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Shreyas R Krishnan

Shreyas R. Krishnan is an illustrator-designer from Chennai, India. She makes non-fiction comics and zines about memory, identity, and complex social issues. Her research focuses on the ways gender and visual culture impact each other.

Krishnan’s comics have been nominated for an Ignatz Award twice – for “Ley Lines #12: Maqsood-i-Kainaat,” and for “Bystander Anthology: Stories, Observations and Witnessings from South Asia,” which she also co-edited. She founded and co-organizes Bad Drawing Club, an informal monthly drawing group for people of marginalized genders, and is an assistant professor at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. In collaboration with Aggie Toppins, Krishnan initiated the TL;DR Zine Archive, a collection of zines about design and illustration

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.
R krishnan, shreyas   image 1   the spectacle of violence 2022

The Spectacle of Violence, 2022

Rkrishnan, shreyas image 6   tldrcatalog

Doing Things With Images, 2022

Exhibition Catalog for TL;DR Zine Archive Designed in collaboration Aggie Toppins
R krishnan, shreyas   image 4   surviving the storm of corporate greed 2022.jpg

Surviving the Storm of Corporate Greed, 2023

R krishnan, shreyas   image 4   select focus 2022

Select Focus, 2021

Written by Aarthi Parthasarathy Excerpt from Bystander Anthology: Stories, Observations & Witnessings from South Asia
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Webs of Safety and Care, 2022

Visual Explainer
R krishnan, shreyas   image 2   கனி (kani) 2022

கனி / Kani, 2022

Illustrated Zine