Illustrated tote bag by Manuja Waldia

Manuja Waldia’s illustrations are having a party, and everyone’s invited. Manuja is an illustrator and designer based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and while she has a couple different styles she works in (the vector work on her book covers for the Pelican Shakespeare series is stunning), I find myself gravitating towards her festive scenes rendered in built-up strokes of color. Her humans and anthropomorphized animal characters are living in a land of eternal garden parties, and I want to hang out with them.

Illustration by Manuja Waldia with figures at a bright, lush garden party

An ode to pizza, which Manuja says “incidentally is also my therapist”.

Pattern on a t-shirt, illustrated by Manuja Waldia. Girls, plants, cats, and peacocks are on the bright pattern.

Pattern illustrated by Manuja Waldia. Girls, plants, cats, and peacocks are on the bright pattern.

Illustration by Manuja Waldia. A merry band of anthropomorphic characters carry flowers and a sign saying 'Happy birthday'.

Part of a series of greeting cards

Illustration by Manuja Waldia. A girl and an anthropomorphized bird hold a banner saying 'Thank you for everything' in front of a festive table.

Illustration by Manuja Waldia. Anthropomorphized characters having a fireside island singalong. Text says happy birthday darling.

A chocolate bar called 'All things chocolate' with an illustration of two cats and a bunch of flowers by Manuja Waldia

Chocolate bar illustration for All Things Chocolate

Illustration by Manuja Waldia. One woman whispers to another 'I think it's going to rain'. She's holding a birthday cake and is surrounded by grey flowers.

Ok, so maybe it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I do also like Manuja’s comics “originating from the depths of [her] despair”, particularly this gif of a frustrated person fiddling around in Illustrator or a similar program:

Illustration by Manuja Waldia. An animated gif showing a frustrated person working in an illustration program.

Same, girl. Same.

Illustration by Manuja Waldia. A girl and an anthropomorphized cat lie on a blanket and eat cheese in an idyllic garden

Do I want to eat cheese with my BFF in an idyllic garden? Yes.

See more illustration and design work by Manuja (and a photo of the most fabulous cat) on her portfolio and blog.