That Zany Martian's Vibrant Notebooks Celebrate South Asian Heritage & Identity

BrownGirl Magic Notebook
BrownGirl Magic NotebookNeha Shetty (That Zany Martian)

Many few artists fervently use art as a powerful bridge, to aim and combat the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of South Asian culture on the global stage. Neha Shetty is one such illustrator from Bangalore who draws inspiration from her South Asian heritage and the colourful, maximalist aesthetic that characterises the region. Her psychedelic funky creations breathe life into narratives often overlooked in mainstream media.

"Aesthetically, my illustrations are also an homage to hand painted vintage bollywood posters. It's an artwork I've always been drawn to & its also something that I hope will make a return in a world that's so obsessed with artificial artistic enhancements."
Neha Shetty (That Zany Martian)
BrownGirl Magic Notebook
BrownGirl Magic NotebookNeha Shetty (That Zany Martian)

Neha's creative process and artistic repertoire is a reflection of her eclectic influences and commitment to authenticity. Drawing inspiration from the world around her, she infuses her illustrations with vibrant colours and intricate details reminiscent of hand-painted Bollywood posters. Her South Asian identity serves as both a muse and a mission, driving her to represent her culture accurately while challenging stereotypes and underrepresentation.

Moreover, she finds immense beauty in this traditional form of art and hopes to see a resurgence in its popularity amidst the current fascination with digitally enhanced artwork. However, Neha's creative spirit goes beyond mere reverence for the past. She actively seeks to challenge conventional norms and push boundaries, as evidenced by her past workshops, where she explored unconventional ways to showcase art in everyday objects like matchboxes.

"My approach to my notebooks etc is very much like anything else that I do - which is - to introduce the world a new way at looking at things that might not have been done before or atleast try to."
Neha Shetty (That Zany Martian)

This desire to break the mold extends to her latest venture - a collection of notebooks and notepads. In a market saturated with stationery, Neha's notebooks and notepads stand out as more than just functional items.

"In a sea of stationery on the internet, where there are new launches every other day, I did not want my notebooks to just be another mass produced, aesthetically pleasing paper stuff for people to write on - instead I did want to push a little further & make a statement."
Neha Shetty (That Zany Martian)

Through intricate, detailed illustrations, Neha creates a narrative that subtly represents South Asian iconography and evokes feelings of nostalgia with nods to childhood favourites like Mango Bite candies.

Mango bite Notepad
Mango bite NotepadNeha Shetty (That Zany Martian)
"Apart from the use of carefully curated text itself,  I've also subtly hinted at various underlying issues in the South Asian community like colorism etc in a feminist lens. But of course, you'll never see them shoved in your face unless you are paying attention."
Neha Shetty (That Zany Martian)

These notebooks serve not only as tools for jotting down thoughts but also as statements, making users engage with their cultural heritage and contemplate societal norms. 

Her notebooks delves deeper, incorporating curated text that hints at social issues within the South Asian community, viewed through a feminist lens. These nuances, however, are not presented in a confrontational manner as they require the viewer to actively engage and look beyond the surface.

"Essentially, they are not just another notebook or notepad, they are a statement. "
Neha Shetty (That Zany Martian)

Neha's latest collection of notebooks and notepads offers a wide range of options, each showcasing her eclectic style and dedication to cultural representation. From the whimsical 'BrownGirl Magic Notebook' to the nostalgic 'Mango Bite Notepad', users can explore designs where South Asian iconography meets contemporary flair. Other highlights include the playful 'Cat Notebook', the retro charm of the 'Retro Tiger Notepad', and the unique 'Alien Notepad'.

Get your notebooks here

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