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Shreyas R Krishnan



Shreyas R Krishnan is an illustrator-designer from Chennai, India, with an eye for the everyday and an affinity for the drawn image. She makes non-fiction comics, zines, and documentary drawings exploring memory and identity. She explores intersections between visual culture and gender, and personal and collective memory, through nonfiction comics and zines. Through drawing and writing, she tries to understand how, why, and what we remember.

Shreyas is an editor of the Bystander Anthology: Stories Observations & Witnessings from South Asia—a graphic narratives anthology from South Asian storytellers—and a senior editor of comics at South Asian Avant-Garde Anthology. She also founded and co-organizes Bad Drawing Club, a monthly drawing group for women, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming folks.

Shreyas was trained in graphic design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and holds an MFA in Illustration Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. She previously taught illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Towson University.

Personal website

Work by Shreyas R Krishnan

A comic strip about an event and protests that followed: the text reads, "the videos of the incident went viral... and triggered outrage from Dalit communities, sparking protests across the state. (Online comment —) Do we really need to see such violent images? Please use your judgement before sharing! (Reply to this comment —) But if we don't see it for ourselves, how can we believe what's being reported?" The illustrations include a band of pixellated video footage at the top, and below, a hand scrolling through the news coverage.

Select Focus, 2021

Written by Aarthi Parthasarathy. Excerpt from Bystander Anthology: Stories, Observations & Witnessings from South Asia.
Illustration with text to the left which reads, "Kannagi in the Tamizh epic Silappadikaram, Kannagi, anguished by the unlawful execution fo there husband, tore off her left breast and threw it at the city of Madurai in South India, causing it to go up in flames." Image of Kannagi right, where she raises her left arm, pointing above, with yellow flames behind her.

K is for Kannagi, 2019

Excerpt from the zine ‘Alphabreasts’. Zine made in collaboration with Akhila Krishnan
A 5 (row) by 10 (column) composition of various portraits of people, all illustrated in saffron and purple hues. Each portrait is on the face of a three-dimensional cuboid, oriented on various axes, with the people's/subject's name below their portrait.

Bystander Anthology Portraits, 2020

Commissioned by Bystander Anthology
Spreads from a sketchbook: clippings from talks frame portraits of speakers. The drawings and notes are in various vibrant colors.

Illustration Across Media: Sketchnotes, 2019

Sketchbook excerpt
Open spread of book: a person sits on a bench between two large paintings/drawings of people (in landscape/horizontal orientation) on the wall; to the left, a person in nude, to the right, a clothed person. Both are lounging on beds/couches, set against a light pink background. The world outside these pictures is in grayscale.

Standards, 2017

Excerpt from comic ‘Standards’
Book cover that features large, purple block type spelling Bystander, the letters split across three rows. Meandering around the type is a bright orange and red vine sprouting flowers, leaves, birds, and people.

Bystander Anthology

Stories, observations, and witnessings from South Asia: Bystander Anthology is a collection of graphic narratives about geography and gender, identity and self, boundary and exclusion through the lens of the experience of the ‘other’– the bystander.
A two-panel comic. On the left panel, there are illustrations of camera phones, when they were first introduced in India, and people communicating with them. Illustrations in the right panel also feature of social media posts and quotes, recounting a news story about cow vigilantes from several points of view.

Select Focus, 2021

Excerpt from Bystander Anthology: Stories, Observations & Witnessings from South Asia.Illustrated by Shreyas R Krishnan. Written by Aarthi Parthasarathy.