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Lavanya Bahuguna

Blogger-in-Chief

Artist Sudeepti Tucker On Illustrating Modern & Powerful Women Enveloped In The Calm Riot Of Nature

  • IWB Post
  •  April 24, 2018

Scrolling through Illustrator Sudeepti Tucker’s Instagram feed is like taking a morning walk in nature. With greenery being a major focus, her recent artwork (that caught my attention) looks like a colorful jungle book I would never want to stop reading.

First painted in gouache (a method of painting using opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a glue-like substance), she reproduces her visuals in digital formats that later turn into prints and merchandise of all sorts.

To understand her design thoughts, I phoned the pixie-headed artist. Excerpts below:

Let’s do a quick round of introduction for our readers.

I studied Graphic Design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. I took up a couple of interesting internships to polish my skills. I also had a full-time job as a Graphic Designer once that I quite enjoyed. Following this, I chose to freelance which, I think, is the best decision of my life. Currently, I am based out of Delhi.

How is freelancing beneficial as opposed to working in a corporate setup?

If you are a Graphic Designer, you will either find a corporate organization or an advertising firm to work with. And although the salary is comparatively handsome in the corporate world, you don’t really have the freedom to design. There is a set pattern for the already-established client, unlike in an ad agency where you get to learn more. But, again, the salary is an issue in such small design firms.

The freelancers usually take a risk when they choose not to get associated with any firm. There are chances you don’t find consistent work but whenever you do, you do it with a feeling of contentment. However, if you are a beginner who also pays his rent and food bills, it is always wise to hold on to a full-time job until you become self-sufficient to survive the freelance-life.

Were you paid well as a Graphic Designer?

Umm, yes it was pretty decent.

 

How’s life treating you as a freelance artist?

Before I began my stint, I went to America and enrolled myself in a course in illustration at the School of Visual Arts. Since then, I am more focused on building a career for myself as an Illustrator. So far, I have been fortunate to be able to receive constant work and enjoy a steady salary. Just six months ago, I even opened a small studio, so yay!

The collaboration of Elle India with Poetess Rupi Kaur was huge, more so because of the stunning illustrations you did to represent her poems. Rewind the memory and share the deets.

I was super excited when I got this news, at that, was a little skeptical because the work I specialize in, gouache, takes longer than the usual digital art to process. I was given a fair deadline of ten days to do ten illustrations. I took it up as a challenge even though, in my mind, I required ten days per illustration. Ha-ha! Honestly, it was all worth it. I got a huge response as many people were able to correlate my drawings with Rupi Kaur’s bewitching words.

elle india x rupi kaur elle india x rupi kaur

How do you think your work depicting the femme power is different from others?  

My figures are more gentle and aren’t anything like a woman smoking a cigarette while demanding equality. The illustrations i make talk about feminism in a quiet confident manner. Power need not always be expressed with anger or nudity, my work speaks of the countless feminists who have raised us/taught us to be fearless with their inner strength, support and beauty. All of them are therefore inspired by the real women in my life enveloped with a hint of my imagination, of course.

One of the postcards on your feed has got a woman who looks like you. I mean look at those short hair and beautiful almond-eyes. Is it what I’m thinking?

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No, that’s not me (laughs)! But if you want to have a look at my self-portrait, here you go!

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One of my favorite artworks from your collection is PROWL. I feel too many emotions seeing those colored palettes that combine the two vital energies – that of a female and the Mother Nature’s. What do you interpret from it?

As I describe the project on my social media page, these are a symbol of vibrant, vivacious, and wild women, mothers, boss babes, or howsoever you like to call them, who we meet every day.

img_6 img_5

What empowers you as an artist?

I prefer reading over studying the imagery artwork. I read everything from design to travel and social issues, mostly feminism. I strongly believe that reading has expanded the way I think as an artist. Also, I travel a lot (smiles).

Explain those letters on your feed. Is this for an upcoming project?

It is actually a part of 36daysoftype campaign that invites artists (designers, illustrators, and visual artists) from all over the world to share their view on the letters and numbers from the alphabet. I am making wooden blocks in shape of alphabets that I’m planning to decorate my lil’ studio with.

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What’s your favorite work, btw?

It’s the artwork I did for the online publication Chokhri in 2017. It is a feminist blog that deals with everything related to women, for example, sexual health or their representation in popular culture in an Indian context. I illustrated the cover artwork for their website.

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Do you have a team?

So far, I am a one-woman army. Though I keep getting internship requests, I am still thinking about it. But now that we talk about it, I think 2-3 people can accommodate in my artsy den. *smiles*

Do you have an idol?

I like the technique of Illustrator Bijou Karman from LA. I am a fan. Closer home, I like Aminder Dhaliwal who runs a cool series online called ‘Woman World.’ It’s a witty take on an imaginary world that has no man living in it but women who’re enjoying (or not!) their lives with one another.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m, along with some close friends, excited to launch merchandise with graphics that I’m currently working on. It will take some time to be out, though.

If you wish to see more of Sudeepti’s wok, follow her on Instagram now!

(Pictures are Sudeepti Tucker’s own)

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