5 Super Doodlers of Instagram
Updated: Jul 19
You’ve probably doodled in your textbooks in high school, or on notepads during long meetings. ‘That’s not art,’ you say. ‘Doodles are just for fun’ -- to which these artists say; ‘Why not both?’
The artists on today’s list have very diverse backgrounds, very different inspirations, and unique styles. We’re talking everything from graffiti to warli to mandalas, imagery that ranges from black and white to brightly colourful, hyper-detailed to caricature, and subjects covering everything from people to plants to abstracts to philosophy; if there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be that inspiration can be anywhere. The best thing about doodle art is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Well, there’s no right or wrong way to do art of any kind, but doodles in particular, since they haven’t yet been absorbed into the greater ‘fine art’ order, are even more free. And since there is no – or very little, at least – precedent set, that means it can be whatever you want it to be. Our artists today personify this idea.
1. Sketchy Sultaan
Sketchy Sultaan is a Pune based doodle artist with a clean and bold art style. He draws inspiration from the people and places around him, creating cartoons and doodles that are uniquely expressive, and capture the personality of the characters he draws. Looking at his works, you can see influences of traditional Indian art forms like the geometric shapes of warli, and the detailed patterns of madhubani and gond art. He combines these traditional styles with modern themes and layouts which make his work especially relevant and eye-catching to contemporary audiences. Though he also has a full-time job, he uses doodling to express his creative side. His art style is influenced by icons such as Mario Miranda and R. K. Laxman, drawing from both their techniques, as well as their themes of social and political satire.
He also conducts cartooning workshops; you can follow him on Instagram @sketchysultaan for updates. If you’re interested in caricatures and cartoon doodles, Sketchy Sultaan will be excellent inspiration!
2. Sanjana Gupta
Sanjana Gupta is a CA by profession and an artist by choice. She seamlessly combines western imagery with traditional Indian art styles and motifs, incorporating intricate patterns that are reminiscent of Madhubani into her art. She creates a striking contrast of silhouette and dense detail, highlighted by her careful use of colour. Speaking of colour; that is an element to look out for in her work. She doesn’t use swathes or blocks of colour, but rather does her doodles in coloured ink. This creates a beautiful effect; at first glance you see a stretch of colour, but the more you look, the more details there are to find; which is an effect that perfectly complements her source of inspiration; she observes everything, and reimagines it creatively. She also draws inspiration from the works of Navanitha and Rashmi Krishnappa.
Sanjana’s advice for budding artists is to ignore the algorithms of instagram or facebook. Likes, comments, shares etc., don't matter that much. At the end of the day if you are happy with what you have created then it's all worth it.
Mandala art is a game of patience. If you’re interested in the kind of art that is meditative and detailed, start here with Sanjana!
"Let the pleasure of doodling lead us to writing as decoration, rather than to the peculiarly abstract sort of representation it inclines towards: the making of signs to look through, rather than at."
- Robert M. Kaplan
3. Shamika Chaves
Shamika Chaves is a full-time artist and illustrator. She lives in Mumbai with her Husband Christopher, and their seven-year-old tortoise, Sebastian. Shamika has an energetic and often colourful art style. She uses simple lines and a combination of hand rendering and digital media to create vivid scenes that capture the imagination. Though she specializes in children’s books illustrations, her personal projects are just as vivacious and humorous. She is inseparable from her bag full of micron pens, and finds inspiration in the works of artists like Júlia Sardà, Rebecca Green, Marta Altés, and close friend and illustrator Tasneem Amiruddin. Like theirs, her works have an almost Nordic-inspired quality to them; her colour palettes are vibrant yet tempered with shading and varying opacity, complementing simple forms and figures. She also uses clean lines to define her characters and scenes, which gives her work an element of modernity and playfulness.
Shamika conducts workshops for children and sells merchandise. You can follow her on Instagram @shamikasdoodles for updates!
4. Debangshu Moulik
Debangshu Moulik, a full-time artist based in Pune, is the kind of artist who is never seen without his sketchbook. What started as an attempt to overcome the language barrier between him and other children in kindergarten, has grown into a full-blown career. His art style is stylized and illustrative with bold lines and creative uses of colour and form, explored in a variety of mediums. His work features many human characters, who are all rendered with singular expressiveness. He tends to use a lot of colour in his work, in a way that is reminiscent of the fluidity and spontaneity of graffiti. There are also traces of traditional influence in his art, especially in the bold lines he uses and the way he draws facial features, which are similar to the style of Kalighat Paintings (which you can read a bit more about over here). He draws inspiration and reference from artists of the Bengal School of Art such as Ganesh Pyne, Haren Das, Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, K.G. Subramanyan, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij, and, last but certainly not the least; Abanindranath Tagore.
Despite his being an amazing artist, Debangshu is usually not very happy with his artwork --which in a way, inspires him to keep creating more. If your preferred style is more spontaneous and dynamic, check out Debangshu’s instagram, or his website debangshumoulik.com
5. Priyanka Jaising
Priyanka Jaising is a Mumbai based full-time artist who does both doodles and paintings. Her doodles aren’t just inspiration in the visual sense though; she uses black ink and crisp, fine lines to illustrate ideas of self-love and healing. Her work is usually in black and white, but when she uses colours they are vibrant and with purpose. Priyanka incorporates a variety of pen techniques into her work, including stippling and occasionally cross-hatching, and the fineness of the lines she draws lends itself especially well to the fluidity of her characters’ hair, capturing a sense of movement in the drawing. Her clever use of colour blocking and contrast created using only patterns in a monochromatic palette goes to show that you don’t need a vast variety of materials to get into art.
She draws inspiration from the universe, the cosmos; something that really intrigues her. She believes that we as humans are constantly changing and evolving and so does our art with us. Her advice to beginners is that art is about therapeutic expression; so just indulge without thinking twice and enjoy the process.
Priyanka sells her artwork as well as offers customized work as well for both, her paintings and doodles.
If contrasting textures and patterns are your thing, Priyanka’s work is a great point of reference!
We hope this article inspired you to start doodling! Follow these amazing artists on Instagram, and if you decide to try out your own doodles, don’t forget to tag both the artist and @skyshot.in
Written by Sambhavi Sinha, Content Writer at Skyshot Media.