Known simply as Suchi, this independent, Dubai-based digital designer and illustrator enjoys giving a quirky touch to drawings about ‘people and their stories’
How were you drawn to illustration?
SM: I’m a late bloomer, discovering the joys of digital illustrations only two years ago. I have no formal training in art – I draw with my Wacom pen-tablet. I was itching to start something on my own when I spotted a balloon in the sky. That was it – I doodled a series of balloon-people who do things that make em’ happy! With a lot of self-doubt I put it out on social media, opened an ETSY store. People loved it, maybe because the idea was simple and they connected to it.
Where do you look for stories?
SM: People! Everybody I interact with online and offline has such amazing stories to tell. The people I draw for reach out to me from all over the world and it is delightful to note how they freely share their tales – things they like to do, their families and friends, pets, places they’ve been to, memories they want me to doodle and so on. The whole drill of exchanging ideas and edits is what excites and inspires me at the same time.
Why were you drawn to illustrate women in STEM?
SM: In 2018 I came across a calendar by Life of Science, a science media platform, featuring Indian Women Scientists. Obviously, it had amazing stories to tell and I wanted my eight-year-old to read them too. However, the real photos and text did not hold his interest for long and I wondered if I could doodle them in a way that spoke to the little guy. I emailed their founders to find out if I could draw these women and their stories for young readers. Voila, they commissioned the 2019-2020 calendar where I illustrated 13 brilliant Indian women in STEM.