Three Indian illustrators shortlisted for The World Illustration Awards

All three illustrations are brief, little vignettes set in India

The World Illustration Awards have announced their shortlist for 2020, and the selected 200 illustrations are an indulgence for lovers of art and illustration. The Awards, started in 2015, are delivered annually by UK’s Association of Illustrators and USA-based Directory of Illustration, and are being judged across eleven categories: advertising, book covers, commercial publishing, alternative publishing, children’s publishing, editorial, exploration, science & technology, site specific, and design, product & packaging.

This year, three Indian illustrators have made it to the coveted shortlist—two under exploration category and one under book cover design. An Aaji smitten with new-age apps, a tailor woman spotted in the streets of Bangalore, and a book cover for the English translation of a beloved Hindi book based in hills of India—all the three works are rooted in India in their own unique way. Here are the selected works and a little bit about their creators.

1. CDKA aka Siddhika Deshmukh

CDKA (a play of letters on her name, Siddhika) is currently working as a graphic designer in Bangalore. The selected illustration called ‘Aaji swiping oldage’, is from AAJI, an animated and illustrated series about her grandmother’s dalliance with present-day technology and activities. “I see my baby-boomer grandma (Aaji in India) adapting and taking joy in the activities of the current generation as a way to abridge the generation gap everyone keeps talking about,” she said in an interview to AOI. The AAJI series is an un-commissioned work, created by CDKA for her portfolio to express her fondness for her grandmother (she graduated in graphic design last year). We love CDKA’s endearing entry for WIA, in which Aaji is glued to her her phone screen in a bathroom, and is swiping right and left on men on a dating app. Other animations in the series have Aaji with her game mode (and game face) on, Aaji speeding on a bicycle with her sport shoes on and Aaji as a queen in cards.

2. Anurita Argal Acharya

Anurita is an interior designer and her journey into illustrating and art started recently. Her illustration shortlisted for WIA is called ‘Nukkad ki Darji’ and was one of the mockups she created for a book-cover. The book was a collection of everyday stories of people living in India. Anurita’s illustration of a woman with heavy eyes behind a silai-machine, sitting against stacks of colourful fabrics is a quintessential scene that we often come across on Indian streets.

3. Saurabh Garge

Saurabh is a graphic designer, illustrator, and a book cover designer. He has designed covers for some of the best titles published in India. Manav Kaul’s A Night in the Hills was an awaited translation from Westland, and when released with the outstanding cover designed by Saurabh, it arrested everyone’s attention, including the judging panel at WIA who selected his work under Book Cover category. This cover also won the Kyoorius Design Award 2019 under Graphic Design/Book Front Covers category. In recent years, Saurabh has designed the covers of some of the most critically acclaimed and successful books in India. One of our favourite covers from his works is the cover of Meena Kandasamy’s Exquisite Cadavers.



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