Upasana Mehndiratta, Illustrator
‘Is it a bug? Is it an alien? Where did it come from? What does it want? And why is it following the man?’
Upasana Mehndiratta’s first picture book, The Visitor, traces the story of a man and a strange blue creature that visits him on a lazy afternoon. It follows him through his house and through the woods, until he finally befriends it. Published by Kokaachi studio as the debut release from FIRST CUTS – a creator-driven imprint through which the studio showcases the debut works by some amazing storytellers – the book has been dubbed as ‘a balm for our anxiety-driven lives in the guise of a picture book’ by the three co-founders of Kokaachi. The Visitor holds a lesson for everyone, no matter how old you are when you leaf through the pages. Is it really a blue bug or is it that nagging thought that you just couldn’t get rid off all day? Is it a lesson to learn to trust a little more, engulfed by a growing sense of anonymity and alienation in our global urban lives? Or is it just the story of a man and his new-found friend? The sheer beauty of the book lies in its ability to warp into a new understanding and a new story for each reader. ‘I find children books really fascinating, I love how deceptively simple they are. However, while making The Visitor, I did not have a particular audience in mind. To me, it is meant for all ages,’ says Upasana. She takes us through her journey, her creative process and her debut graphic book.
How did your romance with illustration begin?
Being an introvert, drawing became an instinctive way to express myself. I used to draw as a kid, but I got a chance to explore it further while I was at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Even though I studied design and worked as a graphic designer, I remained inclined towards drawing and illustration. I made a blog of my drawings that slowly grew over the years.
Where and how does inspiration strike?
I think its random. There’s usually a gap between when something strikes me to actually sitting down and drawing it. I use this in-between time to visualise the thought a little before putting it down on paper. Sometimes, it comes from an observation, at other times it’s introspective.
MORE IN Design
Mishcat Co, Design House
Following a degree in interior architecture, when Ishrat Sahgal returned to Indian shores from The States, it
The turning point in Akanksha’s career in design came when textile designer Martin Bergstrom popped up at NIFT Delhi
When eight women living across the world came together to question through their art what it means to be
Latvian illustrator Agnese Taurina’s work is bold, sensual and richly layered. Filtering and reflecting multifaceted influences from cultural undercurrents to
Raj Dhunna’s illustrative work is at once striking and engaging. Punctuated by solid brush strokes and a bold, graphic aesthetic,
Iqrup and Ritz
Kick-started by mother-daughter duo, Iqrup + Ritz is a furniture and decor label. Their furniture is slick and comfortable. Their
I was born in Bangladesh in 1983 and I studied at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka,
A white oxford shirt reinterpreted with a diaphanous accordion detail; a monochrome jumpsuit with a cape for an accent; an
Ishaan Nair, Director
The new director in Mira Nair’s family, Ishaan has been working after his degree in direction and
All That We Want - The Gaysi Zine
The fifth edition of The Gaysi Zine embarks on a journey to explore the unchartered realm of queer desires, and
All around the world, fireworks are synonymous with celebration. People from different parts of the world may speak different languages
Rush by Mali
When Maalavika Manoj aka Mali started strumming her own tunes she found inspiration in long-lost friendships, memories of home and