Surface Designer Spotlight: Priyadarshini Das Sharma

I’m proud to introduce this month’s spotlight designer: Priyadarshini Das Sharma. Priya and I “met” on Instagram after she took several of my Skillshare courses – it was immediately apparent after just a few quick conversations on IG with her that she was special. Not only does she create truly lovely work, she also has a beautiful soul. I hope you enjoy her story!

Please Introduce Yourself

Priyadarshini Das Sharma

I was born in Kolkata, the City of Joy. I’ve recently moved to a small town in South India. This move has allowed me to experience nature at its best and that is my daily inspiration for my art.

Tell us a little bit about your design journey.

I was always an artist, but I revisited this dormant “hobby” more than two years back. I had to begin my maternity leave almost three months before my due date because of a particularly difficult pregnancy. This is when I started painting again.

I mostly made black and white patterns in a tiny sketchbook (high contrast black and white pictures help develop a baby’s vision) and it was extremely meditative. I continued this daily drawing practice even after I began traveling to work again. I was lucky enough to work in a team of creative friends who were extremely encouraging.

When the lockdown began in India, I was determined to learn new art forms. A friend gave me a Skillshare code so I could get two months free and learn watercolor hand lettering. I ended up not learning watercolor hand lettering but I did stumble upon Bonnie Christine’s surface design class. It looked interesting, I took a detailed class on Adobe Illustrator, and then I came across Shannon’s classes where I got great actionable feedback.

A few Instagram challenges and a 100-day project later, I saw my own progress, and I knew I wanted to do this professionally. After taking the PYP course, surface design as a career doesn’t seem that intimidating anymore.

Surface design by Priyadarshini Das Sharma

What did you struggle with most as a new designer?

As a new designer, juggling a day job, fulfilling my existing financial commitments, raising my two-year-old daughter, and taking care of my four rescued furkids, along with making time for creating art everyday is a genuine struggle.

Add to that chronic insomnia and fatigue, getting sucked into social media overwhelm, trying to find a signature style, and occasionally feeling that I’m not good enough amongst fellow designers who are truly brilliant.

Surface design by Priyadarshini Das Sharma

When you look back at your design journey so far, what are you most proud of?

The thing I’m most proud of is my progress and how I can now see a distinct folk art style emerge in most of my work.

Where do you see yourself in your career three years from now?

I’d love to open and successfully run my own line of eco-friendly stationery that is also locally sourced and printed. I’m already in touch with a few local manufacturers and I hope to find the perfect match!

What advice would you give to surface designers who are struggling?

Take care of your health, both physical and mental.

And give yourself some grace.

Where can we find you?


Surface design by Priyadarshini Das Sharma

P.S. If you’d like to be featured on the SDR blog, you can always submit your story right here!

  1. Ginger says:

    Wonderful Priya! Lovely to learn more about you. You go girl, I can see you making all kinds of beautiful eco stationery. xo Ginger

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