Editorial illustrations – Connecting the Dots with Bibi Russell written by Mahenaz Chowdhury.

For Goethe Institut Bangladesh, I Illustrated three editorial pieces for their feature article titled Connecting the Dots with Bibi Russell. Each piece focused on an important part of the article, highlighting its themes further while keeping the readers engaged. I decided to make each illustration as surreal as possible to clearly convey its concepts.

The cover illustration breaks down the core elements of the legendary Bangladeshi fashion designer and ex-model, Bibi Russell. As someone who is so beloved by the country, including me, I wanted to do her justice by showcasing her strengths. Bibi Russell is known for her style – the decorated bindi, glasses, and nose ring. She is also known for her use of gamcha material in her fashion. Gamcha is a traditional thin, coarse cotton towel often with a checked design widely used in South Asia. I illustrated the check pattern within the panels as well as adapting this pattern for the panel dividers themselves. Other illustrations reflect Russell’s efforts to preserve the environment and her community.

The second piece focuses on Bibi Russell’s protégé, crochet artist Nasrin. In Nasrin’s interview, she mentions the most rewarding part of her work is training other girls and empowering them to learn and earn. This was an important point that I wanted to feature by using a stitch pattern to show how the craft is passed down and builds a community.

The third piece shows how when thinking of the GDP, talented artisans are lost as a number in the industry.

These three pieces were conceptualized and completed within a fast turnaround.