What 22-year-old can boast about having illustrated tour posters for Parekh & Singh? Well, Daksha Salam can.
This young Manipuri illustrator’s watercolour depictions of the duo captured their attention, and it’s easy to see why. The music and the images go hand in hand. The whimsicality of the artwork mimics Parekh and Singh’s light, dream-pop melodies, while simple colour choices bring a certain magic to the forefront.
Daksha’s talent for watercolours is evident in his other work, particularly his portraits of women, that he’s compiled under the title ‘Faces Catalog.’ Each is striking, distinctive, intriguing. Vivid, bold stains of colour give form to the black hair, brown cheekbones, and red lips of the women whose faces crowd Daksha’s composition.
We had a chat with the artist about his Parekh & Singh fame, and the Faces Catalog amongst other things.
When did you start illustrating?
I’ve been illustrating since I can remember, but I started using watercolour as a medium only in the first year of college. I am in my fourth year now.
You recently painted a tour poster for Parekh & Singh. How did that come to be?
We've 💛 lovingly obsessed 🔬 over a very special 🔮 ninety minutes with Kshitij Kankaria, who has thrown his 🌻 heart and…
The power of social media! They contacted me through a mutual friend who was working on their art direction. They liked my art style and I adore their music. So when they approached me. I jumped right in!
That’s awesome! We also really liked your Faces Catalog. Can you tell us a little more about it?
The essence of the human form is one that I have always appreciated and take great delight in exploring through various mediums.
Faces is sort of a retrospective of the past four years in college. This series evolved simply from trying to explore the medium of watercolours in first year. For me it is a form of catharsis. Painting my muses, helped create an appreciation for the complexities of the opposite sex as never before.
Do you know the women in the portraits?
They are my muses. They comprise of friends, family and models on Instagram. Some people I’ve befriended simply because I tagged them!
What makes your style distinctive?
I only draw illustrations of women’s faces. I accentuate the nose and lips, and then contour it further with blushes and freckles. But I don’t think that it’s a specific style per se. My art is still evolving and continuously growing and changing. And I consciously allow it to change in order to keep it as organic as possible.
I also derive inspiration from my local culture.
Why do you only draw illustrations of women’s faces?
I am attracted to men so for me to express my appreciation for the female beauty I started drafting only women.
Any projects we can look forward to?
Right now, since I’m a textile design student, I’m trying to focus my energy towards my graduation project.
I am also in the process of turning my Japan travelogue and Ladakh sketches into posters/postcards.
But I take time out to illustrate. Sort of like I said, it is a cathartic way of relieving any sort of stress!
Written by Samah Mariam
Images credit: Daksha Salam