Gaurab Thakali on how music can inspire and drive his lively illustration practice

The London-based illustrator was first on the stage at this month’s Nicer Tuesdays. In his talk, he gave us a detailed run-down of his influences, key projects and sketchy creative process.

14 June 2022


The perfect antidote to the rainy whether outside, Gaurab Thakali – the mastermind of colourful and lively illustrations – was first on the stage for this month’s Nicer Tuesdays. “I draw a lot,” he began, before running us through the rest of his wide-spanning output that ranges from landscapes, illustrated scenes to music artworks. Whether it’s dancing or interactions between people, Gaurab showed us how he pulls inspiration from everyday life around him, especially the scenes and moments from his south London dwelling and hometown of Nepal.

Next, Gaurab delved into his process which usually kicks off with sketchy drawings. “I think it’s very important to see something right in front of me – something tangible – so I can imagine what the next step will be from then on,” he shared. Shortly after, he showed us some beautiful examples of how his sketches will evolve into venue posters, drawings for musicians or magazines. Whether it’s small or large-scale, created digitally or analogously, Gaurab’s style remains consistent throughout, which is a technique he’s refined completely over the years.

And, when he’s not illustrating the hustle and bustle of life around him, Gaurab is immensely inspired by his interests in skateboarding and music. “Growing up as a skateboarder, it was always a dream to have one of my images (or a few of my images) on a board,” he shared. Working with a Bristol-based company Korahn, Gaurab achieved this dream and showed us the boundless limits of what can be done on a board. The rest of the talk dived into further notable projects, such as artworks – the big, small and more graphic – for musicians including Hannibal Buress and Nicholas Daley. Oh and he also showed us an excellent 2D animation right at the end, with music scored by Dennis Bovell. It was an utter treat to watch and listen, enjoy!

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Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

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