On a quiet side street off Metropolitan Boulevard, in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg you’ll find the workspace and home of designer Shyama – Queen of the Catsquatch (We will get to that in a minute).
Small in stature, you’d be mistaken if you assumed that she is anything less than a powerhouse of design with unmatched conviction and passion for her craft.
“I was always drawing when I was a kid,” She told us on a warm summer afternoon. “Probably since the age of two.” A love for drawing lead her to train as a designer, and her schooling was rooted in the classics of layout and design. She built a solid list of clients, but doing other people’s work wasn’t enough. Even as a full-time designer, she was burning the midnight oil creating on her own and inventing. After three months of working on a painting while working full time, she finally had her mad-genius masterpiece, Catsquatch. As soon as it was done, a switch flipped and she did what everyone wants to do (but is often afraid to do): changed her career path to follow the dream and draw cats all day long.
What’s Catsquatch? As she describes it, Catsquatch is, “an illustrated book about cats who free themselves from humans and give rise to a creature that becomes something of a legend.” It almost seems to be her story as much as it is the story of a large cat-creature. Freeing herself from the “common path” gave her the ability to find inspiration in an uncommon place and take her to new and wildly interesting tangents.
In addition to Catsquatch the book (coming soon) you can find Shyama working on a series of typographic paintings, hand-lettering and calligraphy, and a new portrait series.