Reshmi Shekhar is an architect and illustrator based out of Bangalore. She runs design store & studio Curiosity Kills The Cat (www.cktcstore.com) and is always up for a chat if you offer coffee.
Why are you an Illustrator?
I’m actually an architect (by profession). I’m an illustrator because I’m a distracted architect that’s always doodling.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes I did; I studied architecture for 5 years in RV School of Architcture. (Bangalore). I owe all my design sensibilities and interest in the field to my peers and profs at college. Architecture is an extremely demanding course, and looking back at the methodology of our projects and coursework, I realise that it was a very wholesome art oriented- problem solving approach that translates to all fields of design.
They’re unpredictable and mysterious. And hence interesting.
(And dogs are a little harder to draw and hide in my art)
Reimagining album covers is interesting because albums themselves are dying. Why did you choose this theme?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from music. Album covers have always fascinated me.. It’s such an interesting mix of two varied forms of art.
I chose to draw about this because music invokes an honest form of expression. Most of the work in this project is hand done. It’s exciting to represent the music visually in the way I experience it.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
As illustrators? I think I was always fascinated by imagery generally. I loved looking at illustrations of oceans and underwater creatures while growing up. Picture encyclopaedias especially.
I have always been drawn to my father’s perfectionist methodical approach. (Since I’m the stark opposite)
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
I’m going to answer this question in ten years.
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I didn’t entirely decide to become a freelance illustrator, it just sort of happened after I started Curiosity Kills The Cat. (in my final year of college). I put my work up at exhibits, stores and online, and these led to projects.
I’ve been taking on illustration projects for a year and a half now, and also take on art and space related projects (Wall art, installations). I enjoy freelancing as it let’s me explore mediums between art, illustration and architecture; so there’s a wide range to work within : ).
Yes I have illustrated for advertising in the past, but unless you’re given creative freedom, it’s a rather dull space to be in.
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Yup! I haven’t worked with any publishers yet, but would love to. I’ve worked with musicians and brands, and am currently working with street vendors in Bangalore to help them visually brand their food carts.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
I can’t really say I’ve wanted to quit, but as someone in the creative field I find my interests changing rather often. 2017 is the year of the guitar for me…
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Actually I haven’t. I came across a project a few months ago where children’s doodles and sketches were created into toys. I have thought about designing board/ card games though, maybe in a few years..
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I’m a big fan of Joanna Davalas’ work, Kriti Monga, Abhinav Kafare and lots more..
You have such a wide experience as a top working professional. What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on Illustration as a career option? Is it paying well enough?
Not entirely sure about the top working professional bit…but I’d definitely advocate being in the creative field. It’s rewarding in ways that can only be experienced.
Whats your dream project?
I’m currently working on it! It’s called the Dabba Gaadi Project. We are working with street vendors across the city to do up their food carts by providing the visual branding that they could use. We’re painting their carts and fixing them up to help them utilise their space better. We all love decked up work spaces and walls. Why shouldn’t they have the luxury of the same right : ) And they form such an important part of the Indian eco system, but are still ignored. How many vendors (that you see on a daily basis) ‘s names do you know? We are hoping to bridge this gap through this project.
Mac or PC?
Paper and Pen.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Table for five. With Marvin Gaye, Wes Anderson, Noel Gallagher and John Mayer…
What’s on your iPod?
Pakistani indie music – Noori, Asif Sinan, Tamaashbeens, Teeen, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Air, Lucky Ali (he’s always on the ipod)
Whats your Twitter Handle?
I unfortunately use this just to call out misplaced online orders. So I’d rather not share.
I’m on facebook at facebook.com/cktc.illustrations and Instagram at curiosity_killsthecat.