Hello there ! I’m Soundarya Gottapu, an illustration artist. It was after a lot of experimenting that I landed on what finally

seems to be working for me. Started out as an engineer and went on to major in Fashion Design. I continued to work in the fashion

industry right out of college as a design assistant to a textile and clothing designer in Mumbai. The design work was in fact little since they followed a slow cycle of production which focused more on research and longevity of products than releasing new collections all round the year. This was an important learning for me. That a thoughtful, well made product is always a win over a few rushed sales. I fell in love with fabrics, textures and the whole concept of slow living. Most of my work was involved in managing the stocks, talking to vendors , market research, filing and accounting at times. All this was far from what I imagined the job nature to be at the time but in hindsight these were

the most important life and career skills I picked up, not to mention my broken Hindi got better after interacting with all the local vendors frequently. I quit after a year because I was impatient to start a clothing brand my own and 'design' away. This feels like a naive decision at times. I should have stayed at the job until I was financially stable to even experiment with what I wanted to do. The clothing brand didn't work out well after all.

However something else surfaced out of all this - I rediscovered my love for illustrating. Something I never took seriously enough to

consider as a means of living or even see myself doing full time. However this realization was only the first step. My illustration skills were no where close to being paid for. It sometimes feels unreal when I'm working on certain projects now 

but I also know for a fact that there is so much I need to work on. I still do not have a fixed style of work and

I figured this is something I should be okay with. My 'style' is always evolving along with me as a human. The things I want to talk about keep changing depending on where I am in my life. At the moment what inspires me is the little things in life and the quiet moments of joy which somehow became my 'cute' style of illustrations. However, my love for fashion and clothing stayed intact.

I still find joy in that world, studying brands and exploring textiles ; only difference is I do it through illustrations now. 

The brand studies lead me to discovering a new love for hand made creations - be it a simple home made meal, a potter's vase or a well arranged bouquet of flowers. These things show up in my illustrations as subtle background elements. 

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I also have a small design company called Paper Garden where I design and make products with my illustrations. This time its working a lot better than my first venture. I wish I could simply say “I draw for a living” but after launching the company it dawned on me that I have to wear a lot more hats than just that of an artist. Thanks to my first job where a lot of these things became easier to deal with currently.

I love it and I hope I keep loving it.

This space has always been ambiguous to me. Mostly a collection of my illustration projects but

there have been instances where I'd discard all work and use it as a blog for documenting everyday things.

For now its my work portfolio. 

Visakhapatnam, India

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