For Sirin Thada, Illustrating Is An Adventure

When it comes to Sirin Thada’s illustrations, variety is key. “My process is constantly evolving, and I’m always trying to find ways to work more efficiently,” she told Catapult. This process includes both traditional, handcrafted work as well as digital renderings, using anything from linocuts and collages to Procreate and Photoshop.

“For editorial illustration, lately I’ve been doing a hybrid process of hand-created elements, plus digital layering with both Procreate and Photoshop,” she explains. “Going digital is very helpful for tight deadlines, and makes changes much easier, of course. But now that I have a little bit of a breather coming up, I’m looking forward to slowing down, working more by hand again, and refining my ‘toolkit.’ Working with my hands and creating actual, physical art, will always be my first love, and I don’t want to stray too far from that.”

Her work includes both commissions and personal projects, as well as a line of T-shirts and prints she sells on her website. “I love the variety,” she stresses. “I love the fact that every project is a different challenge. I love that I get to read brilliant articles and vivid stories, collaborate and connect with thoughtful and kind people, and learn new things all the time.”

Although based in Manhattan, Thada says that her heart has always belonged to the mountains, flowers, and enchanted forests – themes that are also present throughout her work. After earning her Masters of Science in Journalism from Columbia University, she went on to study design and illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology. But her true passion lied in illustration, a passion sparked at a very young age. According to Thada’s bio, from an early age on, she never left the house without her personal trinity of a book to read, paper, and a pen with which to draw.

“There are always new techniques or media to try, new paths to explore, new ways of thinking and seeing and appreciating,” she says. “Every moment in life becomes a treasure hunt for inspiration—even something as mundane as walking my pup, Indie, through the park becomes a seed for an idea or a spark for a vision.”