You may have already spotted Sadhna and her beautiful illustrations in my round-up of the Camberwell MA show but I had to talk to this lovely lady a little bit more and find out her background and aspirations. It's just a little bit great that she fits in with my own dream colour palette and blog aesthetic too. Sadhna creates such inspiring narratives with her work and I can see all of her influences and dreams within her illustrations. I think her journey through university life has helped her become the practitioner she is and boy am I glad that we have her here in London now! We caught up for a little chat about what's coming up next and a little more insight into her cultured background....
Firstly, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what makes you 'you’?
I am an Illustrator and Designer from Mumbai, currently based in London. I have finally made it to graduation with four years of studying, two schools and lots of interests and experience. It has taken me five years to find a visual comfort. I have just started this journey where my work is an extension of how I am as an individual, so all the work I do from now should be able to define me. I have a weakness for stationery and love making lists!
What made you decide to take a Masters?
I am 23 and I am an impulsive decision maker. I have previously discontinued my education from two design institutes by choice to try something new and the Masters for me was a way to finish the education cycle. So, for me, the Masters has been the grand project you do in the final year of your undergraduate. Its been very hard but extremely worth it.
Where do you take your inspiration for projects from and do you have a way of collating this?
My work is mostly inspired by my memories, places and my dreams - this may seem like a list of all the default answers but it is so true. It is how I answer all the questions in my head-problem solving. I am very influenced by my background but London has been so motivating in just wanting to be a part of the large illustration scene. I use Instagram as a blog and as a reminder to create something everyday.
What do you think makes you different? I'm thinking that the use of colour in your work is really important!
That is a hard question. Lets just say, I have become very comfortable with who I am and this makes me appreciate everything even more. I have become very expressive in work and I am confident enough to sell the thought. I love expressing through vibrant colours. There is just so much positivity and contrast. I think this is what makes me different - I can channel any thought into a vibrant and loveable colour scheme, maintaining the complexity of the thought.
I really like your project based on Indian advertising stereotypes, how did this idea come about?
Dakshin Bhaarat was the research project for my Masters. It is the culmination of a very broad research topic - stereotypes. The research for this was very hard because I experienced the complexity of the topic. It took about a month to narrow down the research in terms of its causes and impacts and choose something very specific to experiment on. I think advertisement plays a very important level to shape or change thoughts amongst a large crowd. This seemed like a very easy way to sell the concept of an alternate world to an audience. It then led to a series of working experiments in different types of advertising and their specific usages to an audience whilst keeping the colours minimal with only the five used most in traditional Indian Advertising.
Can you give any advice for anyone thinking about going into a creative degree?
I don't really know if giving advice is the way to go. I believe that everyone needs to have their own set of experiences to define this field for themselves. But I will certainly say that, do lots of work. I love being busy. It's something you love doing, but it still takes a long time for it to be very good. And during this time, it's the personal growth that transcends as well. It's a unique combination of being competitive, curious, happy and wanting to keep experimenting with something new.
Who would you advise that other illustrators and artists check out?
Oh there are so many! I do not follow only Illustrators, but a lot of graphic designers, studios and even product/toy designers...Steve Simpson, Snask, Brosmind, Bakea, Cocolia, Jessica Walsh, Sameer Kuvaloor, Emilia Dzuibak, Aitch, Tom Anders, Guillaume Kurkdjian - it's a never ending list!
Finally, where are you going to go from here? What's the dream?
I am on the look for the best answer to that question! The dream now is to gain enough experience through the years to start my own studio in the future. Currently, I have just started an extensive personal project. There is an exciting opportunity I have been selected for with Adobes Biggest Student Show and Colossal Media in NYC and I am also part of a new collective of upcoming illustrators which is still in the process of forming. Apart from that, I just want to do lots of work and make people happy when they see it.
Images (from top to bottom) Tools used: Photoshop
Cover- Way Back, MA Illustration Graduation Project
Spread- Way Back, MA Illustration Graduation Project
Dakshin Bhaarat: Research Through Practise
Spread- Way Back, MA Illustration Graduation Project
Ongoing Personal Project, Quotes from Lifes Little Instruction Book. Two quotes shown in the image.
For a little more colour in your life, have a peek at Sadhna's website: www.sadhnaprasad.com and follow here on Instagram: @sadhnap