The Minis: Shreya Gupta - New York City


Hi Shreya! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am an illustrator based in New York. I make illustrations for print publications, websites, book covers and packaging.

What is your background that led you to create? Were you always interested in illustration?
As a kid I was encouraged to focus on studies only, so I didn’t draw much unlike other illustrators. I first started drawing when I was told that I was “too young” to carry around a camera. So because I could not take pictures, I started drawing the places and things that I wanted to remember. This is how I first got introduced to art. Eventually I got very interested in drawing but never thought it could be considered a career choice. In India, art as a profession is not encouraged. So fast forward few years, I finished my undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering and got an IT job at a major company in India. However, after working there for around three years I got very frustrated and realized that I needed to make a change. I was still very much interested in art. So I looked up online different creative fields offered by art schools and found Illustration.

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Did you move from India to New York to pursue your artwork? 
Yes, I came to New York to pursue MFA in Illustration from School of Visual Arts.

What inspires the pieces you make? We love the texture you create in your work!
Thank you! My pieces are generally inspired by my everyday experiences. My experience sometimes go as far back when I was a kid and watched Disney movies. So right now I am working on a piece loosely inspired by Thumbelina. I also read fiction, so sometimes the metaphors or visual language comes from there.

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What makes you passionate about the work that you do?
I simply love beautiful objects and if they provoke some thoughts, even better. And illustration does both so I find it very interesting. It’s also a very happy feeling to know what I made is being enjoyed by someone else.

What are you trying to learn right now?
I am learning hand lettering and including type with images these days. I loved doing the lettering for the Google Doodle and would like to do more of that.

At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
It is through women supporting women that we can uplift one another in a male dominated society. Because it’s women who truly understand what it is to be a woman, men can only empathize. I have many female friends who give me very good advice and emotional support to empower me. I feel blessed and grateful to have such support.

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What creative women do you find inspiring?
Louise Fili. She is a graphic designer and a former art director. I admire and respect her work very much.
Yuko Shimizu. She is an illustrator and started her career in mid 30s. Her work and determination is very inspiring.

What are some of your favorite places in New York?
Central Park is really beautiful and many things to explore there. I love going to Metropolitan Museum of Art which always has wonderful inspiring exhibits to fuel my mind. New York also has many restaurants of varied cuisines, so I am always checking out to new places to eat!

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Find Shreya at: