ROWEEN RAWAT’S vibrant and detailed illustrations draw numerous influences from mehndi patterns and the Great Wave of Kanagawa, to strong female protagonists such as geishas. Her work embodies cultural remembrance and freedom from societal expectations of art.
Roween cites her parent’s scepticism and lack of understanding of the arts world as influences on her artistic techniques. She uses art as a therapeutic outlet and this sentiment of freedom is reflected in her work. Indeed, her practice can be characterised by the use of free hand techniques, often using inexpensive materials such as 0.5 nib pens and pro markers. Shunning the traditional canvas in favour for small sketchbooks and journals, she maintains these methods are the “best way to express your inner feelings.”
Previously Roween had used oil pastels, and often created large scale pieces that were extremely meticulous and slow paced, frequently drawing for six to seven hours at a time. However, her penchant for meticulous lines has not left her practice. Heavily inspired by her Indian heritage, Mehndi patterns and mandalas are ubitiqous in her work. Roween often receives tattoo design requests, and she is in turn inspired by tattoo art culture on Instagram, stating her future desire to self-design her own tattoos.
Roween’s work is quite prominent throughout the UCL campus, having been commissioned for artwork in Cheesegrater and Kinesis journals. Her latest design commission is the UCL LGBTQ+ badge ‘here/queer’ – a fact she is quietly proud of, admitting how ‘lovely it is too see people wearing your work.’
Check her out on Instagram here.