You might have seen her.
Curled up in a cafe behind a Mac and a big old cup of coffee.
She'll have her headphones on.
She's probably instagramming.
Waiting for the rain.
Daydreaming in black and white.
And she's ours.
Meet Anushka! You may have heard her name. You might even have caught the odd snapshot. But we thought it was high time you got to know a bit more about our Creative Head: like those t-shirt prints? Anushka. Pizza box packaging? Anushka. Awesome infographics? Anushka. We could go on. And so we shall.
One fine day Miss Anushka Gupta, graphic artist extraordinaire, lover of minimal design, Coldplay, drizzly weather and a good plate of dim sum, woke up to the winds of change calling her name. Design agencies weren't cutting it; the career ladder was a drag. More fun was needed. Something with meaning. A fan of No Nasties' aesthetic, our protagonist dropped a casual email to the company inbox before heading off to work with zero expectations of hearing anything back. One short hour later, she got a call. “Heyyyyyyyy!” It was Apu, and he wanted to hang out already. Drinks were soon had. Portfolios were shared. Socks were knocked off. And before she knew it, Anushka was officially on board. Hooray!
Growing up in Bombay, Anushka had brains for days (still does) and leant her skills to the field of science, fully on track to pursue a medical career. Somehow, though, the creative dream always nibbled at her ankles, until finally she took a leap of faith and followed her heart to art school. Bold move, Miss Gupta, but a move that paid off. Initial apprehensions over bidding medicine adieu were soon quashed as she hit her stride in commercial art, formulating ad campaigns and the graphics to go with them, developing a particular love for exceptional branding.
After graduating, Anushka stayed in Bombay for a year having landed a role working with awesome high-profile clients through a creative agency. But there were horizons to widen, studies to deepen, and international design to inhale. London was calling, and it would prove to be the best year of her life so far.
The freedom! The fashion! The architecture! The gloriously miserable climate! The cauldron of different cultures all mixing together and spitting out colours and patterns and food and traditions from all over the world. From knowing nobody on day one at college, Anushka was soon skipping around London town like a local, rolling from her tiny King's Cross flat to Starbucks (tall skinny cappuccino to go!) before jumping on the Tube to the shady badlands of Elephant & Castle. Here, the former London College of Printing offered a rich history of ink stains, ancient machinery and ingrained paint smells, and it was in this designer's playground that Anushka completed a research-based Masters Degree alongside students from all over the world and with the widest range of design backgrounds imaginable. Very, very cool.
Add a return to India's Maximum City and another 18 months of great design agency experience, and you're just about up to scratch with where Anushka was at when she got that fateful call from Apu. So you know how she joined, but why does she stay? Attracted first by the sense of design and warmth of the team, Anushka was more aware of organic food than organic tees – but not for long. Thrown into the deep end and trusted with the No Nasties brand direction from day one, it soon became clear that 'normal' industry hierarchies meant nada over here. Responsibility! Appreciation! Epic amounts of creative control and the encouragement to be confident and mix things up. On the good ship No Nasties, everyone looks out for each other. Before you know it – bam! - you've got one heck of a support network. Surprise!
Initial tasks such as refreshing the No Nasties branding, creating promotional materials and updating tags led on to working with a videographer for the first time creating graphics for our awesome Spark the Rise film, and directing huge photo-shoots from the first click to the final image edit. Our packaging nerd also hit the professional jackpot with the chance to totally rework our t-shirt mailing package – all hail the best-looking pizza box in the world! A year after joining, Anushka finally got to design her first tee collection and revelled in the freedom to include everything she loved most: photography, typography, creative writing, minimal design, black and white imagery. We loved seeing her unleash her creativity and put so much of herself into the brand, and she loved our respect for her art and trust for the collection. Win, win.
And the new collection we launched this week? Miss Gupta is behind this too, which of course means our philosopher poured her heart & soul into the prints and there's always more than meets the eye. Let's set the scene: she can't work without music playing even for a minute. Rain calms her busy mind. London remains a constant source of inspiration. Swimming. People watching. Long walks. Water in every form: rivers, lakes, the ocean: perfect places to reflect. Feeling it? Got your tall coffee frappucino with soy milk to hand? Good – then let's have a look.
The Wonder/Wander Collection
Ever since a project in London encouraged her to see them clearly in everything around her – people, clothing, food, the environment – Anushka has been intrigued and obsessed with bold shapes, and they remain a subconscious but powerful source of inspiration in her design work. This collection is inspired by shapes, lines, the depiction of what each shape signifies in life and what it can represent. Reflections. Wanderlust. Wonder wander. In her own words:
Triangles. Mountains and Valleys, The highs and The lows, A reflection of Life Afterlife, Night and Day, Colours of calm, colours of chaos. Lines, Light, and Life.
Crossroads and crossways, lines, intersections, making the connection. Life, as a full circle. Start to finish. The expedition crossing paths into a beautiful circle.
The desire. Open space, The sky. The universe within an avenue of stars. Dreams, wonder and wander, infinity. A seamless horizon. Starlight. Blues tinted with green. Lost in a world of light.
We love this collection and we love Anushka.
Follow a day in her life on Instagram today.
And next time you see her? Slide some banana bread her way and tell her she's awesome.
[Editor's note: Such is the timing in life, that this blog post and this collection launched a week after Anushka's last day at No Nasties. She's off being her awesome self in other projects in Mumbai with plans to jet-set around the world soon!]