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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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!
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!