Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Cartoonist and artist Sameera Maruvada’s Vizag Diaries series. 
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An evening by the beach enjoying spicy, crispy murri mixture in a paper cone, the joy of seeing the yellow board as the train chugs into the station: many such familiar sights of the streets of Visakhapatnam feature in Sameera Maruvada’s Vizag Diaries themed calendar and set of 12 postcards.

The artist’s sketches and illustrations serve as a vibrant time capsule, resurrecting the city’s nostalgic essence through art. The Visakhapatnam-based artist’s work is a colourful celebration of the city’s culture.

“I wanted to capture the simplicity of life and the people in my city that made it special for me. Visakhapatnam, for me, isn’t Rushikonda or Araku. It’s about the interactions within. I believe it’s not the structures, but the people who make a space what it is. I have lived in many cities over the years, but there’s a certain charm that pulls us towards the small cities,” says Sameera, who started her Instagram page Salt and Sambar in 2019 with an aim to have a Telugu representation in the comic world. Within a short span of time, Salt and Sambar became popular with many of her comics earning recognition in social media and beyond during the pandemic.

Cartoonist and artist Sameera Maruvada, who did the Vizag Diaries series of postcards and calendar. 

Cartoonist and artist Sameera Maruvada, who did the Vizag Diaries series of postcards and calendar. 
| Photo Credit:

Sameera’s passion for art blossomed during her college days when she used to upload art tutorials on her YouTube channel, which garnered a good global following. Even as she completed her graduation in Engineering, her heart lay in art and creativity. Perhaps this is the reason why she did not participate in the campus placements and instead went on to do a course in interior designing. “This was the best decision ever! It helped me understand the growing market for designs,” says the 29-year-old cartoonist and artist, who creates home décor and stationery merchandise with her digital art.

Vizag Diaries, she says, is a deeply personal project. “I didn’t prioritise the project the whole year due to many obstacles. But every night when I went to bed, I thought about my unfinished project,” she adds. The impetus came when her brother, who lives abroad, visited Visakhapatnam. “I saw the joy in his eyes and realised that this is much more than a personal project. These familiar sights of the city hold the treasured connection with home,” adds Sameera.

Through each of her works in the calendar and postcard series, she infuses nostalgia and fond memories. “Although it’s impossible to pick a favourite from my series, I love how ‘Family trip to Tirupati’ turned out. Our family along with cousins used to go on a mandatory trip to Tirupati after final exams. It’s a memory that I cherish and I love how the illustration came out,” she says.

Orders for Vizag Diaries calendar and postcards can be placed by December 16 at saltandsambar.mini.store

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