I remember discovering Anjali Mehta's work when I was working with Art&Found 4 years ago. Since then, it's been fun watching her style mature, from simple black and whites to the richly coloured, detailed illustrations and GIFs she makes today. Here are her responses for Goodbye, 2019:
The nicest thing you did for someone in 2019? I have the worst memory ever and can't even remember what I did last week. I can only remember the smallest and random nice things I did:
-My friend lost her favourite ring and was sulking about it for days. So I surprised her with a new ring after a few weeks. -I helped someone become bolder and teach them that it's important to say no and how to do it. -I cook a lot of food for a lot of friends (I love cooking :P )
The book that helped you the most in 2019?
I read a few books but the best book I read this year was definitely Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman. I was going through a tough time in my Master's programme as I was alone most of the days, and so was Eleanor's character in this book! I wouldn't say I related to her character completely but I loved her and her story. There is something about books with such real human emotions which are portrayed in such a light and funny way that falling in love with them is inevitable.
The song you heard on loop this year? For me, it's most obviously Beyonce's homecoming album.
The film/TV show you fell head over heels in love with?
I recently started watching The Office and Oh my god, how can a show be SO good??!! The writing and the characters of that show are incredible. Apart from that this year, I loved binging on The Crown, which I discovered in 2019 too. I became so obsessed with the storylines that I started watching other documentaries on the royal family to know more about the real royal 'tea' afterwards, haha.
Your biggest accomplishment this year? Nothing will come close to finishing my MA in Illustration if we speak about tangible things. But as a human, I guess I accomplished a lot of my own personal goals, one of which was to deal with living alone, understanding and reaching a point in life where I love my own company and living alone the most. And this year, I achieved it! That, I would personally say, has been the accomplishment I am most proud of. I really struggled with being dependent on people earlier but now, I'm the happiest with myself. My most favourite thing to do is doing grocery shopping alone, which is truly like meditation for me.
Your big 2019 lesson/takeaway?
Kindness. I figured that being kind is the best thing you can be. Be as helpful and as nice to people as possible. It might be just a small gesture or almost no trouble for you but for that other person, it can mean much, much more.
Who are you creative crushing on lately? So many people - that list is endless. But to name the latest few, I would say I love Anthropologie's home section; every design is just so beautiful. I went to their store for the first time a few months ago and since then, I've kept an eye on every illustration they put on their products.
To name a few more, there's Rifle Paper Co., my absolute favourite for years; Ana Hard Design - love her colours and compositions; and Cecile Hoodie and Worry Lines, two very smart and very witty artists. You would really wish you had their brains.
A recent epiphany you've had?
The most recent and perhaps the saddest is that I get severe migraines from sleeping or napping too much. :( Just when I was enjoying my afternoon naps the most :(
What’s your number one bucket list item for 2020? Any big plans/projects planned for the new year? The #1 item would be to open my online shop and start selling my art. I've been wanting to do that since a long time now and have to achieve it in 2020. Apart from that, the only plans I have for the year in terms of my work is to make more meaningful and purposeful art, while having as much fun as I can.
from Anjali's Enroute Extinction series, an ongoing series of illustrations based on the currently endangered wildlife species in India.
Rate 2019 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Totally Sucked. Hmm, I would give it 8.5 perhaps. I had a good year - I travelled a lot, made some good art, went to great museums, made memories with my friends in cities around the world. I'm rarely this positive but I had a good time this year.
Thanks, Anjali :) Happy New Year!
Goodbye, 2019 is a conversation series with people who have inspired me this year.
Follow Anjali Mehta's amazing work here.