Shrushti Rao : Artist and Graphic Designer



 A former student of Engineering, she is currently pursuing her Masters in Communication Design at IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay. Her work ranges from unique digital illustrations, clean graphic designs to detailed hand-drawn artworks. Shrushti is a keen observer and an avid reader. Her collection of graphic novels & illustrated books are her most prized possessions. Being a night owl and a dreamer occasionally turns her into a poet. Food brings her joy like no other.

Why are you an Illustrator?
I think the visual medium is a very powerful one. One, that gives you the freedom to unleash your thoughts and create something beautiful. Every time I touch a pen to a paper  or a digital pen to the surface of a tablet, a sense of joy and purpose rushes through me. That rush is what drives me to illustrate.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
No, I have studied engineering in Information Technology. During the course of that degree, I discovered the design keeda in me. I taught myself the softwares and started building a portfolio. This enabled me to apply to design schools for a Masters degree.  I got into IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay and am currently in my first year of Mdes in Communication Design. It has already been an enriching experience and I hope to learn and grow a lot more.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I’ve only been in this field for a few years and practice is what got me here. While I certainly want to have a unique voice, I don’t want to stick to a particular style. I would like to experiment with different styles according to the need of the project so that I become a much more versatile designer/illustrator.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Unfortunately, like I said, its been only a few years for me in this field, so I can’t really say I have had  role models that I grew up with.  I discover new artists/illustrators/designers that I really admire, everyday, on instagram  or behance.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations and graphic design?
I don’t know if I can name one, but there are plenty I admire. Olimpia Zagnoli, Malika Favre,Yuko Shimizu, Steve Simpson, Victo Ngai, David Sossela  to name a few.

What made you decide to start freelancing? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I certainly think freelancing is a powerful platform. It gives you the luxury  to choose and experiment with different projects. I started a few years ago, around 2014. My freelance work usually involves graphic design. Most of the illustration work that I have done has been for self-initiated projects. I hope to work more in illustration soon.

 Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Over the past few years, I think advertising agencies have opened up to including a lot illustrative work. Having said that, I don’t think the type of work that is involved in advertising is suited to me. Though I have worked with neither, I think I would prefer publishers.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations/graphic design?
I haven’t been it long enough to want to quit! Of course we all have our days of self-doubt, but one thing that this field has taught me so far is you need to stick it out. You need to be patient and work hard. Nothing happens overnight.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Never really considered it, but sounds intriguing. Why not? Maybe sometime soon!

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
Indian illustration has seen an explosion of some fabulous work. I really admire all the work of Kadak collective, Kokaachi, Tara books. Some others I love are Sameer Kulavoor, Karan singh and many more. Recently Allen Shaw and Prashant Miranda visited our college and they have really interesting water colour works.

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?
I think recently, the industry has become more open to illustration. Comic books and zines are being published, advertising has started including a lot of illustration work. Having said that, surviving only on illustration is still in question.  You need to have a skill, that pays, that you can rely on. You need to strike a balance between the two.

Whats your dream project?
Currently, my obsession is to make a full-fledged comic book.

Mac or PC?

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Since I loveeeee food, I think my entire concentration would be on the food 😛

Whats your Twitter Handle?
I don’t use twitter.

Shrushti Rao

Shrushti Rao Shrushti Rao Shrushti Rao


One thought on “Shrushti Rao : Artist and Graphic Designer

  1. Amey says:

    What wonderful work Shrushti! Loved it!

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