We’ve all rushed for the G train, but few have captured its whimsy and hysteria as winningly as local artist Nadeesha Godamunne. (Mokshini, the mononym you may know her by, is actually her first name.) Her post on Instagram, combined with its repost on Greenpointers, received almost 3,000 hits, and in this Thursday Spotlight, Greenpointers got to know Nadeesha, her artistic ethics, and the importance of “putting humor into something that most people get frustrated with.”
Greenpointers: Do you live in the neighborhood, and if so for how long?
Nadeesha Godamunne: No, but I’ve always been a fan of the artisan vibe of Greenpoint, and recently got my art studio right by Transmitter Park — I love it!
On Instagram, you wittily calls yourself a “professional doodler.” I’m wondering, given how much artists need to work to stay afloat, how much of your doodling is for your own enjoyment, like the G Train piece?
Every artist finds this a challenge. It’s about striking a balance between the money jobs that pay the bills, but perhaps don’t inspire you as much, and the ones that fulfill you and bring joy. I draw for myself every day and maintain a journal of experiences and things I see. I try not to share this journal with people or on social media. This is vital because it reminds me to create first and foremost for me. A lot of these doodles inform the illustrations that you see on Instagram.
Did the impending shutdown in any way help inspire this G train piece?
Absolutely! It’s amusing to me that the G train is so short. I find myself sprinting to catch the train and laughing at the same time because the whole situation is just so ridiculous. Putting humor into something that most people get frustrated with just keeps things fun and relatable.
Your art has a wonderfully textured and vivid style to it; can you discuss how this came to be part of your brand and whether or not you have any influences?
I try not to take myself too seriously, and i think that’s what comes across in my work. My style is constantly evolving; currently, I’m going through a bolder, more playful phase. I’ve noticed a shift since I started freelancing. It’s interesting. My focus when I draw, however, is not so much about the style — it’s about the message. I try to push the ideals of fashion illustration with whimsical yet relatable characters, satirical fashion storytelling, and humor. Some of my favorite artists are Rene Gruau, Toulouse Lautrec, Kenneth Paul Block, and Egon Schiele.
Are there any upcoming projects you’re excited about?
Really excited about an upcoming collaboration with Vans, where they showcased my art and personal journey in a video format. We did a time lapse of me drawing and some animation work too. Should turn out great!
Do you have a favorite cafe, restaurant, or locale in Greenpoint?
I love Ovenly for their amazing pastries, the Stuart Cinema and Cafe for their soup, and Alameda and Citroen for their cocktails! There’s too many!