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Diwali card collection

Updated: Apr 22

Kamal Koria

When I came to the UK, greeting cards for the Asian community were not available. I was quite lucky to come across some pioneering printers in Leicester who commissioned the production of Europe’s first Diwali cards. Pipi Printers from the Belgrave road area approached me with the challenge which I of course accepted.

Over the years, there have been many cards published by different publishers and I am occasionally approached by collectors who are now global. This always surprises me.

The illustrations

The illustrations used reflected a theme of rural India. I have always been inspired by village life, the transport, the animals and the clothing. I used gouache on board and often used an airbrush. One artwork took approximately two weeks to create but I often worked on multiple cards at any given time.

The Method

Imagery started as concepts in a sketchbook. I normally had to think of a series of designs as these cards would come in packs of 12, much like Christmas cards. I would perfect my drawing at size and with tracings, transfer the drawing to a Daler board. First i would give the board a wash of colour, often giving the background and any figures a different wash of colour. This gave the composition a cohesive feel. I then coloured the figures and finished off with detail in the hair and facial expressions. I liked to focus on solid shapes and fluidity of material and hair and gouache was the perfect medium to use.

Here are some of my card designs. Designed and printed by businesses based in Belgrave Leicester, also known as The Golden Mile. Themes included village life and religious stories.


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