Introducing Watercolour Artist, Aparna Ram of Cuckoo For Colour - The Maharani Diaries

Self-taught artist, Aparna Ram of Cuckoo For Colour had an interest in illustrating from a very young age. An investment associate by profession, she spent several years working in the traditional finance sector in London before living and working abroad in India. Although this work was rewarding, she was missing home and returned to London in 2014 and decided to step back from the 9 to 5 routine to pursue her interests and focus solely on Cuckoo For Colour.


A few years back we stumbled upon Aparna’s Instagram and instantly fell in love with her creative illustrations. So much so, that we got her to create some beautiful fashion illustrations for our Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer features. Much to her delight, her work instantly captured the attention of well-renowned Indian fashion designers such as Anushree Reddy. On the side, Aparna has also been experimenting with painting bridal portraits which we think make for such unique gifts for your friends or family members to treasure for a lifetime.

Now well and truly in the thick of the new year, Aparna is keeping herself busy with her new venture, Cuckoo For Colour and she has some exciting new projects in the pipeline.

We’re incredibly excited to be working alongside the artist behind Cuckoo For Colour and cannot wait for you to hear her story!

Who or what inspired you to begin painting?

During my childhood, my colouring books were my best friend. I remember having to spend summers at my grandmother’s house in a village in South India and there being not much in the way of entertainment. So I would bring colouring books and colour one or two pictures everyday. When I ran out, I would copy the pictures onto spare pieces of paper and colour those. So whilst my interest in colouring and painting had always been there, it wasn’t until high school, when my art teacher began to encourage me that I began to take it more seriously. Unfortunately I moved schools shortly after and the arts class was already full. Luckily my parents found me an after school art teacher in our local area. She was a sweet old lady and taught me to paint with pastels. I’ve painted on and off since then.

When did you develop an interest in fashion illustration?

Even when I wasn’t painting, I was following fashion bloggers and illustrators online. I’ve always found fashion to be inspiring and a lot of fun to illustrate. I have been experimenting with my style since my twenties. I think it was only natural that when I started painting again, I leaned more towards fashion than any other subject.