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Roshni
Merchant
India
based in Bangalore . India
31 years . designer . illustrator

My name is Roshni Merchant and I’m a graphic designer and an illustrator/artist. I love all things design and find visual challenges exhilarating. Minimalist design, function in creativity and thought in action is what represents my work. I have worked across the spectrum of graphics, brand identity, packaging, advertising and illustration.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

When it comes to creating by hand, watercolors is my preferred medium. The unpredictable playfulness of every stroke gives a sense of not knowing where you're going or what you will land up with. It is the process I find evocative rather than the end result.

I find print an exciting part of design. There’s the obvious tangible aspect, and it’s something permanent. It still gives me goosebumps.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

Colors. It is the starting point of inspiration or thought and color is what gets me excited about creating something. It evokes a certain emotion and I try to capture that through what I paint. I use art as a medium to portray an essence of things I can't physically have or things I’m inspired by; it could be a place I visited or an experience. Creativity seeps into everything that you do and ideas strike when you least expect it, even while listening to a song or watching a movie.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your creative process like?

As a designer/illustrator, nothing excites me more than seeing an idea take shape, transforming into something that can align itself to the end-user. When you can look at something and see it for the process it took and not the end result, you have a deeper appreciation for it. The one thing I find most innate to creativity is observation. Scribbling down ideas frequently and sketching help translate my thoughts into little visual frames/stories. I always carry around a little notebook to write my ideas and thoughts in, before I visually articulate them (you never know when an idea strikes). After multiple pencil scribbles I know I’m one step closer to what I had imagined.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

Other than cramming my thoughts and ideas into my scrappy notebook, what I have come to find most helpful is putting together a mind-map of words/phrases to arrive at a concept. Visual examples or a mood board help in getting clarity of the visual language or direction.

// What are your favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

In my personal work, what comes most naturally to me is drawing faces. I was always interested in sketching eyes and used to draw them in my school books. To me the focal point of the face has to be the eyes. I love communicating through color as well. I think it’s a language I’m drawn to instantly and can express a certain thought or feeling through it.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// Did you have any time or decisive moment? How did this influence your trajectory?

I think the shift from working digitally to hand created work. Working at various design studios I lost the touch of hand drawn illustrations. Once I got back to sketching and painting by hand, it felt more personal and I try to incorporate more hand drawn art in my design work as well.

// Who are your influences, inspirations, or preferred artists? How do they reflect in your own work?

I think there are many artists I draw inspiration from in terms of thought and how their work speaks to me. To name a few - Frida Kahlo, James Jean, Audrey Kawasaki, Malika Favre and Paula Bonet. I draw visual inspiration from Wes Anderson's distinctive visual/narrative style and his colourful sense of whimsy.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

No, not really.

// What makes you happy?

I would have to say colour, and the thought of eating a bowl of hot noodles in the rain.

Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
Roshni Merchant por Projeto Curadoria
// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

Find your “spot of bother”. Try working with things that you find difficult, get out of your comfort zone. Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places.

// Do you have a new project in the works?

I recently completed a design and branding project for a restaurant in Qatar which was exciting. Other than print design, illustration and watercolor, I am exploring three dimensional mediums and working on a line of products featuring my visual stories.

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