Manjit Thapp touches on the importance of working on your craft as an artist

Hi Manjit! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m 22 years old live in the UK. I’m currently finishing up my final year at university studying Illustration.


How would you describe your journey into the creative arts?

I started drawing a lot more seriously when I was around 15 and would post it online, it wasn’t very good though! But it’s really nice to look back and see how my work has developed and changed over time. I then slowly started selling prints online and building up my online shop. I’m now finishing my final year at university.


Your work has gained so much traction! Did you expect your art to take off?

It seems like a steady thing because I’ve been posting it for so long, but I would say this year it’s seemed to get a bit more attention which is nice!


Was it always your desire to become an illustrator?

Not always, I’ve always enjoyed drawing and art but I thought I’d go into journalism or something to do with writing but I was never really set on that. At the last minute I decided to pursue Illustration because that’s what I really enjoyed doing.


We’re advocates for mental health and we noticed your comic on SAD. What inspired you to touch on such a topic?

I made that comic for my final personal project in my 2nd year at uni, I initially wanted to explore the relationship between humans and plants which eventually developed into the SAD comic. I noticed through my research that plants suffer similar symptoms to people with SAD as the seasons change and wanted to illustrate this. I sold copies at our show as well as online and it was so nice to get messages from people saying they bought it for themselves or for friends that suffer from SAD.


As a young person, what were the challenges you faced when trying to break into the industry?

I don’t really feel like I’ve ‘broken’ into it yet or really have done much industry work. A lot of the work I’ve been making is either personal work or university work. 


Do you regard yourself a fashion-oriented illustrator or has your art gone in a new direction?

I’ve never considered myself a fashion-oriented illustrator but I do really enjoy doing fashion illustrations. 


How does it feel to be recognised by the likes of Elle Magazine (India) and VSCO?

Crazy! I use VSCO a lot on my phone so it was really nice when they got in touch earlier this year. It was so cool to be featured by Elle Magazine India on instagram too!


What steps did you take to reach this level of artistry?

Posting my work online has helped it gain recognition. I also enjoy selling my work online too and love creating product to sell there like prints, stickers and comics.  


Lastly, what advice would you give to other young artist and creators?

For me posting my work online has been really important and helped me to gain recognition so I would definitely recommend creating a blog or even just posting on Instagram. Try and draw as much as you can! I find when I stop drawing for a while it takes time to get back into it again and produce something good. It’s also nice to set yourself personal briefs and projects to help begin build a portfolio that has a range of work. I get asked a lot about finding your own style, and I think it’s something you shouldn’t worry about or focus on. Just draw and you’ll start to notice it develop, but it’s also not a definitive thing it will always be evolving!

Mathieu Ajan