Published: 24th June 2020
Bag it like that: Why you'll totally love Lilorosh's artsy creations
Lilia Jose, co-founder of Lilorosh speaks about their unique toolkits and designer bags for artists. They have sold over 99 bags when the lockdown was relaxed across India
Bags are an accessory that can be used by anyone of any age and most people dare not leave home without one. But the rapport between an artist and his bag of art supplies is sacred. A trusted bag that's portable and can hold all his stationery for when inspiration strikes out of the blue. These bags must be unique and they must be easy to carry, avers Lilia Jose AKA Lilo of Lilorosh. She explains, "Artists have a lot of things to carry in their bag like colours, pens, pencils and so on, and when they are out on work, these bags must easily hold all their tools." Set up by duo Lilia and Roshan Kurichiyanil AKA Rosh, Lilorosh is a start-up that creates fun and functional bags and stationery for the artist community.
The duo's first meeting eight years ago was sheer happenstance but they instantly connected over their shared interest for art and photography. Over the years, their relationship has grown from acquaintances to friends and has finally led to marriage. A couple of years into their marriage, Rosh, a comic book illustrator, asked Lilo, a fashion designer, to make him an art supplies bag. Thirty-year-old Lilo narrates, "One day, Rosh came to me and asked if I could stitch a bag for him that can help him carry all his art materials. I agreed without a second thought and started working on the design. Soon, I stitched a bag according to his requirements. This evolved into what we now call the Artie bags." Orders from fellow artist friends came pouring in when people saw the bag she made for Rosh. "Once the orders came in, I started working on the designs and created these functional bags," says Lilo, adding, "Having studied fashion designing (from JD Institute of Fashion Technology) making apparels was not new to me. But stitching bags was. However, it was not a complicated task. I picked it up quickly by watching tutorials and online videos."
They have received orders from many friends but their most treasured creations are the ones they made for senior Hollywood animator Aaron Blaise of The Art of Aaron Blaise who is best known for his work in animated movies, including Brother Bear in 2003, Aladdin in 1992 and The Lion King in 1994. "Getting an order from Aaron Blaise is something I never imagined. He saw a photo that Rosh had posted with the bag on social media and placed an order for two different Artie bags. He is one of our dearest customers. Every time he has bought a bag from us, he makes sure to post it on social media and promote us. With that, we started getting orders from abroad." Gradually, Lilo set up her own studio in Mysuru where they were living for more than two years. She hired three tailors and trained them to make the bags. But things have recently changed for them. Lilo, who loves her job, says, "Last week, we shifted to Kohzhikode, which is Rosh's hometown. My parents continue to live in Mysuru and my mother helps me coordinate with the tailors and all the orders will be shipped from there."
These Artie bags are made with either high-quality cotton, canvas or denim, informs Lilo, "I also want to make use of waste clothes and excess material to decrease the burden on landfills. We know that the fashion and textile industry is the highest producer of waste on Earth. So, I explore my skills in making bags from these materials. The bags come in three different sizes - A3, A4 and A5. Similarly, we produce Smartie and Artkits 2.0 toolkits. We also produce hardbound A5 and square sketchbooks." So, for the uninitiated, we ask Lilo to tell us the difference in these products. Lilo explains, "In the Artie bags, there are two huge zippered pockets and tiny netted pockets that are meant to keep your pencils, pens, sketch pens and so on. The Smartie was designed when Rosh wanted something light that he could carry with him wherever he goes. It is a tri-fold handy kit bag that can hold sketch books, pencils and pens. The Artkit 2.0 is a tool kit in which artists can keep all their tools and wrap it up. However, it will remain flat and does not look bulky like the regular kit bags artists carry."
Some of the different bags that Lilia and Roshan make. Take a look and buy one for yourself on lilorosh.com