Vrushali Somavanshi is an engineering student who is currently in her final year of graduation. “I always loved to draw but never really thought I was great at it,” she tells us. “I felt lost after school, and didn’t really know what I wanted to do; after three years of engineering, I knew I had had enough of it, and frankly - I never really thought I had the aptitude for it anyway.”
Vrushali’s foray into design first began while making posters for her college festival, after which she took some classes to learn basic design softwares and immersed herself further in the stream. “The more I learnt, the more I loved it,” she confesses. She then interned for a few start-ups here and there, and did freelance work which gave her confidence in her work.
Finally, she decided to take the plunge and choose design as her focus area for further studies. She started drawing much more and realized she had a love for patterns, and breaking up complex objects into smaller objects and geometrical shapes. She also sells her artwork online, which is currently available for sale on Postergully and Cupick.
“I’m a happier person now and I intend to stay this way,” Vrushali says.
I. What are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?
My ‘artistic career’ hasn’t truly begun I feel, there are still many skills I’d like to have in my arsenal.
I take inspiration from people around me, people who are following their dreams against all odds, working hard to improve themselves; it makes more sense to me as I know them better, the situations they are going through.
As this transition in career paths has been an important part of my life, many a times I was required to take some tough decisions, and went through phases of self-doubt. But people inspired me, and I got through.
II. Could you tell us more about the thought process behind the artwork you made us?
I call this work ‘Brain Matter’ - it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to a self portrait! (laughs)
It’s about all the random thoughts that go on in my brain, the colourful patterns just oozing out.
It’s young, it’s peppy and kind of identifies with our generation: a hundred thoughts in our minds.
I’ve used some patterns I drew earlier in one of my designs, and created a type of illusion effect to make it look a little trippy. I like how it shows Homegrown as a giant ball of energy responsible for the flux in ideas, culture and art.
III. Who are some of your most inspirational artists in India and abroad?
I love Acid Toad (Gaurav Basu), his stuff is sick!
RJ artworks (Killer posters)
Adarsh Balak (Priyesh Trivedi) - totally cult stuff.
Lois Van Baarle (Digital painting)
Sanna Annukka (Pattern Artist)
Malika Favre (Minimalistic style)
Storm Thorgerson (Surreal Photography)
Steve Simpson (Illustrations)
Jessica Hische (Typography)
Chipp Kidd (Book covers)
Kerby Rosanes (Who doesn’t love him?)
IV. If you could work with the Indian government for an art project that you get to suggest and lead, what would that be?
I’d love to revamp children’s textbooks with some great illustrations, or lead the travel and tourism sector to create some amazing informative brochures and posters about the beauty of India.
I’d love to create textile prints with different patterns representing our country for some of our women politicians as well, their clothes are just plain boring which is a sin especially if you come from a place like India, which is so rich in its art and culture. You don’t have to wear boring clothes in order to be taken seriously!
V. What are your future plans ? Any projects you would like to kick off or possibly work for a big art house?
1) Improve. Improve. Improve. Expand skill-set.
2) Start creating a mind-numbingly awesome portfolio.
3) Well, currently I have a lot to learn. I’m looking forward to do my Masters in Design and as I have just started out, there are many ideas floating around in my head which I soon want to bring on paper.
4) I’d love to start my own company someday.
VI. Could you share 3 of your best designs and elaborate on each one of them?
This was the first artwork I made, which kind of established the style I like working in.
I was attending a design class to prepare me for a Masters Degree in Design, and the brief was to create random shapes with patterns. I thought random shapes coming together to form a clear picture would look great, and it turned out to be like this. It was inspired by a tattoo I saw somewhere.
2) Valar Morghulis
By far, my most-liked artwork for its pop culture appeal. (laughs)
I think it’s pretty cool, it has a royal emblem feel to it with a sword in the middle.
The original artwork had additional details, but I edited it and coloured it, and thought this looked much better.
3) Kitschy Illustration
I made this for a competition which was about creating a poster about social issues. I didn’t win, but ended up with a nice illustration. I really like it because its extremely colourful, and I absolutely love a blast of colour in my design.
VII. Quick question round:
- One track your currently listening to?
Duke Ellington – Sophisticated Lady
The Great Gig in the sky – Pink Floyd
I like listening to wordless vocals or Jazz tracks when I am working, gives me good rhythm and flow.
- An artwork you wished you did?
I login to Behance, and find hundreds of them every single day, but to name a few:
Under the iron sea cover for Keane, by Sanna Annukka.
The animation sequence (two flowers) for “What shall we do now?” by Floyd.
- An art project you wish you were a part of?
Can’t think of anything in particular, but probably the designing of books covers or illustrating for stories which requires a lot of thought, and can have layers. Basically, where there is a lot of freedom and scope for creativity.
- Your favourite munchies?
Love for Cheetos was highly induced due to pokemon goodies that used to come free with it.
Multi cards, Tazos, Jenga cards, Diamond cards, 3D cards - you name it, I have it.
- Paint or wacom bamboo?
Nothing fancy, a paper and a bunch of Staedler fineliners will suffice.