5 Homegrown Women Illustrators Capturing The Intricacies Of Life & The Female Gaze

Homegrown Women Illustrators On Our Radar
Homegrown Women Illustrators On Our Radar L: Sabhyata Jain R: Yamini Sujan

Women in illustration bring a profound depth to their art, resonating with women worldwide. They possess the ability to validate the everyday experiences and challenges faced by women, whether it's the nuances of solitude, the intricacies of relationships, the bonds of friendship, and much more

Our lives are intricately interwoven with those of others across the globe, and these women artists adeptly demonstrate the interconnectedness that binds us all. Through their work, we discover a new dimension of complexity that enriches our understanding of womanhood, showcasing the diversity of experiences that women navigate in their daily lives.

Here are five talented homegrown woman guiding us through the intricacies of our everyday lives with their evocative artwork and illustrations.

Yamini Sujan

Her famous illustration 'Reminiscence' deeply touched the hearts of many, portraying the timeless beauty and love that transcends generations. It beautifully depicts a grandmother delicately braiding her daughter's hair, while the mother, in turn, lovingly tends to her own daughter. Through her illustrations, Yamini generously shares her personal narrative, emphasising how these life patterns form the foundation for our journey forward. Across generations, we all seek that elusive sense of fulfillment in life.

Yamini's art communicates with viewers, offering a tranquil sense of calm and inner peace. Whether it's an illustration of someone immersed in contemplative writing amidst nature, gathering with friends in joyful laughter at the amphitheater, or simply savoring the rain with a cup of tea in hand, her work evokes a profound sense of contentment.

Varunika's Illustrations

A quick run through Varunika's body of work, and you will see all your beloved places. Be it the famous corner store, Frankie, Blossom Book House, or even Hard Rock Cafe, she illustrates all our go-to beloved places, the places that have come to shape us. What’s more, some of these illustrations are done in a video reel format to bring us back to living moments from our past, when we walked across these lanes, passing by small street food shops and vendors selling flowers.

Varunika, with her illustrations, captures the quintessential experience of walking in Indian streets in search of our favourite destination. Some of her posts entail her personal background and story with a certain illustration, and others showcase her creative process in detail, showing her create and bring these illustrations to life.

Surabhi Banerjee's Illustrations

What sets Surabhi Banerjee’s work apart is her ability to vividly illustrate scenes from movies. Her Bollywood series includes iconic moments from beloved films such as 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun', 'DDLJ', 'Jab We Met', and 'Sholay'. Beyond this, her illustrations adeptly capture the unique essence and energy of cities, as seen in pieces like 'Bombay Local' and 'Kolkata Bazaar'. According to her, each drawing narrates a story, one deeply personal in nature.

In many of her works, we can feel the affection she holds for objects that were integral to her upbringing. This sentiment is beautifully expressed through a recurring motif of significant items subtly positioned in the background.

Sabhyata Jain

There is a reel I came across on Instagram with the caption — 'Moments of solitude. Moments of vulnerability. Moments of happiness.' This deeply resonated with my inner sense of solitude. The illustrated reel is  part of a larger project called 'Bade Seher ki Ladkiyan', a zine created by Sabhyata.

Her work not only captures the feeling of loneliness that often accompanies the hustle and bustle of a city, and the monotony of day-to-day routines on autopilot but also delves into the intersection of strength and power that arises from solitude and autonomy, especially within the context of womanhood. What particularly caught my interest is her choice of retro Bollywood songs that she pairs with her illustrations, which heighten the emotion of solitude.

Anjali Kamat

Anjali regularly writes and publishes comics about her feelings and everyday life. Titles like 'Thoughts You Should Not Have While Making An Instagram Comic', 'Farmer's Market', 'Selfish Era', and more are drawn from her own experiences. As I perused her other drawings and illustrations, what truly intrigued me was the prominent presence of food. Anjali has a remarkable talent for making dishes look incredibly delicious, drawing inspiration from the various culinary encounters she has or even from classroom assignments.

One series that particularly struck a chord with me was her exploration of friendship. She delves into the profound experience of losing significant friends, the ensuing waves of grief, and how it impacts an individual, leading to moments of deep self-reflection. This series, in particular, resonated strongly with me.

Through these women in illustration's dedication to vividly depict the lived experiences of womanhood, these artists ensure that every girl, no matter where she is, feels seen and heard. Their art transcends boundaries, resonating with women around the world, and in doing so, they create a powerful sense of connection and validation for us all.