“Everything seems like a Bollywood movie if you start noticing. It’s not like you can avoid seeing the cow that decides to take a nap on the middle of the road or the chaiwalla who scratches his armpit excessively before he serves that cup of tea,” says Alicia Souza, illustrator and entrepreneur at the InkTalks.
Beautiful kinks and quirks here and there, a dash of bright soft colours and perseverance, an organic stroke of pencil and chance and moments with her Alsatian, Charlie and Henry-Oats, the guinea-pig make pretty much the whole life of Alicia and her illustrations. Born and brought up in Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, it is a shocker that she captures the essence of life in India through simply ‘noticing’ the monotonous activity and reproducing funny illustrations based on those. When asked what about India serves as the Muse for her illustrations, she said, “The colour. The people are diverse too. India is incomparable. And that astonishes me.”
Alicia was the one who co-founded Chumbak, a range of lifestyle products with an Indian theme. She decided to leave that job and go out on a limb with freelancing. “Every time I drew something funny I saw, I realized that people giggle not at the thought of the sight but the recollection of it,” she says. Here lays the success of the artist, don’t you think? To capture banality, twirl it with imagination and make those first three seconds of looking at the illustrations memorable.
When I e-mailed Alicia, it was a shocker to get back a modest reply. As sweet as she is, we can be sure that her attitude and personality brought her this far in life. Freelancing meant doing and learning a myriad of things by herself. Overcoming all the hurdles of being a young a entrepreneur, she now has her own product chain [https://www.aliciasouza.com/] and has a huge caboodle of loving supportive fans on social media.
When asked what strengthens her other than coffee and dogs, she said, “The passion to just create gets me moving. Also, the fact that I have mouths to feed and loans to pay definitely motivate me to take things seriously.” Moreover a pinch of brain matter and being practical can make you positive.
Alicia does illustrations for authors, big and small businesses, comic books. She supports encouraging local businesses. She says, “My time in the country has made me a huge supporter of small business. I try and buy all the materials needed for my products from local shopkeepers instead of the larger chains.” Isn’t she yet another inspiring illustrator? Yes, when we also hear that she partners with CARE (Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre) in Bangalore and supports the initiatives of Voice of the Stray Dog Org. She gives her time to take care of animals; living beings that don’t have their own voice, to make us aware of our obligation towards the betterment of living conditions for animals.
An embodiment of empathy, human imperfections and artistic talent, she is indeed the one and only kind of Alicia Souza you would meet. Currently she lives in Bangalore running her studio, Alicia Souza Studio Pvt. Ltd., and blissfully enjoying the company of her husband, dogs, cats, the mouse and momentary bouts of coffee craving. Check out her works on Instagram and Facebook.
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