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A young and talented graphic designer and visual artist, Teesha Shrestha is known to integrate Newari culture and heritage in her artwork. She was recently in the news for winning the ‘My Card Ideas’ competition, the first-ever design crowd sourcing competition of making visa cards organised by Laxmi bank.

Teesha who is Co-founder and Art Director at Dragon Horse Design now has participated in many national and international workshops and exhibitions including Monsoon Printmaking Workshop 2019 and Kochi Students Biennale 2018. In a conversation with WOW’s Pabita Dahal, she talks about her creative mission and more.

What sparked your interest in graphic design?

It was since childhood that I was fascinated with arts. My mother and aunt inspired me to play with colourful paints in their fabric painting classes. However I did not realise that I could pursue a career in art until I completed high school. My dad encouraged me to take up commerce and my hobby alongside. As graphic designing has both aspects, I pursued my undergraduate studies in graphic design and advertising, and thus my journey began.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything around me. Having said that, I mostly take inspiration from nature and culture. Also, a big thanks to the internet that we can keep ourselves connected to global trends and international designers.

You have been in this field for a decade, what has your experience been like?

It was difficult for the first few years. Initially, I felt like I was in the wrong field. But now I enjoy it and it has become my passion. I aspire to be better each day and to explore my interest in more challenging areas. I would love to explore my creativity further whenever opportunities strike.

You are both a graphic designer and a visual artist. How do the two genres complement each other?

The love for visual art has helped me to become a better designer. Almost every artist struggles to establish an identity. So, it is difficult to survive as an artist but as I have the graphic designing skills it has supported me financially to go ahead and build my career in fine arts.

It isn’t easy to manage time for both. Sometimes it feels like I could have excelled a lot if I had focused on just one field. But, you might have heard Gemini’s are represented as twin characters. I guess the twin roles of my career are design and fine art. Hence, I give my best to both.

You won the ‘My Card Ideas’ competition. Tell us about it?

When I heard about this competition, my partner and I thought we should give it a try. As there was limited time and I had my college submissions at the same time, I wasn’t sure of doing it. However, thanks to my partner who helped me in the research of all the seven provinces and made it easier. Though I had to work late nights, I never noticed the clock ticking. Maybe I was thoroughly enjoying it. The illustration was also a mixture of fine arts and graphic design. So I loved it. That dedication and joy during the working process made it possible.

Which do you prefer: corporate or editorial designing?

Corporate includes designing brand identities such as logos and typography whereas editorial designing includes layouts of designs like a catalogue, brochures, etc. I enjoy corporate identity design more than editorial design as it is more challenging and demands more creativity and thought.

What is the biggest challenge in your line of work?

To take up the client’s feedback and make multiple changes as to their needs (patiently) while trying not to spoil your original ideal or creation.

What is the scenario for graphic designers in Nepal?

There are very few clients who understand the need for a good design. Most of them compare rates rather than looking for a better designer who can ultimately boost their business and brands. Penny wise, pound foolish, I might say.

What are you currently involved in?

I am currently doing my MFA studies and busy with my graphic designing business.

Five skills every graphic designer should have…. 
2. Visualisation
3. Artistic approach
4. Stay updated about branding
5. Software skills

If not an artist you would be… 
A baker

Design for you… 
Creativity with purpose

Your great achievement … 
Being selected for Kochi Student Biennale 2018 and winning My Card Ideas.