Nina Chakrabarti is an illustrator from the UK who has recently made her debut in Japan. Her hit coloring book for adults, “My Wonderful World of Fashion,” is widely featured in many bookstores. Take a peak inside her studio to discover just how she creates the beautiful ‘My Wonderful World of Fashion’ books.
Nina shares a few things about herself that touch on her approach to art and life in this Q & A.
1) When did you first discover that you wanted a creative life?
This came about gradually. I loved drawing but never imagined you could do it for a living. Then, someone at my school went to the famous art school Saint Martins in London(which I had never heard of)and when I went to visit I remember thinking, ‘This looks so exciting. I want to be part of this!’. Going to art college opened up another world to me. One of personal freedom and satisfaction.
2) When did you first start to draw?
When I was young, like most people. I loved reading and I loved drawing. Those were my two passions. Still are.
3) Was there anyone in particular that inspired, encouraged or stimulated your interest in art?
I had a wonderful art teacher at school who was very encouraging and would show me artists she thought I would like.
4) What are your influences artistically or in other fields?
The fantastic joyful illustration work of Andy Warhol, Jean Cocteau and David Hockney drawings for the beautiful line quality and textile designer Sonia Delauney for her gorgeous patterns and colours.
5) What is your work/daily routine? Do you exercise, meditate, or do anything other activities to clear your mind?
I do yoga first thing in the morning, then eat breakfast and walk or cycle to my studio which is not far from my home. The studio is a tranquil, light-filled space which I find really relaxing to work in.
6) Are you a day or night person?
Definitely a day person. I love getting up early especially in summer when you can listen to the birds chatting and the sun is shining whilst eating breakfast.
7) How did you get your first job? How did you feel?
I got commissioned to do a regular piece in ’90’s magazine Blow, 101 things to do with a Chanel suit. It was a spoof on high fashion and it was fun thinking of new and amusing uses for the iconic Chanel suit. It felt very good to get work!
8) Do you have favorite movies, music artists, fashion brands?
My favourite movies are Play it Again, Sam; Sleeper and Broadway Danny Rose all by Woody Allen. I also like old screwball comedies made in Hollywood in the 1930’s starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Claudette Colbert. I also like the films of Satyajit Ray and Yasujiro Ozu. Music: I like 1960’s and 70’s music, especially girl groups like The Ronettes and The Shangri-La’s. Fashion: Issey Miyake, 1970’s Yves Saint Laurent, Céline, Schiaparelli, Kenzo and Christophe Lemaire. I like vintage clothing too and love finding something unique in a second-hand store.
9) Are there any quotes that you feel are appropriate for this day and age you would like to share?
I like ‘Every Day is a New Day’ for its feeling of renewal and optimism.