June 4, 2015

Sketchnotes: Ruchi Shah

by Anusha Narayanan

Intuitive yet analytical, left and right brained, intrigued by the chaos and the organised character of cities, and ritualistic about the act of touching paper with pen, Bombay-bred illustrator Ruchi Shah is obsessive about filling her sketchbooks with every fleeting thought. “Coming from a chaotic and diversely visual city, I am fascinated by the way things are packed into a small space. Everything is organized, compartmentalized and yet chaos exists.” Much like it exists inside her head. “I have too many thoughts, so I draw with too many lines,” she confessed, but her work is quite ‘finished’ depending on what best suits the project she’s working on.

She loves pen and ink, black especially, and loves tiding through the works of Saul Steinberg and Mario Miranda. And what is perhaps the most poetic rendition of a normal process, which we’ve heard from an artist we’ve spoken to till date, she philosophizes, “Towards the end of its journey, the sketch walks into virtual land. A sketch that was limited to the book, gets an infinite form, finally after I have ‘finished’ it using Photoshop.”

Sifting through her work, it is clear that versatility is key. It ranges from monochromatic to washed to vividly coloured. From Children’s books illustrations to annual calendars and e-books, her collaboration with Pratham Books has been significant. A certain experimental and shape-shifting quality can be attributed to her work. And like all those who romanticize Mumbai, she too has a project called Materialistic Mumbai, a showcase of postcards which eventually became an installation.

She likes extracting more from the projects she works on, than just the financial pay-offs, and right now, she is completely taken by painting walls … “walls and more walls”…

I guess it’s best we let her sketchbook do the talking…







For the rest of her work, visit her Behance profile.


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  1. Swetha Kanithi




    Needless to say ,as a designer and an artist I follow kyoorius obsessively for inspiration and to see what other talented people are up to.
    Ive been following sketchy notes for a while now and thought kyoorius would be a great platform to share my personal project named “Dreamink”, which is a page I manage on facebook for people to write in their dreams and I illustrate them.

    I would love you guys to take a look and feature it if you think its worth the attention.
    below is a link to my page-

    I also have my Portfolio on behance attached to this email. Either ways, feedback would be great.

    Swetha kanithi

  2. Satyamangal Rege



    So Happy to see Ruchi’s work…Best of Luck :)

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