Spotting Student Talent: 5 inspiring think tanks of art and design

The pandemic gave us much to ponder over, especially it gave us the time to stop, sit back and look at things and activities that truly inspire us. As a student we often get buried in course book assignments and are left with no time to pursue a skill we are truly passionate about. However the quarantine nurtured some unique creative talent and we spotted a few budding think tanks of art and design who bloomed into magnificent masterpieces. Sharing their art / illustrations through a social platform like Instagram, students from various fields pursued art in various forms and started to get noticed for their artistic techniques. 


Madhumitha Jain of Team StreetTrotter scouted for 5 such talents to give them recognition, and a big applause for inspiring us throughout the pandemic with their creativity!


NANDINI RAMNATH | https://www.instagram.com/nandini_art/


Instagram is a beautiful platform and a powerful one too. We tread on new, inspiring content everyday on this social channel which made Nandini Ramnath pursue it too. An artist who loves to be experimental with her style, Nandini is on her way to exploring as many mediums as possible to incorporate her sense of color into striking artworks. One may call her technique a messy play of color, but yet it stands out for its bold aesthetics.student-talent-streettrotterHer recent instagram reel in which she painted fearlessly on a waste plastic packaging went viral on Instagram and within a really short span of time, she gained more than 10M views on it. Nandini, feeling ecstatic about this recognition, said, “It was crazy and overwhelming! I was super happy and grateful but also extremely surprised when I got the Instagram notification saying my reel was being featured.” 


In her personal life Nandini is an outdoorsy person who loves cafe hopping and sketching landscapes. The past 6 months of a rather gloomy 2020 were quite difficult for her and it was her art that kept her spirits high. Sharing her journey, she said, “There were days I didn’t do anything but I always felt better after creating a painting no matter how big or small. Books were also an important part of keeping me motivated during the pandemic. That is the beauty of art, it heals you and preps you, and it completes the void and broadens your mind.” 


FISHHHITA by Ishita Thawait | https://www.instagram.com/fishhhita


Fishhhita not only sounds quirky but is also seemingly so. When you land on this Instagram page, you will be swept by a bunch of surreal, psychedelic, illusionistic, organic, vibrant art pieces metamorphosed into a quirky aesthetic of art. Discovering her passion through Inktober, the artist Ishita Thawait started making compositions with thought provoking visuals using various permutations and combinations of different elements into unique representations. 


Talking about her work Ishita said, “Like everyone, I had a huge tumor of self doubt, and I think Instagram as a community helped me through it. More than validation, this gave me a second thought and an assurance that I am good. The style that I am still working on has been built by self-analysis. I realized that I don’t mind a LOT of contrast in my illustrations, or a noisy background. It went from filling the background with solid colours, to text, then to lines, then points and now actual illustrated figures. I am still working on it, but I’m happy that there is a certain word that people don’t miss while describing my artwork, which is “trippy”. So maybe there is a fixed style after all.” 


Being a freelancer, all through this pandemic she made sure she constantly kept her Behance, Fiverr and Instagram portfolio updated at regular intervals, not letting the pandemic pull her down. Inspired by famous artists like Seth MacFarlane (creator of family guy), Alejandro Gonzalez, Mukesh Singh, Craig McCracken, Stephen Hillenburg and classics like Goya and Van Gogh, Ishita aims to make it just as big one day.


SAAVI GARG | https://www.instagram.com/saavi.garg/


Saavi garg is an eccentric, free spirited individual and her designs reflect the same style of subtlety and freshness. Coupled with thought provoking ideas delving into the depths of reality, she seeks her inspiration largely from culture and humanity. 


She began her journey as an artist as a child, when she won the first prize in an art competition at the age of six and with great encouragement from friends and family, she finally pursued design as her career. She seeks solace in her art as her style of illustration is all about proportions and soothing colours with a mix of rough freehand strokes.student-talent-streettrotterWhen asked how she coped up with the quarantine, Saavi said, “The pandemic has been hard, of course. But it also gave me so much time to do what I love, with peace and without distraction. Despite that, I have taken long breaks from doing art and design as it gets overwhelming too sometimes. I constantly keep myself abreast with new upcoming artists, designers and writers which has been really inspiring.”


WHO SAID SODA by Neha Mishra | https://www.instagram.com/whosaidsoda/


There’s something almost surreal about your favorite music playing in the background, while you are busy putting together a piece of art or framing a composition. Better known for her page ‘Whosaidsoda’, Neha Mishra is a recent Fashion Design graduate, who adapted her love for graphics and her passion for once mindless doodles into an unique illustration style of her own. With inspirations being drawn from her surroundings – music, people, culture, she is every bit meticulous when it comes to her artworks.whosaidsoda-streettrotter“At the beginning of 2020 I was clearing my flat back in Delhi and found my old scribble notebooks and diaries which included all of my creative renditions which were more like randomness. I had sketches of sci-fi characters, random lyrics to the songs that I might have been listening to on a certain day, while making those doodles. That’s when it struck me how I could build this up and continue with it. And from then on I kept adding more and more elements, trying to refine the approach little by little. It’s still at a very nascent stage, but I sort of like the headspace I am in with this style right now and I aim to maintain that.”


Just like everyone else stuck into the labyrinth of the lockdown, Neha shares that she goes for a jog in the morning and thinks of an element, an idea, and makes sure that she creates something everyday. Be it just a sketch or a complete artwork – it’s given her a lot of food for thought. When she is not illustrating you will most likely find her watching a new tutorial or researching on a certain topic on how to brush up on her graphic skills.


PANCHI INDIA by Hiya Pal, Reetika Choudhary & Aindrila Ghosh | https://www.instagram.com/panchiindia/


A venture that was born by the mere fascination for nature’s beauty, all things in a backyard garden and specially flowers – ‘Panchi India’ started with a shared vision of three girlfriends in the capital city. Each of them exploring their individual style by crafting beautiful accessories with a rather unique technique of resin art. 


Go to their Instagram shop and you will be surprised with what they call a collection of jewelry and home decor items made by fossilizing natural flowers and leaves. Every piece by this trio is handcrafted with a vintage nuance, born out of their deep love for nature – each telling a story of its own. The design thinking literally starts from taking inspiration from their backyards, from picking out wild flowers to mushrooms, anything that catches the eye which are then collected, dried, pressed, preserved and turned into beautiful collectibles like pendants, earrings, bookmarks, keychains.panchi india-streettrotterThe brand had opened its horizons to being commercially viable just before Covid19 hit, post which things became exponentially difficult for them due to the lockdown. With limited resources, shipping restrictions and other sourcing issues, yet nothing seems to deter their understanding as a team, determination and love for what they do, and continuing to craft these exclusive pieces of art on their own. 


Written by: Madhumitha JainCover photo & artworks by: Sarthak Grover 


StreetTrotter is a Travel, Culture & Lifestyle blog, inspiring people everyday with real stories to look good and travel even better. Founded in 2012 by Shraddha Gupta, Founder & COO, this space is all about experiencing new things in life, be it a daring mountain trek, a frugal backpacking trip, a runway look made local, or simply anything that scares you enough to live a little more deeper.

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