5 Homegrown Illustrators Who Use The World & The People Around Them As Their Muse

Here are some Homegrown illustrators capturing the places and the people they encounter every single day.
Here are some Homegrown illustrators capturing the places and the people they encounter every single day. Vijaya Aswani

There is a fascination I hold with artists who sketch a person in front of them while capturing the essence of a real-time, authentic setting. There's an element of voyeurism here, as their selected muse sometimes remains unaware of being observed in such precise detail, but in essence, it's a form of documentary art that's stripped down to its original form and thereby provides a glimpse into someone elses life. This adds a layer of authenticity to the art.

Here are 5 artists on Instagram who draw inspiration from such chance encounters. For them, it's as if, in a sudden moment of looking at someone, inspiration strikes.

P.S Rathour

P. S. Rathour is known for his series Doodling My Day, in which he captures everything that caught his attention during the day; be it people, animals, posters, or even food. This amalgamation of elements finds its place on a single page, beautifully and seamlessly interconnected. All these small parts of his day come to constitute one delightful result. We'd see these elements fill our day-to-day lives too, if only we would simply pause to notice and immortalize them. Through his drawings, he captures these fleeting moments and emphasises the richness that exists in the ordinary.


With a bio that reads, "Happy little accidents on paper," Ardra adeptly captures the essence of her artistry. Among her endeavours, my personal favourite is her project 'Chennai', where she roams the city, observing her muses, which are mostly people engrossed in their tasks, vendors peddling their wares, and everyone in their unfiltered, authentic state. Through her work, she paints a vibrant portrait of Chennai and showcases its different faces.


Vijaya Aswani, also known as spreefirit, has a unique approach to selecting subjects for her art. She conducts what we call a "vibe check". She approaches intriguing-looking individuals and asks, "Hey, I really like your vibe. Can I draw you?" She then creates an animated, graphic version that amplifies their cool and interesting features. She predominantly chooses people with eclectic attire, eccentric styles, or those with distinctive hair colors, as these elements translate exceptionally well onto the canvas.

Pritesh Rangole

Pritesh Rangole practices live painting, setting up his canvas right before the scenery or subject that inspires him, and meticulously bringing it to life on the page just as it exists beyond the canvas. While he often draws inspiration from picturesque natural settings and bustling urban scenes, he also portrays people. One instance that stands out is when he decided to depict his auto-rickshaw driver during a ride. It was fascinating to witness him capture the scene despite the shaky, unstable auto journey. This act came full circle when he presented the finished piece to the driver at the end of the ride.


Chaitanya Limaye, aka 'artofchai', is a multi-talented artist with a penchant for illustration and animation. What sets him apart is his approach to live sketching, where he intertwines elements of fiction and storytelling into his creations. This distinctive twist adds an extra layer of depth and intrigue to his illustrations, making them stand out in the realm of visual art. My favourite piece is the one where he draws inspiration from a tree. Limaye's imaginative eye portrays how it might have appeared decades ago and even a half-century or even a full century in the past, which gives an engaging character and visual story to the tree. 

Through their work, these artists implore us to be present, to notice, and to immortalise the vignettes of life that otherwise slip through our fingers. They have mastered the art of drawing inspiration from chance encounters and are thereby immersing themselves in the raw, unfiltered beauty of the world around them.

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