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INITIAL SKETCHES FOR HUMANE

Surasti worked on showing the interconnectedness of people while maintaining an amiable abstraction.

HUMANE: WORK IN PROGRESS

The layered textures and transparencies soften the forms of the characters and enhance the childlike shapes.

HUMANE: FROM THE EARTH WE ARE MOULDED, TO THE EARTH WE SHALL RETURN

Subtle earthy tones, naturally-lit spaces and diffused warm hues interpreted in materials that invite touch and allow imperfections. All these come together to cater to our inner yearning for meaningful connections beyond the virtual world of technology.

ALCHEMY: WORK IN PROGRESS

She used her love for multiple mediums for the artwork with a selection of sketches, personal photographs, illustration and collages.

BEFORE FILLING IN THE COLOURS

Sahiba tapped into her upbringing in Bombay. It is her take on the textural transformation of personal meaningful visuals of “my neighbourhood, my city, my environment...overlayed with fragments from various experiences over time”.

ALCHEMY OF MEMORIES: REINTERPRETING EXPERIENCES

A nostalgic aura of positive introspection as one reflects on the journey past, with a touch of magic and a dash of reality, this trend tries to articulate the transience of memories. Evoking this feeling of reminisce are tones of muddy mauves, aqua, pale greys and vivid greens in vintage rustic textures, smoky hues and mood lighting.

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Showcase 28 Mar 2018

ColourNext 2018: A look at the illustrations for Alchemy of Memories and Humane, with Sahiba Madan and Surasti Puri

This year, Asian Paints ColourNext collaborated with young, Indian illustrators to create illustrations that express the spirit of each of the 4 trends visually. ColourNext is an annual India-centric décor and design trends forecast event by Asian Paints that presents curated colour-material-finish palettes to the community at large. For 2018, the 4 trends are Humane, Busy Cool, Alchemy Of Memories and Untamed. CQ speaks to illustrators who worked on the theme-based artworks to understand how the trends were represented in their works.

The illustrators for ColourNext 2018, this year are a mix of skills, strengths and personalities. Weaving stories into their illustrations using various mediums to bring the themes to life, the process of illustration is rather intense and is derived from the illustrators’ own visual narrative styles and the mood of the trends.

This year the illustrators were Surasti Puri (Humane), Sahiba Madan (Alchemy Of Memories), Arushi Kathuria (Untamed) and Wari Watai (Busy Cool). CQ takes a look at two of the four themes, Humane and Alchemy of Memories, in this article.

Humane by Surasti Puri

While interpreting the CN18 Trend “Humane”, after the main aspects were pinned down, Surasti worked on showing the interconnectedness of people while maintaining an amiable abstraction. The layered textures and transparencies soften the forms of the characters and enhance the childlike shapes. The illustrations are mostly hand-drawn and finished digitally. Coloured in earthy hues with touches of blue and mustard, the figures in the artwork share a happy comforting space. What appears to be a picnic of sorts, it touches our need to be social, enjoy music and embracing sharing. The illustration invites you to be vulnerable, draws you back to your roots – to nature, and propels you to create meaningful connections.  

A bit about Surasti, the illustrator

Surasti Puri is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer who graduated in Visual Communication from Srishti School of Art & Design in Bangalore, before moving to London for her masters in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute in 2016. She currently divides her time between work at a not-for-profit research & media Lab focusing on human rights, and her artistic practice.

According to Surasti, in her practice, while she tends to use digital tools for her commercial illustration work, she prefers watercolours and gouache for her personal work. Memory is often a starting point for her.

Surasti recently completed a painting exploration 'Ordinary Joys' , a series that attempted to grasp at constantly evolving memories by recreating the room within which the memory took place,  allowing for change to continue while appreciating a single second of stillness. The blog post and interview for the exhibition can be found here.

“We don't realise how naturally we start paying attention to the details of things when we feel, make and draw with our hands”

Alchemy of Memories by Sahiba Madan

For her interpretation of “Alchemy Of Memories”, Sahiba tapped into her upbringing in Bombay. It is her take on the textural transformation of personal meaningful visuals of “my neighbourhood, my city, my environment...overlayed with fragments from various experiences over time”. She used her love for multiple mediums for the artwork with faded vintage photographs meshed together with colour pops of muddy mauves and greens, layered with quirky rustic textures that come together to create a trip down memory lane. Sahiba collages them together to add character and depth to the final piece.

Sahiba’s other works and interests

Sahiba shares that her earliest memories are that of herself as a child “drawing with anything, on anything, walls, paper, wrappers, everything”. In her words, the progression of her interest “initially drawing to now design, has been quite linear”. She went on to study and work in Architecture. With a range of explorations in design including Kalakaari Haath, she attempts to translate her influences into a formal aesthetic sense, intent and design language;  a lot of which stems from the traditional arts and crafts of India.

About her artistic practice, she shares how it’s “a weird association I have with drawing/working with my hands. We don't realise how naturally we start paying attention to the details of things when we feel, make and draw with our hands”. Besides Bombay, she has always had a fascination for the craft of things. This is evident in her recent projects A New Life for Nimaaya Healthcare and a collage mural titled Concrete Jungle.

This article is the first of a 2-part series on the illustrations of ColourNext 2018 and their illustrators. To know more about the illustrations for Untamed (Arushi Kathuria) & Busy Cool (by Wari Watai), hop over to this.

Stay updated on the ColourNext 2018 by following Asian Paints on their website, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.