expressed in a form for the world to see,” she believes.

 

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Sonal Singh
Image credit: Sonal Singh

Singh took communication design as a profession instead of art, because she prefers illustrations over other things. She views them as a medium to communicate. Mostly, she likes to make things look good, or highlight certain aspects. She thinks she still doesn’t have a particular style of illustration, but she is drifting towards semi-realistic styles. "Not very doodley ones, nor the kinds you would see in Raj comics,” she clarifies. There are no particular themes as such, most of the ones she makes have been on mundane everyday things she noticed and has played around with, but then again they have also been in different styles, some geometric, some hand-drawn.

 

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Vishnu M Nair
Image credit: Vishnu M Nair

In Nair’s work we find beauty in chaos. His doodles are what he likes to call open-ended stories. He believes that there’s this human tendency to associate a series of images into a narrative. He tries to make illustrations that seem as if they are a moment caught in time in a distant narrative. Now it’s the viewer’s story to complete – to pick up on the visual cues and try to construct an understanding. And since everyone perceives differently, the stories become more interesting.  

 

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Vivan Kamath
Image credit: Vivan Kamath

Kamath spends most of his time illustrating, but that’s just the tip of his creative iceberg. Over the years, he has also ventured into different forms of media, including film, animation, graphic design, toy design and much more. His works are distinct from one another and reflect the state of current affairs. We loved the series India Illustrated: A Political History of India.

 

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Viplov Singh
Image credit: Viplov Singh

When outfits like Thermal and a Quarter collaborate with you, it’s a given that you are good! Another individual who is obsessed with imaginary elements, Singh’s work is filled with drawings of superheroes and magical animals. 

 

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Jaspreet Matharu
Image credit: Jaspreet Matharu

Legend has it, from the unidentified streets of New Delhi, in the hustle bustle of the ordinary hoi-polloi, a boy with a long moustache emerges with an aura that makes jaws drop and children quickly finish their broccoli! A hope that brings cows to filter their methane-infected-farts and Godzilla to help mom cook ramen. The chosen one has dedicated his life to feed civilians hungry for change. His path is rough, but determination helps him face all levels. Matharu's illustrations will put a smile on your face. 

 

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Charbak Dipta
Image credit: Charbak Dipta

Dipta believes that visual art cannot be taught. It has to be learned from nature. “An artist has to compete with nature every day to outrun its creativity, with his imagination, within this short life. That’s my motto,” he enthuses. His doodles come right out of a comic book. He has the skill to take regular pictures and add a touch of his artistic brilliance. His body of work will leave you in awe. 

 

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Dashang Tiwari
Image credit: Doodle Play

This illustrator from the capital believes in exploring and experimenting with style according to the project and given concept. If the opportunity is good and related to what he does, Tiwari would like to work and explore this field more on various projects all around the world. Apart from making numerous works of art, he loves his family, nature, music, sports and is a wannabe singer.

 

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Divya Singh
Image credit: Divya Singh

Visually rich paintings and illustrations, with a touch of darkness, is what you’ll get if you follow Singh. You will be surprised how colours like pink, blue, red, yellow and green mix to bring characters to life. Her use of colours sets the mood of the image.

 

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Mehma Atwal
Image credit: Mehma Atwal

Someone whose work we would like to put on our walls, Atwal's images are spunky, bright and psychedelic. Most of her works are open to interpretation. So tell us… What do you see?

 

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Vimal Mourya
Image credit: Art of Vimal Mourya

Mourya's artworks mimic life and people through fun and happy themes. The designs are quirky with pay great attention to detail. See for yourself.

 

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Abhinav Krishna
Image credit: The Circus

For some people music can be a big influence, for some pop culture, but for Krishna, it is the thrill of Formula 1 that keeps him on his toes! He lives and breathes the sport and his art draws closely from it and everything that surrounds it. His comic titled 'The Circus' is about F1 and the people that make it happen. He has been watching Formula 1 since he was ten years old, but still doesn’t understand why it took him so long to come up with a F1 comic. His illustrations will prompt you to look at the sport more closely.

 

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Kavya Bagga
Image credit: Kavya Bagga

From fairytales to singers, you will find it all in Bagga’s works of art. Her drawings are lined with a touch of feminism and her topics are relevant to current times.    

 

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Limatola Longkumer
Image credit: YUME

Art has always been a part of her since she was growing up. She took it up as a profession because she wanted to be a part of the whole art revolution and inspire people in her own little way. “I am into Zen tangling and my inspiration comes from music and people, but I usually get inspired to start something because of anger,” she enthuses. Further “It is one emotion that has connected me to art, and it becomes more like an evolution of the negative to the positive, so I guess that sets me apart from the other illustrators in India.”

 

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Kritika Kushwaha
Image credit: Kritika Kushwaha

When you do things with all your heart, it shows. Maybe it’s because Kushwaha just ‘stops, breathes and observes’. We were blown away by the amount of thought put behind each work. Mark our words, she is going to go places… Oh, wait, she already has!

 

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Barkha Lohia
Image credit: Barkha Lohia

Her sketches are just phenomenal. We felt like we were in a dream. It’s all about well-etched doodles with the right amount of spunk.

 

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Arindam Majumdar
Image credit: Arindam Majumdar

We felt like doodling after looking at Majumdar’s work. His artworks are simple yet so difficult to do! Plus, he illustrates for various platforms like comics, brochures and various brands.  

 

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Yatish Asthana
Image credit: Yatish Asthana

Asthana’s doodles will make you fall in love with films, art and everything in between. Check out his Daily Doodle series and experience the fun. 

 

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Navedita Singh
Image credit: Navedita Singh

Singh likes to call herself a learner, a weird explorer, an art freak and a bit too humble too handle! Her creations are all about love, respecting everything around us and holding on to what is dear. Her creations explore things that touch upon experiences in the past. They will definitely make your day.

 

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Neha Sharma
Image credit: Neha Sharma

Sharma doesn’t like to call herself an artist, she is a doodler, a scribbler and a dreamer. Her venture into the art world started with drawing moustaches and pimples on Katrina Kaif’s pretty face on the newspaper, but her folks told her that she should be dreaming bigger. So she moved on to drawing nose rings and bindis on SRK’s face! (Don’t we all start off like this?) “Every morning, I wake up and bear through a desk job. And at night I am a doodle ninja,” she writes on her fan page. Her pictures are uneven, but that’s what life is all about, isn’t it? We also love how she doesn’t shy away from colour. Her work is as vivid and vibrant as it can get.

 

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Manvee Singh
Image credit: Manvee Singh

Singh is a  self-taught, Delhi-based artist (we couldn't believe it!), specialising in portraits, paintings, illustration, and wall art. She is inspired by various forms of life to create fascinating vibrant works and is known for her portraits and vivid and endearing figures of deities. She is all about exciting colours and contrasting shapes. Light and shadow set the stage for her bold and dramatic compositions as well.

 

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Kavya Singh
Image credit: Kavya Singh

It might be weird, but her illustrations reminded us of games like CityVille and FarmVille. Her art is symmetric and chic to look at – no wonder Singh is an obsessive organiser and geometry lover!

 

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Sarvesh Agarwal
Image credit: Sarvesh Agarwal

The best pop culture art works we have seen so far. Take a bow, Sarvesh Agarwal. Pictures of personalities and gods brought to life with the right amount of colour and shade. The works have a laid-back feel to them.

 

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Rajkanwal Suri
Image credit: Rajkanwal Suri

Suri’s characters are right out of a video game, no kidding! His illustrations poke fun at current scenarios. We loved the cartoons that he does – full of fun and imagination.  

 

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Loveleen Chawla
Image credit: Loveleen Chawla

When you have an illustrator mom at home, life takes a different turn, doesn’t it? Plus, with an experience of more than ten years in the field, and having worked as a senior illustrator with big publications in India, people take you seriously. Chawla’s designs have variety – throw anything at her and she will emerge victorious. Her doodles reflect love, life and all that you can think of. The detail in each one is mind-boggling.

 

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Niteesh Yadav
Image credit: Niteesh Yadav

Shaping ideas into reality, this is what Yadav does. Imagination is power, and he develops ideas out of it to solve your problems through his designs. Most of his time goes in experimenting and this is the reason his designs are an amalgamation of modern technology, traditional media and aesthetics. “A Typomaniac, (as my community fondly calls me) I love to do hand lettering. For me, each letter has its own personality and to do justice with every single detail is my ultimate goal,” says Yadav.

 

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Anant Ahuja
Image credit: Anant Ahuja

Ahuja is a graphic designer based out of New Delhi, India. He loves typography and Swiss poster layouts. Coming from a Commerce background, he had no idea what he was doing when he started off at design school. But then he met Jessica Hische and things changed. His images are spunky, with a dash of colour (most of the time).

 

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We are awed by the kind of talent these illustrators have. Do you know of any other illustrators that deserve to be in the story? Let us know in the comments below.

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Avinash Kumai
Avinash is a dreamer, a music connoisseur and is constantly seeking new things that catch his fancy. Enjoys the silence of his one-bedroom-apartment and loves cooking alone. He prefers genres like rock and blues, and is obsessed with what an instrument can do if it's in the right hands. His all time favourite jams are Comfortably Numb and...   Read more
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