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Visual artist, Aayna Vinaya, while looking into her illustrations, expresses and exemplifies how one’s best nature automatically reflects in one’s work when it is an expression and extension of the true, inner-self.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh

CG. What is your design philosophy, and what are your everyday inspirations?

Aayna: People and animals, their behaviour, quirks and stories amuse me a lot. I love observing how people react to things, their relationships and interactions with themselves and their surroundings, and how everything in the world weaves together to create social fabric as it exists.


I enjoy interpreting small stories around me and documenting them through my illustrations. By creating art, I endeavour to understand my place in the world and discover ways to contribute to it.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
What happens in the forest
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Seven Brides for seven Princes
Illustrations by Manasi Parikh

CG. How do you manage to find humour in everyday life?

Aayna: I’m a rather serious person, the one mostly laughing at jokes than cracking them. But now that I think of it, I loved reading joke books as a kid. I’d always read the comics in the papers and never bother with the rest. I guess, a light-hearted approach to life was always something I gravitated towards since my childhood, and that somehow shows up in my work without me realising it.


For me, life is so full of difficult things that, when something makes me giggle, I secretly want to trap that moment and keep it safe for later.

Illustrations by Manasi Parikh
Prince Shamsher Jung

CG. Are your designs particularly dedicated towards children as an audience?

Aayna: I love children’s books and collect lots of them, too. I keep telling myself that I’m building a library for kids I might have in the future, but, to be honest, they’re really just for me. What’s special about children’s books is how they need to be the most simplified version of something – which I believe is so difficult to arrive at, but so beautiful once it’s done.

Mansi Parikh - Digital Illustrations
Moti Aunty

One of my favourites is a book called, The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, which communicates the pain and grief associated with death in the most touching way. I guess it was my love for this medium that showed in my work. Clients who connected with that vibe approached me for more of that. It’s never really been a conscious effort to work in or make things relevant in a particular segment. It all just fell into place, organically.

Racoon in a Cocoon
Swallow me whole

CG. What more do you plan to do with your illustrations? What would be your advice to those who doubt their talent?

Aayna: I’d love for my illustrations to travel to newer canvasses, over time. Most of my work in the past few years has been created in isolation from the world, on my work table, and I’ve been itching to get out of the studio more. At this point, I’d be happy to take on projects that allow me to interact with things, people and experiences while getting work done.

Illustration of best friend and Manasi

I’m also consciously reducing digital work and shifting to hand done. It’s a scary decision to make in a time when digital is growing so fast, but I’ve decided to stick to what makes me happy, and trust it to take me somewhere – which is what I’d tell people in doubt too! Also, there’s no time for doubt really.


Just do! Like Dory says in Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming!”


Published in Issue 38

Each year around this time, many fresh young talented designers come out as design graduates to join the best of studios and agencies. Despite many find the perfect fit for their talent but still majority faces many dilemmas and questions. So with this issue, we try to explore different views from many well-known studio owners and senior designers. While Anthony Lopez of Lopez Design shared tips on what a studio looks for in a designer, Mohar Ray from Codesign highlights the key aspects that play a significant role and make the difference in whether you are hired or not as a promising designer.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55