Suzanne Dias is a young freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Pune, India. Her digital illustrations of fashionable women consist of strong colours, clean lines and elements from nature.
In her gorgeous portraits, Dias expertly captures a wide range of moods and emotions channeled directly from her lived experience. Largely unknown outside of India, her work is quickly gaining traction online.
Sign up today to get a gorgeous surprise print from her this March!
Tell us about your artwork for Papirmass (not pictured).
‘The Wallflower’ was loosely inspired by my struggle with social anxiety and the difficulty I face when interacting with new people and making friends. That’s what I had in mind while drawing this shy girl, probably standing in the corner at some party, feeling slightly out of place. I like pouring my emotions into the characters that I draw and this girl is pretty much how I’ve felt on multiple occasions in my life and I know there’s probably a lot of people who can relate to that feeling as well.
What is your creative process?
My inspiration for artwork strikes me at odd hours, so I try to hold onto the idea and quickly write it down. Most of my work begins as a rough pencil drawing in my sketchbook, which is then uploaded onto my computer and coloured digitally with my trusty little Wacom tablet. The final result often ends up quite different from the initial sketch because I sort of make it up as I go and end up adding or removing elements and changing the composition around until I’m happy with it.
What have you learned as an artist?
I’ve always drawn for myself, ever since I was very young. It was just something that came very naturally to me. I always knew I wanted to pursue art and design as a career but what intimidated me about making art professionally was whether I would begin to dislike creating things with the needs of other people in mind. It surprised me when I realized that I actually could adapt my style and work under pressure during professional projects. Making art has taught me to be more open to my emotions and not hide them away. Instead, I’ve learned to channel them into my art and I find that very therapeutic.
Where do you create?
I don’t have a proper ‘studio space’. I’m the sort of person who usually just works on my living room couch, on the floor or some other random corner of my house. As long as I have my laptop, drawing tablet, sketchbook and art materials with me, any space is my studio space. Although I hope to someday have a cozy little home studio!
What’s great about working from home?
I love the comfort and privilege of working from home. It does get distracting sometimes but ultimately it’s where I’m the most comfortable, and being able to work at my own pace, alone, in whatever way I want helps my creativity a lot.
What’s changed since you started?
I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator and designer for about a year now. After graduating college I learned to be quicker with my decision making and to have more confidence in my work and my abilities. I used to mull over pieces, endlessly questioning my colour choices and compositions to the point where I would get really frustrated. Now I just go with my gut and trust my instincts.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I was once told: “Never chase after jobs or people. Build your skills to the point where work and people come to you.” I’ve always tried to live by these words, especially career-wise. I’m constantly trying to get better at what I do and I believe that hard work and dedication are always rewarded.
What do you love about being an artist?
For me, it’s the fact that I get to do what I love every day. It never feels like work, it just feels like challenges I have to adapt to. I get to create beautiful things that bring joy and colour into people’s lives and that’s definitely one of the best feelings. Also, I get to channel all my emotions and put a bit of myself into everything I make which helps a lot with relieving stress and anxiety.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and once you do, keep at it and be patient. Also, make sure you’re happy and enjoy the work that you’re doing.
Our March 2019 Edition will feature work by Suzanne Dias. Subscribe to Paprimass by February 28th to receive her beautiful prints!
Explore more of her work on Instagram: @suzanne__dias