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The Identity of Colour And the Places, Faces We Often Forget

By Komal Samrow

Three Women, a Puppy and a Crow, Namrata Kumar

Delhi based Namrata Kumar graduated from the Srishti School of Art and Design, Bangalore in 2010 and has been a practising graphic designer, illustrator and painter ever since. From her interiors to landscapes to portraits, Kumar’s candid and colourful creations celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of South Asia.

Namrata Kumar, 2018

How would you define yourself as an artist?

My art & design sensibility is contemporary, rustic and evocative. I stay away from perfect straight lines and shapes, leaning more towards imperfection and spontaneity. I create intuitively and consider my understanding of colour my biggest asset.

One of the most striking features of your work is the vibrancy and variety of colours across pieces. Is your colour choice deliberate?

Yes definitely, I feel colours have a voice, and choosing the right set of colours can elevate the artwork significantly.

Women from Madras, Namrata Kumar, 2019

You have several series that depict women from across South Asia in their traditional attire, textiles, jewellery, and even specific body language. With such deep attention to detail, what’s the goal?

The Women of Ceylon, Seated Women and Rani series are at their core about celebrating women, their beauty, their strength, their vulnerability. The paintings have a vintage quality to them, these faces belong to the women of yesteryear, but somehow also to the women of today. There’s something authentic about these women, their honesty is communicated through their body language and facial expressions. I think that people can relate to them, and that's why these series have been so well received. The clothing and jewellery elevate the beauty of the women and make them more striking.

Liquid Sunshine, Namrata Kumar

Your work consists of both digital pieces and more traditional mediums like acrylics and pastel. If you had to pick one, which would it be and why?

I make a conscious effort to work with different mediums. Each medium has its own character and lends personality to the artwork. I don’t think I could choose one single medium offhand, it would depend on the kind of artwork I’m trying to create and the kind of feeling I’m trying to evoke.

How has social media impacted your artwork?

Instagram for me has been a great, inexpensive way for me to put my work out there and also to connect with audiences. Once I put up an artwork on Instagram, based on the response, I am able to gauge what works with audiences and what doesn’t.

Liquid Sunshine 2, Namrata Kumar

What are your thoughts on the current Indian art scene?

I’m actually not clued in at all with the art scene!

What’s next for you?

I’m exploring oil paints, it’s a new, exciting and challenging medium to work with. I’m also exploring working with prints for fabric, and possibly developing products.

Hand painted portraits, inspired by vintage studio photographs. Namrata Kumar, 2020

Follow Namrata's work on Instagram


Artist Spotlight is a series where we highlight upcoming South- Asian artists in the creative space. In this edition, we speak to Namrata Kumar- a graphic designer, illustrator and painter with a distinct and vibrant style.



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