Manuja Waldia is perhaps one of the best young professional illustrators working today; well, in our opinion anyway. Based in Indianapolis, Manuja’s drawings, paintings and graphic design work have earned her partnerships and collaborative opportunities with a host of impressive clients. You may recognise her covers for the new Pelican Shakespeare editions or her branding for upscale indie labels in the fashion world.
Having studied Fashion Communication in New Delhi and Communication Design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Manuja now lends her colourful, joyful style to all manner of projects, from illustrated ceramics, symbol and brand-associated graphics and assorted paintings to sublime chocolate packaging. There may be a theme developing in our more recent posts but much to our delight, Manuja is also a cat lover. We believe that quality makes you a better person.
Manuja’s illustrations depict riotous and fantastical scenes of brightly-clad characters, some playful animals, fierce women and mythical beasts, dancing, reclining and exploring unique narratives. It’s her clever fusion of a deft hand, marvellous content and modern context that have placed her firmly in our most-loved creatives list this year.
With a wonderfully dark edge and plenty to occupy the eye, Manuja’s festive images are a perfect mix of worlds inspired by traditional stories and contemporary fun and foibles. Usually decked with flowers and happy creatures, her Instagram feed is well worth a look if you find yourself feeling blue. Continuing to work on pieces that celebrate sisterhood, nature and the world of beasts, legends and fantastical stories, we can’t wait to see more from this talented artist.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth