As a collective of leading Indian graphic artists and proponents of the New Indian Art Wave, Kulture Shop believes that design can create impact. We’ve opened our doors to brands, studios, agencies and innovators to create unique design experiences.
Audible is one of the world’s largest sellers of digital audiobooks and other spoken word content. For their launch in India, the Amazon subsidiary collaborated with actors Radhika Apte, Rajkumar Rao and Kalki Koechlin to narrate Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Written by S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges, this collection of stories contains intricate details of 13 women who went on to leave their permanent mark on the face of the Mumbai Mafiosi.
The brief for Kulture Shop was to create a custom illustration to be used as the cover for the Mafia Queens audiobook, and as a banner on the Audible website. Additionally, Kulture Shop would provide merchandise for promotional gifting.
The illustration needed to have a strong style that simultaneously captures the dark edge of the city of Mumbai and highlights the power of the strong female characters in the story.
We chose Kulture Shop artist Tanya Eden for the project. With a distinct graphic style and sharp color palette, Tanya is particularly passionate about stronger representation for more diverse voices in art, especially women. Art directed by Kunal Anand, she illustrates the three leading characters in the story – Sapna Didi, Jenabai and Gangubai. She captures the strong gaze in their eyes but with a modern stylistic approach, making the artwork look cinematic and realistic at the same time.
“When I first got onboard for briefing, within a few minutes of discourse with Kunal, I was fascinated with the subject of Mafia Queens. It was the first time I’d heard of women gangsters in Mumbai. The stories of these women were courageous, obscene, obscure, dark and gratifying, the more I read the deeper I got absorbed into its realm. This was so up my alley and close to how I portrayed women in my work. With a lot of precision and art direction, Kunal and I brought these characters to life for how we visualised them in their element. Teaming with Kulture Shop for this has been an impactful, fun and seamless experience.” .”
– Tanya Eden, Illustrator
The invite was an innovative take on the evidence box we see in most films. With the striking visual on top, the invite box made for a unique package that pulls you into the world of Mafia Queens. The box – sealed with a band which said ‘evidence’ – opened up to reveal an old school map and recording tape, which narrated the details of the event. An intriguing invite for a riveting story.
The launch event was held at Royal Opera House, Mumbai on November 22.
Actors Radhika Apte, Rajkumar Rao, and Kalki Koechlin were present and narrated excerpts from the book live. The illustration created was used on banners, cushion covers and even on the back of an auto rickshaw. Kulture SHop co-founders Arjun Charanjiva, Jas Charanjiva, and Kunal Anand were present at the event along with illustrator Tanya Eden.
From left to right: Arjun Charanjiva, Tanya Eden, Kunal Anand and Jas Charanjiva at the launch event.
Hear the full story:
Agency Partner – Edelman Mumbai
Agency – Kulture Shop
Art Direction – Kunal Anand & Amanda Mooney
Illustrator – Tanya Eden
R&D / Title Design – Sneha Iyer
Client – Audible