Hey everyone! I’m back with a new series of Audrey O. illustrations, which I have made during the lockdown. The first in the series is Gulmohar, which is inspired by my time in quarantine.
I made its pencil sketch on my birthday, which was on May 24 (last month). My birthday came after one of the most tiring weeks of my life, both mentally and physically exhausting. My husband unwell and I was just getting used to somehow managing all household chores along with keeping our company running amid plummeting revenues (thanks, Covid-19). All I remember is that I didn’t have a second to rest, I was constantly drenched in sweat (it was very hot) and I promised myself that I deserved to do whatever I loved when my birthday came around.
So after finishing the chores, I finally got lucky enough to manage an hour of taking out my Audrey O. sketchpad and it instantly came to me what I wanted to draw. In true Audrey O. and Coco style, I imagined what I would want to do if I weren’t so tired – I’d relax, enjoy the summer on the terrace – where I have been going every evening during the quarantine.
Our terrace is a lovely place – surrounded by trees, it attracts all sorts of birds – cuckoos, mynas, kingfishers, crows, pigeons, parrots and woodpeckers. I love spending time there – so inspiring and peaceful. Right in front of where I park my chair is a beautiful gulmohar tree that blossoms with fresh neon green leaves and flaming red flowers every monsoon. So I imagined Audrey O. swinging from it.
No matter how tough things get, there’s a way to find (or at least imagine) a happy thought. That’s what keeps us going.
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]