top of page

On Art That Tells A Story: Artist Spotlight Darshini Chetty

By Bharati Kondepudy

Tell us a bit about you, the person behind the work we see.

I am Darshini Chetty, a South African - South Asian designer and illustrator. I graduated with a BA in Architecture, although my passion lies in all realms of visual art. I enjoy exploring the surreal with my work through a blend of pop art and fantasy. When I’m not pushing paintbrushes and pixels, I enjoy learning how to animate, finding cool books to read & watching cartoons.

Your art has a very mystical aspect- Is there anything specific that inspired you?

I think reading from an early age has really opened up so many worlds and allowed my imagination to grow, and that seems to have spilt over to the things I create now. My mum introduced us to everything from non-fiction to folk and fairy tales, mystery to magic which made me curious about the mystical and surreal elements of life and I like exploring that in art.

Many of your drawings include women with animal and plant motifs. What are you trying to represent with that?

I try to incorporate aspects that I’m inspired by, appreciate and feel connected to in all my illustrations and the natural world is a big part of that.

Your illustrations are extremely detailed, sharp and precise. How did you develop this style over time?

Growing up I only drew in black and white with pencil or ink - colour or any other medium was never something I was confident working with. It was only a few years back when I started experimenting with watercolour paint and learning from artists I look up to, that I understood just how much more of the story you can tell when you move a little out of your creative comfort zone. Also, the details of a drawing are always my favourite part because it holds and shares the most secrets and clues.

Most of your art features primarily women of colour. How important is this to you?

I’ve always been surrounded by strong and dynamic women of colour, from family and friends to community figures. It’s something I grew up around and am blessed to still have today, so it’s definitely extremely important to me and is always going to play a role in what I create. Also, I think we all know how important and necessary authentic representation is by now.

What does art mean to you?

Art to me is a mechanism for storytelling, expression and escapism, where the things you could only imagine become real. It also quite simply helps me process existence.

What’s next for you?

I’m excited to expand and experiment with different mediums and realms of art and design. I’d also love to be able to eventually organise and curate exhibitions and events that showcase artists, and that can also provide a bridge between isolated emerging creatives and internships, mentorships and sustainable career options.

All artwork belongs to the artist.

Find Darshini on Instagram @darsh_illustration


Artist Spotlight is a series where we highlight upcoming South- Asian artists in the creative space.


bottom of page