Rupali's story: A UX designer and developer by day and illustrator by night
Where are you from? Where are you based?
I hail from The Lion City, most popularly known as Singapore. However, my roots go back to Kolkata, India. Kolkata is known as "The City of Joy."
What do you do for a living?
I am working as a UI/UX Designer and a Front-end Developer. Moreover, I write design-related blogs for Memorisely once a week.
When and how did you decide to illustrate?
My illustration journey goes back to when I was six years old. I used to live in Kolkata back then. Kolkata teems with culture and creativity. It is common for parents to enroll their kids in dance, music, and art classes. Like most parents there, they enrolled me in an art school. The school specializes in hand drawing, sketching, and water coloring. For six years, I used to go to art school once a week and practice my skills for 1 hour.
I made a pact with my 12-year-old self: “Hey, kid! I am back. Let’s smash our art together!
I migrated to Singapore in 2006. Unfortunately, other life priorities took over, and art took a back seat. However, I was lucky to meet Lili during Memorisely's Bootcamp in 2021. I learned that she created SoulDoodles, a platform to inspire adults to create art. The encounter reminded me of my childhood art activities, and I wanted to connect with my inner child. So I made a pact with my 12-year-old self: "Hey, kid! I am back. Let's smash our art together!" Technology has brought immense changes in the art landscape. Digital art has gained popularity. My digital illustration skills were rusty when I started last year, but thanks to my acquired skills in drawing, I had an eye for spotting aesthetics. Ever since then, I have been illustrating once a week. I see SoulDoodles as my coach in holding me accountable.
Here are some first drawings from when I started
Your daily job is as a developer and UX designer; how does this combine with your illustration work?
As a UI/UX Designer and Front-end developer, it is pivotal to have an eye for aesthetics. Practicing illustration ensures that one develops visual skills. Websites come to life with illustrations and animations. They can evoke emotions in users. As UI designers, we dive into the user's psyche and offer suitable visuals. Working as a developer is a pleasurable experience since it is an opportunity to translate visions into reality.
Websites come to life with illustrations and animations. They can evoke emotions in users.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist?
I remember that being an artist was one of my childhood aspirations. But as I entered my adolescence, society drilled in our young minds that Engineering and Medicine are the most sustainable career choices. Yes, I come from an Engineering background, but I never realized that Engineering and Creativity go hand-in-hand. Once I commenced my journey in UI/UX, I was able to apply my artistic skills while designing interfaces. UI/UX evoked the latent artist in me, and with the aid of communities like SoulDoodles, I can create artwork and call myself an artist. Moreover, the credit goes to my parents for enrolling me in the art school.
How can you describe your art?
Characters and concepts from pop culture inspire my art. My current illustration style is minimalist.
Which playlist/music puts you in the mood?
That is a good question since my playlist evolves. The music depends on my mood. Usually, I love listening to rock, pop, indie, and electronic. It helps me maintain my high energy.
How is your creative process?
I seek inspiration from various series that I watch via Netflix. I look for interesting characters or concepts to serve as my motivation in creating my artwork. After selecting that subject from Netflix, I study its details through other images. Then, I grab a tool of choice and get to the creation. I break my art tasks into manageable chunks, especially if the subject is very complex. I focus on finishing one part at a time. After completing one portion, I get the momentum to continue with the other parts.
Mental health is vital for an artist; what is your power secret to continue creating every day? Has your art been helping you to express those feelings?
Drawing a boundary between my personal and professional life aids me in creating artwork. It all comes down to prioritizing my goal. If something is close to my heart, I will find time to do that activity regardless of my schedule. I agree that art is an outlet for expressing emotions.
If something is close to my heart, I will find time to do that activity regardless of my schedule.
What is the best part of dedicating time to create?
Besides my cliched response: "The final version of the artwork," I love the process and witnessing my art come to life.
What was the best advice someone ever told you?
I came across the advice while reading. It suggested adopting the growth mindset, which makes one look forward to every day in the life.
Which artists are an inspiration to you?
Artists who care about uplighting their peer's skills are my inspiration. K-drama and K-pop inspire me.
How can other people find your work?
I post my illustrations via Instagram, Linkedin and Polywork.