Manjit Thapp

March, 2017

I got in touch with one of my new favourite female illustrators. Manjit Thapp is currently based in the UK, and has studied previously at Camberwell College of Arts (UAL). From one UAL student to another, I was fascinated about what she had achieved with her degree - setting the stage for future illustrators.

What I find really interesting about Manjit is that not only has she produced really beautiful work for clients such as DAZED, VOGUE India and Instagram, she has also produced a vast QUANTITY of work. It has all been produced so well, and I can't help but feel jealous. She makes it look so easy?!

Her Instagram follower count of over 52 thousand is impressive, and so is her range of items to buy from her shop. From zines to stickers, she has done them all. What I love about her work is the fluid combination of hand drawn pencil lines and digital blocked shapes. The colours she uses are perfectly chosen, and the details are on point. My personal favourite series from Manjit is her fashion illustrations - the patterns and colours are divine!

Illustration for Betty - online website.

In terms of your style, has that come from studying and being surrounded by hard working peers, or has a lot of that come form independent practice in order to arrive at your refined and particular style?

I don’t focus on ‘style’ because it can feel very restricting. A drawing style is always going to be changing and evolving, as it should! My style has definitely evolved over time just by me drawing more and more.

Has there ever been a time when you felt that your work did not compete against other illustrators, and if so, how did you overcome doubts in order to pursue what you love?

I really don’t think of it in that way, it’s a very personal process so I don’t compare my work to others, I think that can be quite dangerous.

During your time at UAL, did you feel that you learnt enough about the design industry before graduating? / Did your work outside of university set briefs really challenge you to think and work like a professional?

I’d say I learnt about it from a mixture of the two. I did the FdA Illustration course for 2 years and then joined the BA Illustration course in my 3rd year. The FdA was good because it’s very industry led and I got to work on very practical briefs which I liked. Since I left school I’ve been posting my work online and running an online shop so I think I’ve learnt a lot a long the way.

Fashion Illustrations - Proenza Schouler / Fall '17

Fashion Illustrations- Ashish / SS '17

What advice would you give to new design and illustration students starting university?

For me it was really important to do my own personal work alongside university briefs. I knew what sort of work I wanted to do be doing and often briefs don’t really allow for that, especially at the beginning, so it’s good to work on your own thing on the side and it just means more to add to your portfolio at the end!

My personal goal as an illustrator was to have work featured by Frankie magazine within 5 years of graduating - how do you feel about setting yourself goals, (having already achieved mine!) or do you let your design work go where the wind takes you?

I do have some ‘bucket list’ illustrator goals but I don’t put time limits on them, they’re just in the back of mind of things I’d love to do!

Finally, who is your biggest female inspiration right now?

Right now maybe Solange!


Follow Manjit on Instagram.

Buy stuff from her shop!

Find her Website & Tumblr.

Buy your copy of Frankie Magazine here.

For Refinery 29.
Issue 76 of Frankie Magazine.


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Environmentally focused & illustration obsessed.