La La Land in-house artist Lilly Perrott recently went on a holiday to India with her partner Cristian, who is also part of the La La Land team! We caught up with her to chat about what inspired her as she travelled and how she documented her journey.
Which country or travel has given you the most creative inspiration and why?
India! Its a country full of contrast and colour. There's darkness but at the same time so much light. I'd often find myself walking down streets packed with ancient Indian facades, decked out with market stalls out the front adorned with intricate jewellery, homewares and fabrics, all whilst there are monkeys jumping from roof to roof, cows slowly making their way through the busy streets and about fifty people yelling to get you to look at their shops. There are flowers for ceremonial use dotted everywhere, and women wrapped with colourful saris peacefully moving through the crowds. Sitting in little rooftop cafes or balconies was one of my favourite things to do to just watch India in all its chaotic beauty. I've always been drawn to detail and interesting colour palettes and that is essentially what a lot of the India I saw is made up of. I tried to capture all of this through photos and sketches but nothing will ever do the real thing justice, its a place you have to witness first hand to truly understand.
What interesting facts did you learn about Indian art or craft to share?
I loved watching the textile workers create their patterns with beautifully carved wood blocks which they'd print with limited colour palettes onto cotton and linens. The art of miniature painting is a big trade in Udaipur, where the artists paint with tiny squirrel hair brushes to get the most intricate minuscule details often on camel bone or handmade papers. I bought a painting from a gallery which took about 40 hours to produce but is no bigger than a post card.
What inspired you the most?
Definitely the paintings and decorations of palaces and forts throughout Rajasthan. There are rooms where every surface is painted with beautiful florals and patterns with loud colour palettes or floor to ceilings with tiny detailed glass patterns mounted into marble - it was all so stunning and inspiring. I also love their fearless approach to colour throughout the south all the way to the north.
Can you share some sketches from your travels?
I tried to sketch when I could on the go, but I often had to snap photos to draw from afterward since we were on the move all the time, so below are a collection of a few.
What do you like the most about travel sketching?
It helps you analyse the details of what's in front of you and see the difference in life abroad that you might miss at first glance.
Can you share some valuable lessons you learnt with us from your trip?
Absolutely, here's some tips I've compiled from my 6-week trip:
- Find where the local people eat and with a high turn over of food to guarantee fresh food that hasn't been sitting around all day.
- Fill up with filter water at hostels or hotels - there is so much rubbish and plastic waste in India, it doesn't need your contribution!
- Be open-minded and try a different meal or drink once every couple of days (For every meal you dislike you'll get at least three that you'll love!)
- The best chai is best boiled 4 times and THEN you add the sugar
- Monkey's aren't as cute as you'd think - especially when they steal your lunch!
- Get to know the locals! They'll teach you far more about Indian life and culture than any lonely planet or travel blog could ever do and are just as interested in your culture! My partner and I befriended a lovely guy from Manali and now he's going to go stay with him for a month in his mountain village.
- Carry hand sanitizer, wet wipes and a bit of toilet paper for bathrooms, some turmeric to rub into any cuts you might get (it has amazing healing properties), Berocca and hydration salts for when you're not at your best, and an inflatable travel pillow and silk sleeping bag liner will transform any surface into a cosy little nook especially when you're on 14 hour bus rides!
- Body language speaks volumes, especially where there's a language barrier. A simple smile or head wiggle can get you a long way.
- Happiness is best shared, I was amazed just how many people I met and hung out with on my travels, and was so pleased that I made the effort to do so.
SHOP LILLY PERROT'S ILLUSTRATED CARDS AND PRODUCTS HERE
@lillymiranda10 to check out more of Lilly's work