A little more than just an artist

An artist is a person who creates art. Someone whose work exhibits exceptional skill. Different people have a different genre that they excel at.  Not long ago I came across someone whose work speaks for itself, not that she doesn’t speak that much. Something unusual, something creative, something that touches you a little more, something that you will cherish forever. This is the perfect example where stories play the main lead and art supports it.

The Story Starters is the brainchild of Rajivi Rao from Mumbai. We initially collaborated just for work but I’m glad to call her my friend today.

ABOUT THE STORY STARTERS ( From the storyteller herself)

The story teller at work
The storyteller at work

My name is Rajivi Rao. I’m 28 (not that age matters where stories or art are concerned) and I live in Mumbai.
I’ve studied Copywriting in Germany and worked briefly in The States, and for almost a year in Germany, as a copywriter in various advertising agencies before I came back to India last year in September. It was quite a whirlwind of emotions, experiences, and cultures.

The story starters
The story starters

Last October (2016) I joined an ad agency in Mumbai but quit in June this year due to a total burnout. As much as I love advertising, it had taken a toll on my health and I needed to regroup and recover.
Anyway, it was only once I quit, that the idea for The Story Starters came to me. I had always loved the personal stories people often told me, and doodling them out was something I did idly during lectures. While walking the streets of New York one night, years ago, I was thinking about my life, the people who were in it and the wonderful stories behind our friendships. Someday, I thought, I’ll do something around people and stories.

In June as I doodled and painted out stories to calm my nerves, I discovered how much I actually loved doing it. And taking a huge risk, I started The Story Starters on 17th July 2017.
Isn’t it funny that I wasn’t going to be doing the art myself? But life has a way of getting you to surprise yourself. I self-taught myself how to do caricatures, use new watercolor techniques and most importantly, how to get the best stories and memories out of people which is the most important part of what I do.


The story starters
The story starters

Gifting a special someone stories that we share with them, or just celebrating the characters in your life who add value and love to your life story. That is done by stories involving two or more people in a sketch with her trademark letter lining and background lining, or if you’re celebrating a person in your life, then she does what she calls a character Sketch, which is what she did for Amaira, which has a person’s character traits, quotes or favourite memories a customer has with that person. She experiments a lot with different ways of putting these things on paper and she has a blast doing so.

The story starters
The story starters

Gifting stories/memories is the single most wonderful, personal thing to gift someone because personal stories, feelings, and memories are unique by default. Add to it handmade art and it takes the piece to a different level.

She makes it a point to get the most memories/stories out of people in casual conversation (sometimes that takes over an hour of phone conversation) to make the final sketch as ripe with content as she can.
It is always the story, the memories that matter most to her. The art is to beautify, add character and richness to the story, it comes second.


The story starters
The story starters


What I received for Amaira was a beautiful handmade character sketch. All the details were so accurate and just made me laugh as soon as I looked at it. It just refreshed every moment I have gone through. The sketch was so accurate, the line work so neat. My husband actually doubted if it was handmade or a printout from some website.

The neat and intricate line work
The neat and intricate line work

Rajivi stayed with me on call for over 2 hours discussing Amaira. How she is, her favourite things, her likes, and dislikes. I was in a bit of dilemma as to how she would turn all this out in a character sketch. But the end result blew me away.

This for me is much more than just a character sketch, it is something I will cherish forever.

Head on to THE STORY STARTERS page right now to order.


DISCLAIMER – This particular product was ordered by me and is not a sponsored or paid collaboration. The views expressed are totally honest.





14 thoughts on “A little more than just an artist

  1. Wow that’s an inspiring move – following your own dreams and doing something that you truly believe in. I like the idea of storytellers.. it’s different.
    great you featured them on your blog.

  2. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by such lovely comments, they are so motivating. Thank you all so very much! 🙂 (A very special thanks to the wonderful person who wrote such a lovely, heartfelt review of my work for others to see.)
    Totally welcome to order anything, anytime. 🙂

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