Instagram: @illustrated_whimsy Twitter: @snehashanker10 Facebook: www.facebook.com/IllustratedWhimsy Website: www.snehashanker.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I am from Jamshedpur, a small happy and green town in India. I started drawing when I was three, basically ever since I could hold a pencil but never really thought about making a career in the field. I have lived in Bangalore for about a decade now and it is here that I valued my undying love for illustration and graphics. I attended design school in Pune, India and I work from my home space right now.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.My style revolves around dreamy color palettes and the main character. I work around surreal narratives or I am inspired by charming mundane activities. I love drawing ladies, unusual characters and lots of foliage.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I love watercolors! It has to be one of my favorites to start of with. I am totally into brush pens now. I think my style was partially determined by the kind of medium I was using. My work is mostly on digital medium right now but take out time to draw and paint.
4. What is your artistic process like?I always have a diary/sketchbook with me. One on the bedside, one in my bag and lots of them on my table. (Yes, the ones who want to gift me more, you hear this right) I make sure that I either scribble the idea or write down some part of it when inspiration strikes. I find myself going back through lots of these when I’m looking to digitise work. I first draw using a brush pen. They are fluid and give a lot of freedom to mould the pen work. I scan the art then I digitally work over it.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I try to add a bit of myself to everything that I create. The whimsical creatures that are built in my dreams, they have my emotions. I’ve always been asked if the women I draw are self-portraits. They maybe, to a certain extent, because they have my kind of hair and eyes and all the funky things that I dream were actual prints (sigh!) My illustrations totally depend on what I’m feeling on that particular day. My daily conversations and movies/tv series are also a huge influence.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?My mom enrolled me into a lot of Performing Arts and Fine Arts courses while I was really young – Classical dance forms, music forms, painting (probably she wanted the troublemaker out of the house, but I can't thank her enough for this) The only thing that remained constant in my life was art. I started drawing when I was three (yeah) Once, when I was about five, we visited my cousin and he had the most extraordinarily eerie beautiful toy I had ever seen. I knew there was no way I could take that home so I borrowed a notebook and drew and colored it meticulously for hours, so I can take back my memories of that day (I had no idea I was acting like a grown up already) This is where I think I realised that art is a really big part of what I like doing. There is no one in my family who is an artist but everyone is really encouraging. I would just enjoy the whole process of being able to draw things that I see around or things that I can't probably have. I have definitely become very observant down the line.
7. Where did you study?I got my Professional Diploma in Fine Arts (Painting) which was a slow and long course. I studied Engineering in Grad school and then went on to do a Post Graduation in Graphic Design from MITID in Pune, India.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I am freelancing right now and honestly, wouldn’t mind working in an agency in the near future. It's always nice being around creatives while you work, the magic rubs off from one to another I think!
9. What about in ten?I want to start a brand of my own in the near future. I am still in the process of research but in ten years I definitely want to have a business and a nice studio with lots of natural light and lots of plants and…. (I dream a lot, obviously)
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I’m still figuring out a better way in which my work can influence others. I have a lot of ideas for self-initiated work but on a larger scale, interpretation of a lot of social issues that are usually ignored is really important. I think I’d like to work on that.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?I am really not a foodie. But I definitely crave a lot of different food most of the times. Dark chocolate with sea salt hands down. I can't imagine life without coffee and Dosa (it’s South Indian cuisine)
12. Favourite book?There is so many omg. But I think if I have to name one, it should be worthy. “Tuesdays with Morrie”
13. Favourite genre of music?Totally depends on the mood but I mostly listen to ambient electronic. A lot on the lines of Petit Biscuit or Fakear. Afternoons call for peppy stuff because it's always nap time in my head.
14. What are your hobbies?I love reading! I dance and I sing too (singing in the shower counts, okay?)
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I’d be either a pastry chef or a singer.