Welcome back to the series “International Boho-Chic Designers“. I meet so many fashion designers and artists on my travels and as a shopaholic, I love having unique items from abroad. I want to share them with you! The designers featured here are those I really shop from and adore.
I have known Varuna for some time; she’s been friends with Ben since before I moved to Goa. I’m so happy to feature her on the blog today! She’s a very talented artist and does work for a lot of the popular companies in Goa so you’ve probably seen some of her designs without realizing it.
She’s a bubbly surfing beach girl, always smiling and positive and I have recommended her to a handful of friends when they need design work done, like when she did some prints for fabric for the brand TIA I love. Also, she is basically a model for her photographer friends… the images that pop up on FB are stunning. Did I mention she’s helping WWF save the dolphins? She basically does it all.
logo examples from Varuna
The chick behind Veelicious & Code Designs
It’s hard to narrow down what Varuna Iyer is… visual artist, philosopher, traveler, explorer and a lover of life. Her quirky designs tell a story. With an education in design, it’s really framed the way she sees the world. She started out with a small set up in Goa, but with all her clients raving about her she built her brand up to be the hugely successful and popular name it is today.
“I believe that creativity has the power to transcend limitations of daily life and bring meaningful change to the world. My designs are a symphony of aesthetics and visual story telling.” -Varuna
Varuna’s World… the Brands:
Varuna actually has two brands but we’ll start with Veelicious. This 3-year-old company of Varuna’s caters to visual branding and storytelling for startups and companies so that could mean a huge variety of things like: illustrations, artwork, invites, packaging, menus, making company brochures, drawing murals, helping with branding, even fashion with digital prints on fabric, and designing brand spaces, like daawat.
Her brand is equally as funky as it is functional and you can get a feel of that when you first see her illustrations. I like that when you work with Varuna she doesn’t just see it as a job, but is interested in your vision, in the complete project coming together, and finding new and innovative ways to put onto paper what you’re thinking.
examples of her digital paintings
“I like to capture the essence of person and translate it into art.”
Her other newer company, Code Designs… sounds a little more computer based huh? It is! The multitalented girl can build websites, create apps, emailers, and help with social media management.
While she draws her inspiration for work from places, I always ask what people inspire designers in their field. Varuna mentioned graphic designers Stephan Sagmiester & Kriti Monga. She also gets inspired from Jason Silva and “entertainment philosopher”. I hadn’t heard of him but he’s incredibly interesting if you want to check out his website.
examples of her branding work
“My design solution focuses on capturing the crux of human emotion, and building brand personalities catering to the needs of the Audience. They are also fun and quirky with a hint of humor usually hidden in them.”
She joined the Dream In movement by Spread in collaboration with Idiom when she first started design. She traveled 15,000 km to Agra, Lucknow, and Delhi over 15 days with the mission to ask the average person what their dreams were. She was struck by these dreams, like the woman whose dream was simply to work. She had no legs, no family, and hated she was a beggar. Another with polio dreamed of opening a phone booth. She wanted to create design to inspire change and do things that made a difference.
Map of Goa (you can purchase prints of this!)
Map of Bangalore
So what’s next for Varuna? She’ll be coming out with an illustration set. She’s working with WWF on a conversation campaign to save the dolphins (amazing!) and working with OwlIntel creating an app that helps people understand themselves and become better human beings. It is not surprising at all Varuna would be working on projects like these!
Like I said, she’s not your typical “graphic designer”. She’s one of those authentic artists, who are true to themselves, they make movies about later. She told me herself, “I believe in creating value”.
illustrations by Varuna
How can you work with Varuna Iyer?
First off, check out her website, VarunaIyer , and take a look around. You can go ahead and shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re ready to start chatting about a project or you want to buy a Goa map or any of her illustrations. And if you want to stay up to date, please follow along by liking her Facebook page Veelicious!
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