Aroma Mandal is an artist-illustrator living in Pune, India.
Aroma, tell us about your journey as an artist?
Ever since I was a child, I've been deeply passionate about art. It captivated me from a very young age, and I would spend most of my time immersed in the world of art, exploring and understanding different styles of illustration through comics, fashion, and now anime. It was a form of expression that allowed me to bring my imagination to life on paper.
As I grew older, I decided to pursue my further education at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, where I had the opportunity to delve deeper into the realm of design. This education provided me with a solid foundation to further develop my skills as a user experience designer and illustrator.
Besides art and design, what are your other creative outlets?
Aside from my professional life, I have two other great passions: music and cooking. Music has always had a special place in my heart. It has the power to inspire and evoke emotions, and I find that it often fuels my creativity. Whether I'm listening to music while working on my illustrations or finding inspiration from melodies and rhythms, it plays a significant role in my creative process.
Whether I'm working on personal projects or professional assignments, the act of illustrating is a deeply rewarding experience that allows me to connect with others through art.
Tell us about your collaboration with Rey&I?
I was introduced to Rey&I through a mutual friend and was excited to have the opportunity to showcase my work.
Women’s empowerment is not a typical theme for a men’s swimwear brand, but that’s exactly why I thought this would be a great platform for this conversation.
I created a total of four prints for Rey&I around this theme. Eden, my debut print, depicts a utopic paradise, features fearless women of all shapes, colours and sizes, existing in harmony. These women refuse to be constrained by societal expectations and embody confidence and inclusivity.
Each piece in this collection is carefully crafted to reflect the unique journey of a woman, highlighting her individuality and inner beauty. I want to empower women to embrace their true selves, embracing their flaws and strengths alike.
What are you hoping to achieve by having men wear this print featuring women?
I hope that we are treated equally from sharing household chores to equal pay at work, I hope we achieve that. I hope the male gaze stops when we talk about women's pleasure and I also hope that every woman should be fearless in their own way and not be tamed by society, be it at home, office or anywhere. We need to hold our heads high and walk past the negativity.