Saloni has grown up in various places across the country, including some remote ones, thanks to her father being in the Army. Throughout her childhood she school-hopped from one Army school to another, and she finally ended up specialising in graphic design from Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. Being a music buff, this is where she started freelancing for bands, designing their album covers and logos. Following this, she did her post graduation from National Institute of Design, where she specialised in retail design which earned her opportunities to work on different levels like furniture and fixture design, space planning and much more.
Saloni also worked with DDB Mudra, Mumbai, for a while and she now works at Imaginea, Hyderabad, as an Interaction designer. Even as she juggled design specialisations, her passion for illustrations has been as avid as ever. From doodles in the back of school books to making commissions, she remarks that it seems like she has achieved something today. "When I’m not doing any of these things, I’m usually in my garden looking for and clicking the tiny insects. They are so simple and beautiful," she said.
I. Which are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?
I draw inspiration from different things, like nature, music, animals and a lot of tales. My family has been a living inspiration for me, my father is the most innovative person - he comes up with the best ideas for our home, including wonderful-looking bars. My mum has turned dry lands into magical spaces by growing one of the best gardens in town and planting fruit trees, and my extremely talented sister Khushboo actually happens to my batchmate in NID, and colleague in all the previous organisations I have worked with. Everyone in my family is an artist.
II. Could you tell us more about the thought process behind the artwork you made us?
To me, Homegrown narrates magical stories like a coffee table book on trending youth. This is what I instantly pictured when Homegrown came to mind. HG being the magic teacup, and moths being people and their sparkling journey.
III. Who are some of your most inspirational artists in India and abroad?
India – George Mathen; I totally love his concept of silent graphic novels and desert touch to his illustrations. Sameer Kulavoor – definitely the most aspiring artist, animator and design in our country!
Abroad – Harriorrihar, for his fine lines and minimal style & Maria Tiurina – for her dark humour. Traditional favourites would be Theodor and Gustave Dore, Edward Gorey.
IV. If you could work with the Indian government for an art project that you get to suggest and lead, what would that be?
Would love to work on projects for Wildlife conservation, farming, reforestation. I would also love to illustrate for educational books or school books for their science drawings; these were the only things I enjoyed in my classes.
V. What are your future plans? Any projects you would like to kick off or possibly work for a big art house?
I plan to have a studio / workspace of my own with as much nature around, ideally in some hills. One can dream! (laughs) I'd love to partner with some friends or like minds, and continue my journey making more comic strips, animations, and handmade home accessories.
VI. Could you share 3 of your best designs and elaborate on each one of them?
Although I cannot be the best judge of my own works, here are three of my favourites.
Done for a college assignment in NID. Before the art, I thought about designing the packaging which uses a push mechanism to take the cigarettes out, and also has an in-built matchbox and space for matches and mints, for the experience as a whole. I kept a hint of skulls and dead bunnies in the graphics / art as I possibly can't think of selling cigarettes without mentioning its harmful effects. In case you don’t smoke - you can store phantom cigarette candy!
I often take references from fairytales and represent them in my own style. Here’s how I’ve shown Snowwhite’s Death trap. I love the way it turned out, and though I’m not still happy with its colouring, it still remains one of my favourite drawings.
This was an entry to NH7 ‘The Scene’ poster completion. Even though it did not win, it's one of my favourite posters in which I could come up with whatever we wanted, without any requirement or any sort of brief given to us. I took cues from each band in order to come up with a concept; I represented the scene in a circus, wherein different species and the snail (from Pangea’s album) get to perform the surreal madness.
VII. Quick question round:
- One track your currently listening to?
Causa Sui – Visions of Summer
- An artwork you wished you did?
The Gashlycrumb Tinies – Edward Goery (My own version)
- An art project you wish you were a part of?
- Your favourite munchies?
- Paint or wacom bamboo?