Meet the maker: Sukriti Grover – UrbanHand

Sukriti Grover is all of 29 years old. And full of bright ideas. Ideas inspired by the things she had learnt in art school and the things she is surrounded by. All of which she brings to life through UrbanHand.

Greetings! And welcome to another round of Meet the Maker with Engrave. Today, we’re going to introduce you to someone charming who will make you smile again and again and again.

For starters, take a look at this page. It made you smile, right? Next thing you would have noticed is how different these greeting cards are from the ones you’re usually accustomed to seeing and handing out. Not that that surprises us. Our Makers are all known for their distinct offers. That apart, young people are known to think differently. And those are just a few of the reasons we’re proud to host this Sukriti Grover’s UrbanHand.

Creative and cheerful – Sukriti

Sukriti Grover is all of 29 years old. And full of bright ideas. Ideas inspired by the things she had learnt in art school and the things she is surrounded by. All of which she brings to life through UrbanHand.

For those of you who can’t help but wonder what inspired Sukriti to reinvent the greeting card in this way, here’s what she said, “Generally, greeting cards are very kitschy. I chose to use soft pastel colours juxtaposed with sarcasm because in my head this speaks of the world we currently live in. As heavy as that sounds, I simply mean that there are plenty of paradoxes that exist in life and they manage to inspire me.”

The making of UrbanHand

The stories behind names make for interesting reading. And UrbanHand is definitely an unusual name. What’s the big idea behind it? Does it have something to do with city life? The name certainly suggests that. We weren’t sure. And so we asked Sukriti about it. This is what she said, “All the illustrations are hand drawn by me and inspired by my daily urban life. The two words seemed to fit together like a puzzle piece that describes what I create. And thus the name UrbanHand!”

We also liked the playful style in which characterises her creations. As a matter of fact, it reminded us some of the joys forgotten joys of childhood. What drew Sukriti to express herself like so? Did it have anything to do with her background, we asked. “I partly grew up in India and partly in the US. Both cultures have inspired my work. I studied Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, so i guess you could say i was formally trained there but really a lot the work comes from life experiences.”

Most good artists draw inspiration from others. What about Sukriti? Which of the greats did she look up to? Or was she a fiercely independent creature who only looked within? We put these questions to her. What she had to say is instructive.

“As a fine arts student I’d be lying if I didn’t mention some of the masters that have impacted my life. The playful and childlike stroke of genius created by Pablo Picasso’s works has brought so much learning and influenced my views of art over time. Of course not just painters but even contemporary comedians like Tina fey, Robin Williams, Amy Poehler bring just inspiring humour to the table that it’s hard to ignore such resources.”

Some of the other things we quizzed her on were stuff like how long does it take her to create each greeting card? What are the tools she used to work with? And how she sees the road ahead panning? If you’re an artist or would like to be seen as one, Sukriti’s responses will interest you. Over to her. “When inspiration strikes, it could be a matter minutes spent on the hand-drawn outlines. Once the raw drawing is fed into my magical machine (my mac) the colour palette takes its own course. But as you know artists can take their own time to create when inspiration evades them. So in a nutshell it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days.”

The Road Ahead

Sukriti’s long term plans are to get people to go back to the basics of life and do kind gestures such as sending someone a hand-written card. Her view is that we have become a technology-driven society. And while she believes this is a good thing, because of all the advantages it brings, she also thinks it makes our interactions a little more impersonal than before. This is something she hopes to redress with UrbanHand.

“When some receives a greeting card the joy that comes along with that is incomparable to a text message. All said and done, our goal is to get back to the basics and bring some humour and smiles to people’s faces. In the process, we also hope to sell a lot of cards,” Sukriti says with a twinkle in her eye.

We concur and support her wholeheartedly on this positively uplifting journey she has embarked upon.

Visit the UrbanHand Shop on Engrave.

To read stories about all our makers click here.

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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