Hello and welcome to A Vignettist! I am Somali, a writer, sketch artist and an illustrator living in Seoul, South Korea.
Growing up in an obscure industrial town in eastern India I brewed passionate dreams of fleeing home and becoming an explorer. But that never happened because for the longest time I dreaded asking people for directions. Well, fast forward twenty years to the time when I found this wonderful man with equally itchy feet, but one who could read a map way better than me.
Together we’ve travelled to 30 countries and over 100 cities. There’s no stopping anytime soon. Instead of quelling my curiosity of this world, our adventures have multiplied it manifold sending me sniffing for stories everywhere, even in my own backyard.
This blog is where I tell I those stories albeit ordinary in words and through on-location sketches that capture fleeting moments which may otherwise be lost.
For example, this guy in red jacket manning the souvenir cart near Central Park didn’t have a single customer or people in general around that area as far as I could see in the freezing cold and haze. Except barren trees, fallen leaves and a howling wind there wasn’t much to keep him company and yet he kept stacking the hoodies, arranging the mufflers and hanging the NYPD and CSI caps as if someone was going to drop by any moment. Nobody did as long as I stayed to sketch him and his set up but every time I look at this sketch from the comfort of my home I’m reminded of his tenacity and optimism. We can always hope for the day to get better.
In this blog I relate vignettes of such random people I meet on the road, of incidents that humble me, excite me or grieve me, of architecture, of history, culture, or talk about a recipe I took hours to perfect in my kitchen because I was besotted with a dish I ate in a foreign country or a book I read, a museum I visited or an event I attended. I am really glad you stopped by and hope that you enjoy reading my stories and browsing my art.
You can also find me on Instagram (@somaliroy) and on Flickr (@somalidasgupta) where I post my sketches regularly. Besides blogging I also write articles and illustrate for publications. I’ve worked with Smithsonian Magazine, Women’s Web, Complete Wellbeing Magazine, Selamta Magazine and Bon Appetite for several writing and illustration projects.
If you’d like to commission me for the same, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to purchase any of my sketches you see on the blog or engage me in making a custom drawing do get in touch as well. I’d love to hear from you!
*Note – Everything on this blog – text, sketches and photographs – are the copyright of Somali Roy. Please do not download or use them without permission. Thank you!