Archives for category: commisioned

Recently I was asked to come and attend the The Economist India Summit and create an illustration that would give a gist of the talks that were held. Standard Chartered and the Economist wanted to be able to gift a souvenir to the speakers at the conference. I’ve always been fond of sketching people and things they say, it’s a great way to practise drawing and observation. I have also been sketching the things spoken about at Typo Berlin as well as Think in Goa in the past but this was my first official reportage assignment.

It was really inspiring to listen to most of the talks and hear business leaders of the world speak their learnings and concerns. The Economist’s stellar journalists also asked some daring and interesting questions to the speakers. We all came out highly inspired from the conference.

We went through a fair bit of editing of text and fixed on a few key speakers with a quote each.


First version

Later,the team decided that they didn’t want to go with the faces as it might be offensive to some people to see themselves in a caricature! So we ended up with a no face solution:


All in all I had fun!
Here are some notes from the conference:
ARUN JAITLEY- Minister of Finance, Government of India.
– India must hold its own ground on the reform path, there is no end to the amount of work that has to be done. We must maintain momentum and not go backwards. There is no easy day – one day it’s Greece and the next day devaluation.
– For India to become a developed economy you need only one percent of the agricultural land.
JAY CHEN – CEO, Huawei India
– Nobody can ignore the potential and oppurtunity of India. The confidence is back in the telecom industry.
– Mr. Modi held a round table conference in Shanghai and many Chinese businesses are positively thinking of coming to India.
– More and more stores are a place of inspiration rather than just being points of sale.
– I’ve been sourcing from India for the past 28 years. 4 Lakh workers are involved with us in India already. 50% women employment is non negotiable at IKEA. Environmental responsibility, social responsibility and co worker rights are of the highest standard at IKEA and our labour is really happy.
– Telengana has a highly receptive govt. and highly competent and knowledgeable IAS officers.
– GST has to happen, there is a 95% consensus, we cannot lose time any longer.
ANANTH VENKAT: Managing Director, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank
– Its no longer India vs China. Its India vs India and China vs China. We need to get our house in order.
– GST has to be resolved
– Improve the infrastructure: Roads, bridges, poer.
– Streamline the approval process
– Investment required in Infrastructure and Irrigation.

ADAM ROBERTS: Is there a gap between what you promised and you have acheived?

IAS karnataka to Juvencio: What are the top 3 things a state can do to get ahead?

IKEA: Stability (Sustainable over time)

Long Term Plan – Infrastructure is inevitable

Working together
Economy is about belief, behavior and attitude

Dont think of India when investing, think of the progressive states.

What is your advise for a foreign company investing in India?
Ananth Venkat, Standard Chartered: Manage expectation about time.
Juvencio Maeztu, IKEA: Come to India. You will find humbleness, willpower and resilience.

Jay Chen, Huawei: Improve the digital Infrastructure.


RAHUL BAJAJ: Chairman, Bajaj Auto and head Bajaj Group

The sheen is wearing off. Mr Jaitley is a competent parliamentarian and an emminent lawyer but as a finance minister he can do much better.

RAVI KAILAS: Chairman and CEO Mytrah Energy

Infrastructure largely left to private hands. At first everyone thought ” Will it even work at all?”

Yes, its working and its moving forward. No other large economy in the world has done this.

We have leapfrogged telephony. Skipped pagers and the analog.

KIRAN MAZUMDAR SHAW: Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon

– India has never been at a better stage for investing

– India needs to invest a lot more in its own healthcare

– Without the Indian pharmaceutical industry, the global health industry would be negatively impacted.

HEMANT KANORIA: Chairman and managing director, Srei Infrastructure Finance

We have 300 billion tonnes of coal reserve and yet our power plants are not running and power cost is high AND you are importing coal! Reduce the cost of power.

The new Suez canal, 8.5 Billion was raised in 8 days. Can’t we call for India’s black money to be put in development? Issue Black money Infra bonds? Does the country want the money or not?

PRASHANT RUIA: Director, Essar Group

To invest in India you have to look at India as a continent, through a regional prism.

The non regulated consumer oriented sectors are growing but the regulated sectors are stressed.
Go back to the drawing board and tweak. For a 1000MW power plant, if I generate power what do I do? I can’t store the power.



Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 10.48.40 pmMany many many many corrections and versions later does a website see the light of day. It’s unlike anything else I’ve made. There is only the computer (mostly) and the screen. Things you thought looked alright yesterday don’t look quite the same today – there is always room for making it better and better – there is always more to do. I feel what I used to feel when I began doing print layouts, it’s a puzzle but the base is logic not emotion as much as art. I find websites fun yet they require a clinical approach (compared to illustrations, sculpture, printmaking, music, cooking and writing in my opinion.)  Here’s my first live website – there are a few more in the stages before going online. More websites coming up soon! Including a new version of the one you are reading! It’s still got some bugs and missing things but do check out Nafco’s website.

Living Room ReadyWhat an absolute delight to make fun things for people when there are very few limitations! Priya got in touch with me after being recommended by one of my friends. She’s got a tiny daughter and has just moved to Gurgaon from Bangalore with her husband. She wanted to commission artworks on themes and poems and text that she has been thinking about and wanted the artworks to be based around these ideas. At first, I went ahead and did iterations for each idea and while some were approved – others took a while getting there as it soon became clear that while she was open to some ideas from my end, she had thought about some images herself and wanted to work those out. So here we are after couple of iterations and to and fros and some artworks are what I like and some are in the middle and some are what she wanted – but all in all they make a happy bunch!

Here’s my favourite from the bunch and some test colour sketches for it. I am happy making comissioned artworks from time to time as I like the dialogue – the encounter of two or more minds and how that changes what the output is. In a way it’s a good collaboration tool to keep the mind open besides the methods we already use for our work to grow. Next up is a website I just made and sketches from the amazing monsoon drenched GOA! Everyone loves a summer break – especially if it features some of the monsoon!

Only-the-river_final-cut-circleRiver_coloursketch_SamiaSinghonly the river_coloursketch_SamiaSinghriver_coloursketch_SamiaSingh

book cover 50

My book cover for The Twisted Twenties  featured in 50 Amazing Covers you will want to pick up on Canva along with some incredible work – some of which I have linked below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 1.23.11 PM Book covers are an incredibly rich and inspiring area to play with in print design – I am working on more and hope to get deeper and deeper into them as time goes by.

The Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith

Cover Design: Emily Mahon, Illustrator: Ray Morimura

Viagem Ao Centro Da Terra - Julio Verne

Cover Design: Carlo Giovani

Jaws - Peter Benchley Cover by Tom Lenartowicz

Carlo Giovani

The End of Food - Paul Roberts

How the Light Gets In - Pat Schneider

How to Drink - Victoria Moore

out_smallOUT_A3_WEB Fact one: For all the fun times had dancing all night in our last 5 years, there are no places or no places with GOOD dance music in this expected to be great city of New Delhi. You know the kind of music you’ll have to change your plans for. Like you had a plan, but the music is so good you just can’t leave. Fact two: The most fun times I’ve ever had dancing ALL night were at house parties (as in – in a house) or in  TC ( teenage) but the best in Italy & Spain, specifically in underground sub cultured basements lit with neon lights or in no stress Gay Bars. So if you’re out or in, its good to dance either way. Also, this doesn’t mean everyone in Gay Bars is gay. Not True. It’s just the most fun & unpretentious atmosphere you can find and people are there to go bonkers. So here’s a plan for this Saturday if you wanna dance.

My first assignment of this year was a book by Arathi Menon. I just got to see it fresh from the press! Written with good humour and insight, this book speaks about a woman’s journey through the end of a marriage and her route to getting back to being the person she was. I had a good time creating this with constructive feedback from the author and the Pan Macmillan team. Below is a quick look-through of the cover design’s process. cover_Leaving home_SamiaSingh back_leavinghome_SamiaSinghin the shelf3LeavingHomeWithHalfAFridge_SamiaSingh

Some pre orders and new creatures being preparedSo many kinds of days have passed. The new year/holiday season does something strange. You are shedding an old skin and yet it is essential that you remember what it looked like. Age old lessons of routine, productivity and good humour will be put to use again. Every year somehow you are getting more aligned to that vision of your work and yourself. That’s the only way forward right?

I’m glad to have met many many creative people over the last few years and re-connected with teachers & friends from way before as well.

It is heart warming and inspiring to see everybody push themselves in their own ways. Some people (my idols) wake between 6 and 7 in the morning and are fit as hell and cook food that is fit as hell and their work really somehow gains a power from that.

There are many things I have learnt and would like to include in my daily living besides the things we already knew. Number one on that is to have a good productive day everyday!

These dear animal people are part of that target as well as some new newmedia things that have been sprouting in the back on my mind. By the end of this year there should be a fair number of the animal people and one or two shows based around them. Wish me luck! I wish you the same!

Will update with finished pictures of the animal people along with some website designs I’m currently working on, Oh and a book cover that’s nearly published! Happy winter from Delhi! We here are enjoying the weather while it lasts, before we are in hell for 8 months ugh-ain.

Wait till you find out what they are for

Glazed and ready to be cooked!


The Wallmural_samiasinghfinal bye_samiasinghI can’t explain enough what a great feeling it is to have finished a big piece of work. A part of me lies all the way in Carballo, A Coruña, Spain. I have hope that I will see it again sooner than later. A lot has been learnt painting in this ENORMOUS scale. It’s addictive too! I bring lots of learnings back with me along with a ton of beautiful memories and proof that many many many many wonderful brilliant genius hard working & kind people exist. Here’s a short interview and background about the mural. I’ve been busy sketching and writing songs and keeping up the fitness routine. Here’s some recent sketches I posted on my Instagram. Going to start on a small indoor mural now. Next update about that. October’s here! Winter is the season of my soul! Can’t wait.

Ajibo & Genius Ajibo asleep Flesh and paper



I love storms. I love rain. I think a lot of people sweating it out in 48 degress centigrade in northern India share this love for rain, clouds and stormy weather with me. In my first sketch for the street art wall mural, I drew our dog Ajibo with me and Vaibhav flying out, away from the storm. For me this was an image to communicate how I was feeling with a new addition of this love-crazy puppy to our lives. That’s one layer of content: the personal. Then, this sketch was shown to the head of the city council of Carballo, Spain – who heads the street art project and is responsible for the funding, the production et all. Then the initial sketch was shown to the lady who owns the house whose wall I would be painting.


The initial sketch, in my delighted escape from the Delhi summer was cloudy, windy and stormy. The mausam of my soul. But the lady found it dark and depressing.

I had other ideas about the mural but I had only mentioned them in text and who can imagine a painting from a few lines of text? I did the second draft using warm colours. I never use warm colours. I don’t know why. I love the mystery of blues and greens. For years these are the only two colours in my wardrobe. Its natural that they are the colours I always pick for the pallete too.sketch2_carballo_samiasingh

But this is not my sketchbook, it is someone’s house and someone’s money and together this wall will become an experience for someone else who walks past it. Here is where it comes in. ¿How can you use your work to make people smile? It’s a naïve question, yes. But it’s also a fundamental one.

sketch wall map_samiasingh

I always find myself between two points. I love realism but I also love surrealism. I love to see the sun break the sky into a hundred shades of orange red pink yellow and purple but I also value the hundred thoughts inside my head. What you see and what you think. Truth and humour. I don’t want to show you a beetle that I drew 20 times and have mastered. I want to show you all my memories. I want to show you all the things that touched me and I want to show you how I feel here. But that’s not it, I want to you feel something too. I want your thought that you carried in your mind to be forgotten when you see this wall. I want you to stop a moment and look a little closer. I want you to smile.

This of course will continue, the communication. Slowly the aesthetic will evolve, maybe it will get more cartoony, maybe it will get more realistic, maybe it will continue to sit right here in the middle.