The Sketchy Life

At Eat.Shop.Love, we are forever inspired by young talent. Starting this week, every Monday we would feature a budding talent. This week, we spoke to Madhuvanthi Mohan, who is an illustrator and runs her amazing brand, Something Sketchy where she puts her illustrations on products like notebooks, coaster-magnets, calendars and postcards for retail. She is currently present in 15 stores across 9 cities in India (Landmark) and 4 boutique stores in NYC. Always excited about learning new things and meeting new people, she spent her last summer in New York doing a few summer courses at the School of Visual Arts. While there, she did a couple of flea markets and the Humans of New York page featured the Something Sketchy ‘Black’ notebook with a customer.

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What was your Eureka moment? 

I was a copywriter in advertising for 3 years before I quit to work on Something Sketchy full time. When I first joined advertising I was really excited to produce awesome work for clients and I really enjoyed the first year of work. I got a banking client soon after though, and work was not as creatively satisfying as I had hoped, which is when I began doodling at the office. One of our MDs Sandeep Mittal who is in a band called The Second Shift commissioned me to create an illustration for one of his songs for a gig at Hard Rock Cafe. And things sort of took off from there. I think the first time I sketched was for an internal campaign for the company with art director Yogesh Bhagchandani where I conceptualized each department as part of a big machine.

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Tell us a bit more about Something Sketchy.

Something Sketchy is my illustration brand, currently available in 15 Landmark stores across 9 cities in India and 4 boutique stores in NYC. I have about 40 of my illustrations that I put on notebooks, calendars, coaster-magnets, keychains and postcards for retail. Apart from selling at Landmark and some boutique stores I also put up stalls at places like Comic Con, India Surf Festival, Kitsch Mandi, NH7 Weekender. I love these because I get to interact with customers face to face, which is lovely.

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What form of art you enjoy the most?

I’ve recently been really enjoying street art a lot. I like to travel and see what it’s like to live in new places. I also love meeting new artists and learning from them. Since I can work out of anywhere a lot of the time, I spent 4 months this year in Delhi helping out with the St+art Street Art festival, expanding my business and painting a piece as part of the festival. Here is a blog article I wrote about my mural process in Delhi: http://www.makersasylum.com/something-sketchy-the-mural-story-2/


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You spent 4 months in New York last year. Tell us about that?

I did 4 short summer courses at the School of Visual Arts last summer – Silkscreen (which was amazing), Illustration Portfolio (where I had a terrific teacher Elizabeth Sayles and met so many interesting artists doing different things which was a great learning) Business of Art and Digital Colouring in Photoshop. I also did a few flea markets and started supplying to 4 boutique stores there. New York was colourful and inspiring in its own magical way – it was a great experience.

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Name any artist(s) who have inspired you?

While I was helping with the St.art Mumbai Street Art Festival in October of last year I hosted and spent a lot of time with Maia of Tika Thek, who is an amazing artist and wonderful person. I saw things through different eyes and she made me appreciate the smaller amazing things about the place we live in.

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I love meeting new artists and I founded an illustrators’ group last April called The Sketchup. It is meant for inspiration, connection and collaboration. I’ve met so many illustrators over the years I thought it would be good for us to have a platform to talk and take the scene forward together since we all face the same kinds of problems. All of them inspire me in different ways!

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Which is that one place in the world that you would love to paint?

All the artists I’ve talked with in New York say that Berlin is something else – it would be nice to paint there!

Follow Madhuvanthi and Something Sketchy.

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