Kunal always had a fascination with paper as a medium but being a nonconformist at core he never really wanted to pursue known paper art forms beyond a certain point. Also the inherent urge of every artist, that is to search deep inside to find a personal voice had haunted him for the first forty years of his life. He has been working as a relatively successful artist/ designer for a decade and a half, but mostly doing work which seemed like a bad copy of someone else’s work!
So when he turned forty Kunal decided to stop working for a bit and declutter his mind. One day while cleaning up the floor strewn with crumpled paper pieces his son had played with, he noticed something interesting. One of the pieces of paper looked like a dog’s head. And a ‘light bulb’ moment happened. He crumpled more paper and made the body, limbs and tail of the dog, took a photograph of it, and added a digital environment.
Kunal knew he wanted to make this art as his personal voice! Kunal’s crumpled paper art style is, in his own words “like gesture drawing as a paper sculpture and he treats paper more like clay than paper itself.” And when he is creating, he relies heavily on the pareidolia phenomenon. So he is always trying to find the sweet spot of abstraction and realism in his art pieces. When the audience look at his reindeer or the mountain gorilla, it is nothing but random shapes of crumpled paper at a glance, but at the same time they are without any doubt a reindeer and a mountain gorilla too! Also Kunal’s paper art pieces in their rawness feel like an act of accident, but they are in reality very carefully planned, executed and crumpled in a pre meditated, defined manner to look like an accident.
2016: Global Illustration Award, GIA 2016, China & Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany.
2017: Global Illustration Award, GIA 2017, China & Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany.
2018: Global Illustration Award, GIA 2018, China & Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany.
2021: Original Art 2021 Exhibition, Society of Illustrators, New York.
Gold Award and Honorary Mention Award in Global Illustration Award, GIA 2016, in the Scientific Illustration category for cover and interior art of ‘CREATURES FROM THE PAST’, Harper Collins, UK.
Honorary Mention Awards in Global Illustration Award, GIA 2017, in the Scientific Illustration category for interior art of ‘CREATURES FROM THE PAST’, Harper Collins, UK and in the Theme Illustration category (French: diversity and Creativity).
Honorary Mention Awards in Global Illustration Award, GIA 2018, in the Original Unpublished Children’s Picture Book category for ‘WILDLIFE ON PAPER’.
Featured as an international children’s book illustrator in ‘DesignIndia' Magazine issue 079 (formerly POOL), an international design magazine from India published by IndiDesign.
Featured in ‘Creative Gaga’ magazine, Vol 2/Issue 1, as a rising illustrative designer, showcasing both his personal and client based works.
Kunal has worked nationally and internationally in the publishing industry creating cover art for close to hundred books and illustrated almost a dozen children’s books over the years.
Kunal’s debut children’s book, ‘WILDLIFE ON PAPER: Animals at Risk Around the Globe’ is commended as one the best kids nonfiction books of 2020 by Amazon Editors’ pick. The book has garnered favourable reviews from trade publications as well as celebrity personalities. The Korean edition has come out in July 2021. It has been selected as Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators’ (SCBWI) Recommended Reading list of 2021.
The book has been nominated in the children’s nonfiction category for the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards 2020 (Cybils Awards).
It is one of Society of Illustrator's Featured Artists in the Original Art 2021.
Winner of a 2021 Eureka! Honor Award, presented by the California Reading Association.
Gold Medal Recipient of the Moonbeam Spirit Awards, 2021.
Winner of India's Best Design Awards 2021, presented by Design India.
Wildlife on Paper: Animals At Risk Around The Globe.