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May 19, 2016

Sketchnotes: Sagar Shah

by Sonaksha Iyengar

From doodling on newspapers to submitting coloured Disney characters for various competitions, Sagar Shah’s love for drawing has taken many forms, while remaining constant in everything he does. After his final year at School of Interior Design, CEPT, Ahmedabad, he began taking up various freelance projects, a gateway to the work he is currently doing in graphic design. “I started mixing illustrations in a lot of my interior design work and I liked the outcome,” he says.

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Fuelled by an education in design, Sagar’s love for narrative art forms is evident in his work that ranges from combinations of frescoes and miniatures to madhubani and pacchedi. “As designers, we study and observe people in their surroundings to understand their way of life,” he explains reflected in one of his projects called Dost-log of Doodler, a series of doodles about his friends and their idiosyncrasies that feature simple pen doodles.

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Sagar’s doodles bring together his experiments with textures and his love for details. Although, when it comes to tools, he always goes for the basics. “I use very basic stationery. I love ink, watercolours, fountain pens and micro tips,” he confesses adding that he particularly enjoys working with alcohol markers as they create varying layers.

Talking about one of his projects Ahmedabad Art Weekly in collaboration with Creative Yatra, he says, “This project connected me more with the city I live in. Once we just filled up the spread with water and clouds as Ahmedabad was flooding with rains at the time.” The project featured doodles of various events happening around the city and acted as a creative guide for connoisseurs of art.

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Among artists who influence and inspire his work, Sagar mentions Sanjay Patel for his ability to bring bold forms and colours together and Devdutt Patnaik for his simple yet bold line drawings that tell a powerful visual story.  He also mentions his love for Mario Miranda, browsing through Sumedha Sah’s sketchbooks and Sameer Kulavoor’s explorations with visuals styles to depict the mundane.

When he’s not working on freelance projects in his own studio or doodling, he spends time working on KankooThaapa and Swadesi Suitcase – two ventures he co-founded with Chandni Patel. While KankooThaapa strings together visual narratives for wedding invites and stationery, Swadesi Suitcase takes that to limited edition lifestyle products.

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Currently working on a doodled version of Humans of India and many branding projects, Sagar hopes to continue doodling and working with Indian crafts and artisans to bring together traditional art forms and contemporary design sensibilities.

For a peek into Sagar’s sketchbook and projects, follow him on Facebook, Behance, Instagram and Twitter.

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