The graphic work of Shweta Malhotra and its refined simplicity
What better way to start the new year than to bring you graphic design from the very talented Shweta Malhotra. With an impressive portfolio of projects spanning lifestyle, music and fashion, her minimalist work is instantly recognisable through her use of clean lines, geometric forms, and considered balance of colour. Infamously known for her graphic illustrations, Shweta has an eye for simplicity allowing her images to be stripped back to their bare essentials, leaving just the right amount of detail required.
After graduating in Applied Arts from Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai, Shweta began her career as an art director working at well-known advertising agencies including McCann Erickson and Ogilvy. It was at this time Shweta decided to apply to Fabrica (Benetton’s Visual Arts Research Centre in Italy) which eventually led to pursuing a career in graphic design. After gaining valuable experience at design agencies such as Grandmother and Rediffusion Y&R Design, Shweta took the plunge and decided to go on her own, working as an independent designer.
We recently caught up with Shweta and talked about her journey into graphic design.
You started off in advertising, what made you switch to graphic design?
At the time I was at Ogilvy and applied to Fabrica. They have two rounds of shortlistings – I got through to the first round and went for a trial period which lasted for two weeks and got to work on a couple of projects. It was an eye-opening experience and I got to meet people from around the world who couldn’t even speak English. Those two weeks were amazing – that’s when I saw the kind of work I was creating and questioned why I was in advertising. In my experience with advertising, working on big brands and targeting the masses meant the work I did ended up becoming compromised as it had to appeal to a lot of people. The minute I came back from Italy, I joined a graphic design studio Grandmother in Mumbai and went on from there.
At what point did you decide to go on your own?
After my two years at Grandmother, who were doing a lot of edgy work at the time, I moved to another agency for a year which dissolved and at that time there wasn’t really another place in Mumbai where I wanted to work – so I thought why not give it a shot on my own.
Tell us about your personal project ‘Something cool everyday’?
I don’t know how that started – I think I didn’t have that much work at the time and I wanted to do something proactive so I randomly started it. I thought about it towards the end of the year and started it on January 2014 – It was a year long project inspired by my life at the time, life in Bombay, everyday things, all my interests which eventually led to doing fashion illustrations through that project. I suppose in a sense it was me doodling my experience.
Who are your design heros?
Currently my favourite designers are Craig and Karl, they are two designers, one is in London and the other in New York – I find that very cool that there’s just two of them and they don’t have a whole set up and they’re doing really good work. They do a lot of fashion related work – It’s pretty much the kind of work I want to do more of. I’m also influenced by artists such as Carmen Herrera, Ellsworth Kelly and Japanese artist Ikko Tanaka.
Image credits: Shweta Malhotra