Mumbai-based Mayur Mengle's illustrations explore the daily commute

Mayur Mengle takes his daily two-hour commute on Mumbai's railway line and turns it into a doddle-a-day.

From the Series

Whether you take the train, bus, or drive to work, the daily commute is filled with its own frustrations and characters. Mumbai-based illustrator Mayur Mengle uses the quirks and peculiarities of the daily commute on Mumbai’s crowded railway as inspiration for his daily doodles.  

“I didn’t have anything else to do in that time than observe fellow commuters and their behaviour,” says Mengle. “I found myself doodling their stances and conversations – the more I doodled, the more I began to enjoy it.”     

Mengle’s creative process is fluid. When commuters inspire him, he responds almost immediately with an illustration to match– whether it’s on the back of an old train ticket or an old page.

Mengle fell very seriously in love with art during this commute and he decided to make a career from it – he is currently and art director at a Mumbai-based ad-agency. Mengle’s style is simple and explores different illustration styles. We asked Mengle, the illustrator who makes people-watching a matter of art, a few questions.  

How do you come up with new ideas? What do you do when you’re in a creative slump?

Because I take my inspiration from everyday life, I get to see and experience new things every day. I don’t have to fish for new ideas, they just come to me. But in spite of that if I feel like I’m slipping into a creative slump, I simply take my mind off it and concentrate on other interests. It feels good to take your mind off one thing every now and then.

What is the mood for creatives like in Mumbai?

It’s the art hub of India. Mumbai being a melting pot of so many different cultures, it’s an eternal inspiration for artists like me. We just need to step out of our homes and Mumbai acts like a canvas for us.

You’re doing an illustration a day, right? Why opt for such a disciplined approach to illustration?

I haven’t really thought too much into it. Over the weekends, I am constantly illustrating. I churn out 3 to 4 pieces on good days. It’s all for fun. I don’t look at it as an objective to fulfil. One illustration per day is the least I can do. It’s my stress buster after a long day at work. 

All images courtesy of Mayur Mengle.