#HGArtProject 020: Shefali Desai

#HGArtProject 020: Shefali Desai

Shefali has been in the creative space since she learnt how to draw.

“I was always crafty and I loved to draw and paint. I always knew this was my thing,” she shares. She did my Bachelor’s in Interactive media from Raffles Design, Mumbai, and her Master’s in Design from Raffles Design Institute, Singapore, came back to India after to go on and work in ‘some of the coolest agencies such as Eureka Moment Design, Jack in The Box and Interface Business Solutions.’ She has now opened up her own design agency called BASE501.


I. Which are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?

I’m generally inspired by the things I see around me, places, people, brands... I’m absolutely in love with how Nike and Apple work their designs. I have a fetish for the ‘little details’, and apart from that, Alice in Wonderland has always been close to heart. It’s taught me to think beyond the possibilities that exist.

II. Could you tell us more about the thought process behind the artwork you made us?

I don’t plan an art piece before making it, I believe you lose the essence when you plan. This particular artwork has a lot of flow... it’s just my way of saying that even chaos can be designed. I’m fond of patterns, which is quite evident in the doodle, and also black and white is something I always do. It’s like - if it looks good in black and white, it’l look good in colour.

III. Who are some of your most inspirational artists in India and abroad? 

My design lecturers would be the first on my list - Pierre Webster, Winson Ho, Cristhian Salamanca and Guy Royer, who taught me everything I need to know about design, how it works, how it should work... they taught me how to be a better designer, they made me work hard they made me think. They quite literally fuelled my creative side - the fact that they all specialised in different fields of design, it helped me think of design from all aspects, and not just print and digital. 

I really admire the works of Kerby Rosanes, Robin Davey, Stefan Sagmeister & David Carson.  A lot of my art inspiration is derived from the artists of the past like MC Echer, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Michelangelo, and - most importantly - Steve Job’s ideologies have been my biggest inspiration.

IV. If you could work with the Indian government for an art project that you get to suggest and lead, what would that be?

Road signs and Street art for sure!

V. What are your future plans ? Any projects you would like to kick off or possibly work for a big art house?

As of now, it’s to work really hard on my new venture, BASE501, make better designs and make the world a visually better place to live in, one pixel at a time.

VI. Could you share 3 of your best designs and elaborate on each one of them?

Ouch, that’s a little tough to actually categorise them as 3 of my best, because when I look at my work after a few months, or days of its completion, I can think of a hundred reasons and ways of how it could have been better!


‘Dream’ series: There is something about dreams that fascinates me - they are magical, surreal, chaotic yet calming. At times, I like how you cannot control them. These illustrations were my very first and are very close to my heart, all done using pen, paper and canvas.


‘Solace’: I absolutely love illustrating hair - it is is my latest addiction. This art piece is different from my regular doodle style, I wanted to do something new, something which is addictive to look at, I was convinced that adding colour and highlighting subtle details would give the artwork a completely different look.


‘The World’s Finest’ Batman Vs Superman: A lot of time has been invested in order to create this illustration. I’m a huge fan of Batman and Superman, and I wanted to create something different from what you usually see in the market and hence the thought of combining them came up as an idea after the new of the Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice premiere release came out. I had to make something out of it. If you look closely, you’ll notice it’s filled with all the villains. This print is available on Redbubble and Society6.

VII. Quick question round:

- One track your currently listening to?

Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

- An artwork you wished you did?

The doodle interiors of Smokehouse Deli on Pali Hill.

- An art project you wish you were a part of?

The Nike ‘AIR MAX REINVENT’ Art Project Celebrating 25 Years of Air Max.

- Your favourite munchies?

Oreos, Pringles, Mars bar and Goldfish Cheese Crackers.

- Paint or wacom bamboo?


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