UK-based illustrator Manjit Thapp is the first artist I saw draw women who looked like me. Through art, Thapp portrays a wider reality we all live in, one that is diverse and colorful.
What made you want to draw women of color?
When I was about 16, I found myself asking the question, “Why do I only draw white women?” I never thought about what I was doing until then. It’s so frustrating to go to galleries and never see yourself represented, so I started doing it for myself and posting it online.
How did you get into illustration as a career?
I’ve always drawn but when I met my best friend at 15, it was a hobby we shared and something we were both passionate about. She was someone who fueled me. From sixth form [sixth grade], I was already doing work on the side and it felt like a natural progression into something I could do in real life. Art wasn’t an option for me initially as I didn’t have Instagram or anywhere I could see other people doing what I do now. But then when it came to the crunch, I had to make a decision with what my university degree would be. I continued with illustration instead. Funnily enough, my best friend’s an animator now.
How would you describe your work?
I’d say my work centers around female characters. When I start a pie
The Juggernaut tells untold, smart South Asian stories and news you won't find anywhere else.
It’s like your other email briefings. But browner. Join thousands and get the newsletter that curates the best global news on South Asia(ns) every Sunday. We also send updates on events, giveaways, our original reporting, and more. Unsubscribe anytime.