While scouring sites and shows for our Graduates feature, we sometimes come across someone’s work that absolutely has to be included. Sroop Sunar falls firmly into this category.
Genuinely stunning and refreshing screen printed illustrations with more personality than you can shake a stick at. I urge you to look through the lot. A really mature and astute use of colour as well as a visual wit that would make so many very jealous.
Born and raised in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, Sroop moved to India aged 14 and lived there for 5 years while she finished high school at the American Embassy School New Delhi. Here he fascination for authentic Indian street culture and printed ephemera began, which now heavily influences her work. When her family returned to Birmingham she moved to London and completed a graphic design foundation at London College of Communication, and then made her way to Central Saint Martins, where she is graduating from this summer. She has a self-confessed “dorky obsession” with matchbox labels originating from India, and a relatively ‘small’ collection of around a thousand or so (and is still adding to it).
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I was obsessed with animals, so much so that I desperately wanted to be a vet. I wanted to rescue badgers! I had books and books and books about all kinds of animals and I would constantly draw from them. There was something cathartic about drawing, maybe because I really wanted a pet and my parents wouldn’t let me have one! I particularly enjoyed drawing border collies, black labradors, horses, blue whales and rainbows.
In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?
I’m not going to lie, my work was rubbish! I threw it all in the bin. I would definitely like to think that it has improved since first year. I think its more like my mind set that has changed, and my work evolving as a result of that. I was very insecure about whether I’d made the right decision to pursue graphic design, whether I was good enough, and I think those initial hang-ups definitely held me back. I didn’t get to focus on illustration until second year though. The best thing about being where I am now is having that whole period of creative freedom to set my own projects that I’m passionate about and inspire me, and being able to develop and explore a style that comes out of that. I’ve definitely become more confident in myself and so I guess my work has paralleled that over the years.
If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?
I’d really like to sit down with Aravind Adiga, the author of The White Tiger and show him the illustrations I made that were directly inspired from his book.
If you had your own business, who would you employ and why?
Well, if I wasn’t doing anything design related I think I’d like to be a journalist and travel the world with a team of people that included Louis Theroux or Bear Grylls!
If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?
The sad truth is that I have already spent it on boring things like printing, paper, frames and inks. But, I will probably end up using my non-existent left over loan to go on holiday after graduation, and a new summer wardrobe!
Where will we find you in 12 months?
Nicely settled in London, making money from doing what I love. I won’t settle for anything less. I would love to still be using hand printing and binding methods I’ve worked with in uni and publish my own stuff. I’d also like to have figured out some kind of business strategy. I’m still thinking over a number of possibilities my career could go in at the moment and the places I could end up in. It’s all very exciting!