Reshu Singh is an independent illustrator and visual artist, with work rooted in drawing, mark-making and storytelling. She has a keen interest in graphic narrative, moving and still image, interaction of art, science, culture and environment. Her comics have been published in anthologies by Zubaan Books (India), mairisch Verlag (Germany) and Ad Astra Comix (USA). In 2016, her comics work was recognised to be among 100 pioneering female comic artists around the world and was exhibited at House of Illustration, London, in an exhibition curated by Paul Gravett and Olivia Ahmed.
Why are you an Illustrator?
I have always loved drawing, and being an illustrator lets me make a living doing that.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I attended College of Art, New Delhi and studied Applied Art there which included graphic design, illustration and advertising.
You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
It has been evolving since the beginning. I have always enjoyed working with brush and ink. I think drawing a lot over time has helped me shape my voice.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I think my role model was my grandmother, always a strong woman who I looked up to.
Who was the most influential personality in your career in Illustrations?
I would say Jillian Tamaki. I was blown away by her art in Skim, and got interested in making comics.
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I started freelancing after leaving Turmeric Design in 2016, where I worked for three and a half years. I wanted to explore narrative storytelling, zines, comics, I wanted to make books, and wanted the freedom to work on more of such projects. I illustrate mainly for books and editorial assignments, and sometimes for advertising.
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I am open to working with agencies and publishers both. Since I am focused on working with graphic narrative, I mostly work with publishers.
The Smoke House Deli project is so cool! How did that come about? Who’s idea was it? Did you present sketches before painting on walls?
It was a project I worked on with a team while working at Turmeric Design. Smokehouse Deli has had its own visual language to engage diners with intriguing hand drawn wall art and curating stories and memories of the area. Turmeric Design was invited to take that idea forward. We ideated as a team and planned and executed it together.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
I have had times when I have felt utterly frustrated, but I can’t picture myself doing anything else other than illustrating.
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys/graphic novels?
I would love to make figurines and toys in the future.
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
There are so many amazing Indian illustrators. Rajiv Eipe, Prabha Mallya, and Aindri C. immediately come to mind.
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?
Take one step at a time and keep moving forward. Build pace and consistency over time. Work hard at your craft and approach people who are doing the kind of work you want to do, talk to them. Share your work.
What’s your dream project?
Writing and illustrating feature length graphic novels.
Mac or PC?
I work on a Mac which I really like, but I don’t have a preference.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Lots of Geeta Dutt and Beach House.
What’s your Twitter Handle? Instagram?
Twitter: @reshusings. Instagram: @reshusingh