Gaurab Thakali reaches new heights by combining his music-themed illustrations with nature

This order is just one example of the many types of projects Gaurab has worked on. Among commercial work for animated shorts, book covers and newspapers, he has also worked on personal projects primarily using screen printing techniques which further enhance the vibrant colors of his work. Music remains a common theme in his work, but he has also found himself illustrating memories of his home, Nepal. “Not being able to go back made me draw things that remind me of my home,” he adds, “like the towering Himalayas and the foothills that cover all of northern Nepal from east to west.”

Although he is best known for his musical performances, getting off topic came naturally. “Music has always been at the heart of what I do,” says Gaurab, but over the past year he’s tried to spend as much time as possible outdoors after so long in lockdown. In turn, he found himself drawn to images of nature and landscape, incorporating these themes into musical compositions to create a new kind of energy. In a collaboration with an artist called Styles P, the illustrator and musician found themselves on the same page and their ensuing work heavily featured plant life.

Using trial and error, he plays with different visual elements to inform the overall illustration. Its process can be as little as seconds or days depending on the level of detail. Often Gaurab will search based on the image to find unexpected combinations. Elsewhere, he looks at photographs to create various visual surprises, then searches for vibrant hues of nature “you almost wouldn’t believe that’s where I found it.” This is just a small taste of what it takes to create one of Gaurab’s highly original works of art. Hopefully this year he can return to Nepal and create a new body of work revealing new insights into the wonderful process of illustrating.

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