These 40+ Mumbai-based Illustrators Will Show You How Vibrant The Art Scene In India Really Is
By: Avinash Kumai on Mar 9th, 2015
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Illustration art has reached an all-time high, thanks to the boom in sectors like lifestyle, fashion, food & beverage and advertising – the list is endless. Plus, big platforms like Comic Con and flea markets like The Sunday Soul Sante, Kitsch Mandi and internet platforms like Behance are making art available to the masses. We kick-off our illustrator’s edition with Mumbai (in no particular order), and look at various artists who are contributing to the art scene in India. 

 

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

Sameer Kulavoor
Image credit: Bombay Duck Designs

Kulavoor is easily one of the best illustrators you can find in Mumbai. Why? Because Kulavoor takes ordinary things and turns them into beautiful pieces of art – be it a flipbook or day-to-day doodles, he makes sure they are eye-catching. He works closely with graphic design, contemporary illustration and art, but is known mostly for his music-based art and design work in videos like Disconnected and Lovedrug Climbdown (of rock group for Pentagram) and album art for indie groups like Zero, Something Relevant and more.

 

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Vikrant Shitole
Image credit: Vikrant Shitole

Shitole’s artistic creations (especially water colour paintings) make you want to rethink about urban life. When we looked at the pieces, we wished India could be as neat as it is in his paintings! Any interesting form, good composition, or sometimes simply a nice textured paper can inspires him to paint and experiment with different mediums and style he tells us. “I have grown up observing local artists painting everything from film posters, hoardings, sign boards, and auto rickshaw number plates. Hence these moments were impressed in my mind as a kid; maybe this is why I like local art, bright colour and typical styles,” enthuses Shitole. If you are someone who wants to understand art, he is the one you should follow. Perhaps, you could catch him at his solo show titled Water Trails staring March 10th through March 16 and get to know his work. Get the details here.

 

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Ruchi Shah
Image credit: Ruchi Shah

Shah’s designs are as quirky as her – cheerful and artistic. Plus, she likes playing with food, and illustrates them too (odd, but yes!). Currently a freelance illustrator in Mumbai, she spends most of her time experimenting with paper cut-outs, everyday objects and screen printing while working for tons of clients in India and abroad. When she is not occupied with work, you might find her collecting quotes, travelling to various places, reorganising her already-organised workspace and hunting for creative resources in the streets of Mumbai.

 

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Aditya Chari
Image credit: Aditya Chari

Rarely do you get to see individuals who are well versed in various medians of art, and are actually good in each one of them – Chari is definitely one of them. Pick anything he does – illustrations, portraits or concept art, he hails victorious! We especially loved his comic illustrations. The characters are sensual and make you want to look forward to how the story ends.

 

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Mukesh Singh
Image credit: Mukesh Singh Art

Like comic book characters? Then Singh is the one to follow. There is so much action and adventure in them! FYI, Singh was selected by Marvel comics to design an armour for the indestructible Hulk. He has made various covers for Marvel comics too. Devi is one of his notable works.

 

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Mira Malhotra
Image credit: Mira Malhotra

Art is an extension of her personality, and her works are underlined by humour and wit. Since she was exposed to a variety of cultures as a child, she feels her work is oftentimes an amalgamation of what she has learnt and seen so far. On a busy day, you might find her contributing to projects that involve hand-drawn lettering, illustration and music. Her works are in sync with popular culture and give a glimpse of the youth of recent times. She is the creative mind behind Etniq – a place for visual art.

 

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McMutton
Image credit: McMutton Designs

McMutton aka Harsh Pandya's visuals are intriguing and engaging – one has to look deeper into them for hidden meanings or codes. Plus, they include many cultural references, fusing them with modern times to create contemporary designs. “I drew vigorously as a kid; still have some of the sketch books with me,” recollects McMutton. But it was only after his course in architecture was he exposed to many forms of art including music, theatre, printing, pottery, graphics and more. “As a kid, I was keen in taking up Arts in junior college, as I thought it would have an entire syllabus only on art forms, but sadly that wasn’t the case,” ends McMutton laughing.   

 

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Saumin Suresh Patel

He has illustrated for comic publication like Virgin Comics and his work is sure to evoke awe. But his best work by far has to be Kaamotsav – a collection of erotic art. The characters in the book are sensually crafted and celebrated human desires in a subtle way. The characters he creates are almost dream-like.

 

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Ritaban Das
Image credit: Ronniereaper

We call Das a ‘rebel with a cause’, with in-your-face illustrations that give an insight about human behaviour. We really liked the colour contrast in the pictures. The use of dialogue gives depth and feel to the characters.

 

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Lokesh Karekar
Image credit: Locopopo

Founder-director of LOCOPOPO, Karekar is a visual artist specialising in illustration and design. What's unique about him is that he uses his aesthetic sense and knowledge of local culture and wit into all his creations. The result is something that is simple, bold, bright and vibrant – something people can identify with. Karekar is forever experimenting with diverse subjects like paper-art, collages, clay-modelling and much more to enhance his artistic sensibilities. He is also the co-founder/editor of the visual art firm zine 100%. Please look at his creations; they are not something you get to see every day.  

 

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Sunil Garud
Image credit: Sunil Garud

Garud’s work comes right out of a comic book! No wonder he is a dreamer – his creations can vouch for his statement. His doodles remind us of Wes Anderson’s films. He works alone in his studio-cum-home, and has classic tunes of AR Rehman, some folk songs, Sufi music and Greenday to get into his creative space.

 

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Madhuvanthi Mohan
Image credit: Something Sketchy

Mohan caught the ‘doodle bug’ while she was a copywriter in an advertising firm. As fate might have it, she quit soon after to pursue her new-found love full time. She now runs a company called Something Sketchy – (currently in 15 stores across 9 cities in India (Landmark) and four boutique stores in NYC). The platform is filled with her illustrations on products like notebooks, coaster-magnets, calendars and postcards. A lot of her illustrations are based on songs and pop culture. See kids? This is why you should follow your dreams! 

 

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Priyesh Trivedi
Image credit: Adarsh Balak

Trivedi might not be a household name, but Adarsh Balak is, for sure. His illustrations poke fun at the current state of affairs in India. They are lined with clever, tongue-in-cheek humour. 

 

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Harshvardhan Kadam
Image credit: Inkbrushnme

Meet Harshvardhan Kadam, rightly called the visual poet. Your brain will actually take some time to process his work. We are amazed at his attention to detail and the amount of conviction he has in his drawings. His illustrations of gods and goddesses are like none we have ever seen before. He has raised the standard of visual art for sure. Creative minds need a bit of madness, no? Look at his work and you will know why! He runs a collective called Inkbrushnme. 

 

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Rohan Jha
Image credit: RJArtworks

Jha understands pop culture like a boss! We are not saying just to fill up space! We really mean it. His creations are filled with doodles of bands, television shows, comic book characters and more. You will love his work for sure.

 

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Anand Radhakrishnan
Image credit: Anand Radhakrishnan

An artist whose sketchbook we would to steal – Mr Radhakrishnan, are you listening? His sketches have a healthy mix of art forms that you make you smile – anatomy, concept art and more. His work is a memoir to life itself.

 

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Abhinav Kafare
Image credit: Abhinav Kafare

If we had to pick one element for Kafare, it has to be water, because his work is diverse and formless. His abstract perspectives add depth to his creations too. His illustrations are funny, but they will make you think as well.

 

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Janki Soni
Image credit: Janki Soni

Soni’s creations will put a smile on your face. Look at her work and you will see how small and simple things in life gives us more happiness. Her blog Imagine. Feel. Create is filled with sketches, illustrations and concept art. Check it out.

 

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Nikhita Prabhudesai
Image credit: Nikhita Prabhudesai

Prabhudesai believes in making the world a happier, more meaningful place. Prabhudesai, you achieved that the day you made your first sketch, trust us! Her speed painting style is phenomenal! She is obsessed with people and things that surround them.

 

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Malvika Bhandary
Image credit: Aanay

“For me there are no limitations and boundaries when it comes to design and being able to share my thoughts through my work gives me immense satisfaction,” clarifies Bhandary. She believes that design is an extremely powerful medium and defines her as a person in a strong sense. Having the freedom to share her work with people is something that excites her. This is when she started Aanay – a platform where you can find illustrations that are unique, distinctive and quirky. She remembers working on her first illustration through Microsoft Paint at a young age. “I took to it immediately,” she states. “Although it was the most basic form of illustrating digitally at the time, I found myself spending hours on it and this new found freedom of expressing myself creatively. I knew then that this would be something I would pursue in future.” Her designs have the correct tone with the right amount of spunk. 

 

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Abhilash Menon
Image credit: Abhilash Menon

Menon is a versatile graphic artist with intuitive insights. His areas of expertise lie in character animation, flash animation, user interface design, and graphic design. An ardent lover of the nature, people, and places, he is always ready to snap a panorama of whatever interesting comes his way. His pencil sketches of people and places are one of the best we have seen so far.

 

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Namaah Kumar
Image credit: DearAnyone

We have not even met her, but we already love her! Why you ask? Because she believes “Everything is not art; art is art. Everything else is everything else.” Kumar’s work is as ballsy as she is – straight, no bull! Her art clearly reflects the current status quo.  

 

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Broti Bhattacharya

Bhattacharya believes that design is an instrument of progress that marries its problem-solving nature with functionality and aesthetics. His sketches are edgy and remind us of comics from the 80s. His pencil and colour work is just brilliant.

 

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Vidushi Yadav
Image credit: Idushiyadavillustrations

Yadav’s pictures have a charm of their own. Surreal work of art that are pleasant to look at. Illustrations are a way through which her dreams, fears and millions of unspoken emotions take form. They are deeply rooted to nature, human bonding and everything in between.   

 

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Sayok Ray
Image credit: Music On The Wall

If you have not discovered Music On The Wall, then you either don’t have internet at home or are still in the dark ages! This page will show you that music is not just meant to be heard. Through Ray’s work, we also understand that works of art need not be complicated – it’s more about the idea, execution and simplicity.  

 

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Samidha Gunjal
Image credit: Mischievous Hoot

Since childhood, Gunjal was deeply fascinated by cartoons and children’s books that inspired her to draw. “I always wanted to be an artist so after completing my course on architecture I decided to peruse my dream,” she tells us. Now she is mainly into illustrations, animation and comic art. She keeps experimenting with drawing styles and mediums and has a wide range of styles ranging from cute to bizarre and simple to chaotic. “For my daily artwork, I mostly get inspiration from day-to-day life, random words, colors and objects,” she states. Plus, Gunjal loves to illustrate for children.

 

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Shubhankar Shirsekar

Shirsekar is a huge fan of cartoons from the nineties, so most of his works are centred on them. His expertise’s lie in vector graphics. In a time when cartoons are more human-like in every way, it feels like Shirsekar still like to keep them cute and fun. Don’t worry… there are beefy characters in his Facebook page too! 

 

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Vrushali Somavanshi
Image credit: Artopus

Eye-catching visuals portrayed thought brilliant themes and catchphrases. We also adore her pattern art. Her art pushes people to look at issues like gender equality and freedom to express oneself.  

 

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Jillian Thottan
Image credit: Jillian Thottan

“Give me a pen and a paper and you would be amazed,” says 17-year-old Thottan in her Instagram page. Look at a doodles and you would not believe they are done by a 17-year-old, considering the fact that most 17-year-olds are still figuring out what they want in life. But Thottan already has things figured out. Her attention to detail is insane.

 

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Deeganto Joardar
Image credit: Bloodcult

Joardar’s art somehow reminds us of progressive bands like Animals As Leaders. His characters have a ‘metal’ vibe to them. If you are in love with Si-Fi, then you will love the characters he creates.

 

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Pratap Chalke
Image credit: Pratap Chalke

Images with a vintage feel is what you will find if you check his work out on Behance. He adds a touch of cool to things that are uncouth.

 

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Reishab Kailey

Kailey is always finding new expressions through colour, using it as one of the main tools for communicating with people. His creations are symmetrical to the T, and are psychedelic to look at – more like Anurag Kashyap films. He regularly posts his works at Drop it like it's lukewarm.

 

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Tasneem Amiruddin
Image credit: Tasneem Amiruddin

Her interests lies in drawing and making fun and happy pictures with bright colours. As much as she loves digital tools to create her pictures, Amiruddin also love experimenting with real paints, colours and sticks. Her pictures actually shows how beautiful life really is. They are all masterpieces in their own right. 

 

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Newman D'silva
Image credit: Newman D'silva

D’silva’s artworks have a sort of unfinished style. Plus, his works have a certain unplanned element to them. You rarely get to see colour in his pieces; black and white adds much appeal to his doodles. He has no formal training as an artist, FYI.   

 

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Yogesh R Pugaonkar
Image credit: Yogesh R Pugaonkar

An all-rounder, Pugaonkar roots lie in animation, web designing and video game concept art. He also shares his inputs in comic book illustrations and also is a colourist. If you are a comic book geek, you will love his work.

 

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Varun Nair
Image credit: Varun Nair

Nair is known for creating figures like the ones you see in fairy tales. Clever use of vivid colours, shadows and light against scenic back ground add so much value to the illustration. This is what happens when you strike a balance between idea and execution.  

 

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Rakesh Nanda
Image credit: Lipuster

Nanda is an award winning animation filmmaker, comic book artist and illustrator based in Mumbai. His characters have an old-school appeal and depict instances from daily life. We like the way he captures every single moment in his sketches. He creates this doodles under the pseudonym Lipuster.

 

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Arushi Kathuria
Image credit: Arushi Kathuria

Mumbai-based Kathuria goes by the pen name Swine Flew. Her designs are all about bright colours. The theme might vary, but the use of colour is constant in all of them.

 

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Manmayee Desai
Image credit: Manmayee

Seems like Desai is fascinate by dark subjects. Her works are proof that grim things can also be artistic – seamlessly brought together by dark shades and colour representation. Through her artistic abilities, Desai tries to build a world of her own.

 

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Shalaka Pai
Image credit: Twentytwoseven

Simple illustrations with profound meanings attached to them. It feels like Pai has taken this platform and used it for things that catch her fancy. Glance though her work titled ‘My Beady-Eyed People' and you will know exactly what we are talking about. She is an avid photographer as well.  

 

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Nisha Vasudevan
Image credit: Thewhimnasium

She has tons of experimental work in her portfolio – everything from animation, illustration, video, DIY arts and crafts, and more. The works encompasses  various themes. If you are looking for versatility, Vasudevan is the one you should go to.

 

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Sahil Mehta
Image credit: Cupick

Some of Mehta’s work reminded us of Gerald Scarfe animation What Shall We Do Now? For Pink Floyd. Surreal images brought to life with dark colour tones. He work is an amalgamation of human life and how desire governs most of it.

 

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Ankita Shinde
Image credit: Ankita Shinde

This Mumbai-based doodle-bug has been drawing since she was three. It was just the fire in her gut that inspired her to pursue what she loves the most. She likes to experiment with various media, and prefers choosing a style that suits the subject rather than imposing her flair onto it. The first project on her site is IDON – a series of artistic vigour displayed seamlessly through doodles of people faces done on newspapers with the help of coloured sketch pens. Her other project is called Sketchnotes, here she uses coloured sketch pens on post-its to create quirky designs. “I love to use watercolours. I also make a lot of digital illustrations. You’ll find a lot of dog-inspired-art on my site,” ends Shinde.

 

Follow her here.  

 

Pranita Kocharekar
Image credit: Pranita Kocharekar

A kid is bitten by the creative bug when he/she paints on walls, curtains, clothes, the floor, the couch and everything around them. Well, this was exactly the case with Kocharekar when she was young. Thankfully, she comes from a family of artists, otherwise all she would get was a whack! Over the years, Kocharekar has developed a style which shows a bit of the person she is – illustrating for children or anything that’s humorous or sarcastic. “Just like two people can't think the same way, no two illustrators can have the exact same style because a lot of their personality reeks in their work, always,” enthuses Kocharekar. 

 

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Sajid Wajid Shaikh
Image credit: Sajid Wajid Shaikh

Shaikh is a self-taught visual artist, illustrator and graphic designer from Mumbai. Frankly, if we had not researched on him, we would have never known that he has no art background – some people are gifted indeed! His works have a touch of surrealism, sometime obscure, dark and disturbing, but all of his pieces are forged in philosophy. His works, we felt is like poetry – it's just words on a piece of paper, but if you sit and break them down, the true meaning is revealed.

 

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Yohān Wadia
Image credit: Yohān Wadia

With a strong background of advertising in his family, Yohan grew up with a healthy dose of visual communication. He got high acclaim through the Mumbai Series – an anthology comprising of visual puns on some of Mumbai’s landmarks. His troll on popular culture is funny yet delightful to look at. His work runs across various streams of advertising and graphic design, mobile game design, communication design, merchandise design and more.

 

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Vivek Nag
Image credit: Vivek Nag

Nag became an artist because he didn’t want to do anything else. “I disliked studies and a few of my friends decided to learn animation, so I just blindly followed them,” remembers Nag. Now, after five years, he has no ounce of regret for having done that. Art has become a way of life for him, to say the least. India is a land of heritage and culture and it reflects clearly on our art, both traditional and digital, he believes. “Realism has its presence too, but not clearly in the fore-front. Stylisation dominates. In such a scenario, I believe my art brings a fresh approach to realism. And of course, I am a sucker for pop culture, so most what you see me draw are elements of the current and some of the past ravings of pop culture,” reflects Nag. Do we have to add more? He stole our words, maybe he has a hotline to our brain!

 

Follow him here.   

Do you know 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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