Artist Feature ://
Posted March 2019
‘Google Doodle India - April’, Aleesha Nandhra. Monoprint, pen, digital. 2018.
Aleesha is an Illustrator and Printmaker from London, whose works manage to carefully tread the line between being whimsical and being highly emotionally evocative. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Art, Aleesha's work manages to capture the spirit of several cultural phenomena, be they from home or abroad, and also manages to spark fun and life into objects that are otherwise considered mundane. She continues to create works on a freelance basis for clients including: Google, BuzzFeed, The Barbican and more.
Q. At what point did you develop your own visual style? And does it change?
I think it took me a couple of years post-degree to find a way of a working "style" that felt natural to me. It now feels comfortable. The way I draw is the way I draw naturally - which is a good thing I think! It does change depending on what media I decide to use. For example, a collage/hand drawn piece is going to present differently to a digital piece. It's something I still grapple with, but I feel that I am finally at a point where my work looks like my work regardless of the output. It all begins with drawing.
‘Escape’, Aleesha Nandhra. Monoprint, pen, digital. 2018.
Q. When 'treading the line between being whimsical and being highly emotionally provocative' where does this inspiration come from?
I think it comes from wanting to create work that is relatable. Whether I am wanting to tackle a subject matter that is serious or light hearted. Sometimes work can evoke nostalgia, whereas some work can evoke a more emotive reaction.
‘Dark Masks’, Aleesha Nandhra. Monoprint, pen and ink, digital. 2018.
Q. How did you begin to get noticed by large clients such as Google etc. and what advice would you have for an illustrator/graphic designer who wants to begin to make waves?
I think I was noticed from having completed previous illustration jobs. Personally, I left university with no immediate prospects and got down to promoting myself right away. It's been a 4 year journey so far, but the more work you make, the more that'll come back to you. I think you need to learn early on to not be shy of tooting your own horn - approach the clients that you want to make work for! If there's a dream job you want - make that kind of work for your portfolio.
Q. Working freelance is tough. How do you keep yourself motivated?
I think being freelance is a good motivator in itself at times. No one else is going to come along and help you generate the opportunities, or ideas. That keeps me going a lot of the time! The fact that I feel so lucky to do a job that I love also helps.Of course being human, there are bad days. I think you need to allow those days to happen though. I have little tricks for getting myself motivated like going for walks, going to look at art, reading, listening to music. Finding what works for you is important.
‘ESPN Female Cricketers’, Aleesha Nandhra. Mixed Media. 2018.
Q. What is the best outlet for you work? For example Zine or commercial or print. How do you choose which project will suit which outlet, what factors are involved in that decision process?
I am not sure to be honest! I think each part of my practice is so different, and exists for different reasons it is hard to choose what the best outlet is.Commercial work usually does not give me much freedom in the way of decision making, as I am working to the brief of a client. The challenge of that is what I enjoy, and it's always satisfying seeing completed projects in situ e.g. in a magazine. Zines and print work are much more personal. I have total control over the content, the media, and the final outcome. Usually personal work is reserved for ideas I have and want to complete in my down time, or if I have a speculative idea for a future project that I'd like to be commissioned to work on.
Suggested features ://