17 Contemporary Illustrators From India We Love Who Just Happen To Be Women

17 Contemporary Illustrators From India We Love Who Just Happen To Be Women

Contemporary India has hundreds of fantastically talented artists with digital paint brushes and virtual pencils at their disposal, creating gorgeous works of art on screens. There is no steadfast proof that the volume of art produced has been affect by the wide adoption of digital art tools, but one can easily discern that the mediums available to convey artistic expression have placed us in a golden era for creative expression. The digital age has allowed for the definition of ‘art’ to expand too. 

The once tedious process of pursuing graphic design and creating illustrations and collages in the digital dark ages is far behind us, throwing open a myriad of avenues for our 21st century creatives. And thanks to this new wave of artists our world is graced with their artistic ripples, from quirky characters to intricately whimsical worlds of fantasy and creativity. To put it bluntly, in this heightened age of expression we are forever in awe of the raw talent that mirrors the many intricacies of this interesting world we live in. 

To show our appreciation we decided to tip our hats to 15 young female illustrators bringing in the new age of creativity with their beautiful creations. These harbingers of a progressive generation of artists make us proud, and we’re pretty sure you’ll feel the same. Scroll on, and enjoy our generation’s artists and their man mediums of expression.

A graduate of the Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Aakansha is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Mumbai.  Presently working with Thought Over Design, her work spans Branding & Identity, Web design and Illustration.

HG Loves: Kyamba, an interactive, illustrated storybook app concept for children.

A native of Mumbai, Adrita currently works as an illustrator in Pune. Her refreshing sense of humour stands out in every one of her projects, from her Selfie Gods series to her Ramayan Bro Code spread. Her Facebook page Das Naiz provides daily chuckles, quirky character design and GIF art.

HG Loves: It’s hard to pick just one, but Everyday People is a fun portrait series of everyday people doing everyday things.

Ayeshe is one half of the Delhi-based 211 Studio, alongside Ishaan Dasgupta. Graduates of Srishti, Bangalore, they have a vibrant quirky illustration style that translates well for everything from children’s books and restaurant interiors to hospitality branding.

HG Loves: Their intimate travel journals cataloging their food adventures in Malayasia.

Based in Bangalore, Bhavani is an illustrator and animator with an extensive visual style. Her portfolio exhibits everything from goofy monsters, whimsical fan art for art films like Gummo and beautiful portraits.

HG Loves: Lemon Drop, an animated short created for her Graduation project.

Traditional mediums like inks and acrylics come together in bold, unexpected ways in Jezreel’s fresh style. Whether it’s her thick brush strokes, graphic hand lettering or delicate water colours, each piece in her portfolio is refreshingly different. She also works within the art direction and branding space.

HG Loves: Hand painted illustrations for a short story about tea, painted on the planes of a wooden tea box.

Kaveri is an illustrator and comic maker based in Bangalore, where she has previously worked with Chumbak. She is a part of Kadak, a collective of South Asian women who work with graphic storytelling. Her comics are often inspired by personal experiences and provide a relatable visual experience for the reader.

HG Loves: Her contribution to UrbanLore, “What Was It Like When You Could Smoke Inside Koshy’s?”

Kolkata native Lavanya is an animator and illustrator. She uses colour and light & shadow to bring life to her characters, and her themes make for a delightful and relatable viewing experience for the Indian audience.

HG Loves: Illustrations for Ruskin Bond’s A Long Walk For Bina, published by Rupa.

Crayons, colour pencils and round-eyed characters make up Maitri’s child-like illustration style, and are reminiscent of school projects. Her sharp wit and quirky visualizations of current issues however are far from child like. Touching on everything from LGBT rights, to sustainability and politics, her illustrations create a relatable and approachable opening for dialogue on these themes.

HG Loves: Her Madrassa series, illustrating Yasmin Khan’s research on the relevance of madrassas, their role in Muslim radicalization and the impact of the government’s madrassa modernization program on these institutions.

An alumnus of NID, Mira is a Mumbai-based graphic designer who runs her own boutique design studio - Studio Kohl. Her work displays vibrant colour palettes and bold lines and her brand extension Kiss creates modern wedding invitations that strike the perfect balance between traditional and modern aesthetics.

HG Loves: The quirky, super fun Diwali cards she sends out every year.

Originally from Pune, Nupur is a visual artist who creates gorgeous watercolor illustrations. She uses delicate brush strokes and intricate patterns in monochrome and colour to bring life to her dreamy characters and their worlds.

HG Loves: MUSIC, an illustrated series of musically gifted women.

Hailing from Goa, Prisila is a graphic designer presently working out of Mumbai. She enjoys experimenting with typography and using different mediums and materials in her work. She also incorporates interesting illustrated elements to her design work.

HG Loves: Her colourful game board inspired mural in Ulsoor, Bangalore.

Having completed the Foundation Studies Program at Srishti, Bangalore, Priya moved on to work with Delhi-based studio Brewhouse. Her work spans a variety of mediums, from intimate sketches in her notebook to vivid vector characters and even animation.

HG Loves: Her Cirque Berserk series, created for print on acrylic furniture, scarves, bags and so on.

Rae is an illustrator from Cochin, currently pursuing her design education at Srishti, Bangalore. She works in both digital and traditional mediums, lending visual diversity to her style.

HG Loves: Her Editorial illustrations and cover art for Kindle magazine.

Having completed her MA in Illustration from the Camberwell College of the Arts, London, Sadhna has recently returned to Mumbai to continue her practice as an illustrator and visual designer. A mix of bold colour palettes, patterns and characters come together to create an ethereal world in her illustration style.

HG Loves: Her fantastical illustrated entry for the Adobe x Colossal World Student Art Show.

Animators, graphic designers and sisters, Shaivalini and Asavari both have strong independent portfolios with adorable vector characters and fun colour palettes. They’ve recently started a collaborative venture Supernova Design.

HG Loves: Shaivalini’s editorial illustration for the New Yorker magazine, and Asavari’s animated short Chocolate Bacon.

Based in Bangalore, illustrator Surasti dabbles in a variety of mediums, ranging from water colours to vector illustrations. Her melancholic colour palettes and mystical characters come together to create a truly unique visual aesthetic.

HG Loves: Mirages of the Past, a project appreciating Bangalore and its past through creating alternative histories of the city.

After studying Commercial Arts at Rachana Sansad, Tosha is currently pursuing a freelance career in Mumbai. Her portfolio has a mix of playful typography, branding projects and line art illustration.

HG Loves: Colourful, hand made lettering for the Art & Found website.