Turning the Mundane into Magic: A Peek into Bhavya’s Illustrations

Illustrations by Bhavya Desai
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Chennai based illustrator, Bhavya Desai, sketches the beauty of those fleeting moments of life, which we often overlook. Indulge yourself in illustrations made out of not just brilliant colours, but also of love, magic and just a little bit of quirkiness.

Gas Cylinder Delivery
Babulal Momo shop

Stories can be told through any means, and Bhavya Desai narrates his tales through quirky, colourful characters as he draws his inspiration from the people and the life around him. His lively, energetic illustrations portray the wildness and vividness of city life, be it travelling in a crowded train or the hustle and bustle of a market with heavy foot traffic. Through keen observation, Bhavya illustrates pieces and moments of life, which all of us can relate too.

Tea seller

Bhavya worked in an architecture firm as a 3D Visualiser for over four years and started taking up projects pertaining to illustration since the year 2015. “I recall drawing consistently. Over time, people around me started noticing my illustrations. I remember drawing during tea breaks and lunch breaks, working on smaller sketches. In time, I observed that I was more productive when I worked independently and thus began taking up projects. It has been an exciting journey since then,” said Bhavya, reminiscing.

Knife Sharpene

Working primarily on character development, Bhavya is quick to observe and note the beauty of little moments from daily life. When asked about his muse, Bhavya stated, “Just things around me, really. I find inspiration from domestic settings and everyday life activities; these are the things that excite me the most. People watching helps me understand the characters better.”

Shivshankar Banarasi Pan
Egg-crobatics at 5:30am

When it comes to designing characters, there is more to it than what meets the eyes. “Before starting the sketch, I usually do a little background check on the character that I am developing,” said Bhavya, sharing his techniques. “I usually weave a small background story for the character and ask myself a few questions, such as: ‘Where is the character located?’, ‘What is the mood?’, ‘Have I seen a similar character in real life that I can refer to?’. These help me decide the environment and expression.” Following this process, the illustrator lays the foundation for the character using basic shapes and lines. “In my experience, I believe that the posture makes a lot of difference in terms of how dynamic a character is,” explained Bhavya.

An illustration from the series, 'While you were asleep'
Fishermen and Net

The lockdown provided the artist with an excellent opportunity in terms of creative projects. “With many commercial projects on hold, I had the time to think and reflect on my personal illustrations. During the lockdown, I came up with a series titled ‘While you were asleep’. This project focuses on people who work in the early hours of the morning and are the backbone of a city, such as sanitation workers, LPG gas delivery man, milk delivery person, among several others. Since the streets were deserted, I found myself creating an extra imaginative and quirkier illustration.”

While you were asleep, the watchman transferred his night duty to his dog

“When questioned on the impact of this new normal, Bhavya noted, “Personally, I think this situation has brought a positive impact to the industry. People are rethinking about their design strategy; this is an observation that I’ve made among a few of my clients. The lockdown gave people the time to take another look at their branding and marketing materials.”

Initial Lockdown Days

The quarantine impacted all the aspects of our lives. Talking about the impact of quarantine on the illustrator’s relationship with art, Bhavya observed, “The quarantine helped me look at objects in greater detail. Since we had a lot of time in our hands, I found myself digging deeper into the subjects of interest.”

Sanitation Worker
Mahatma Gandhi

All of our lives have been reshaped to a certain extent due to this pandemic. Our relationships with each other, with work, career and passion has undergone some change, be it drastic or infinitesimal. It is up to us to focus on the positives and highlight all that is beautiful in life, much like Bhavya Desai’s illustrations.

A ride to the vegetable shop
Creative Gaga - Issue 51

Published in Issue 51

Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55


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