Illustrator’s Portfolio 148: Dynamic Duo Athlay Anderson

Athlay Anderson is the pseudonym of creative partners Dakshaja Atlay and Kamaira Anderson.


Dakshaja 23,

Kamaira 30


Dakshaja Indian,

Kamaira British

Living In:

Dakshaja Nagpur, India;

Kamaira Birmingham, UK

Whats in Your Sketchbook?

Dakshaja: I recently received birthday gifts in the form of sketchbooks, which I’m planning to fill with loads of stuff. I usually keep a pocket sized diary to store my little stories and fantasies which unleash themselves as you turn each page. But now I’m eager to work on a larger canvas. Other than that, the only involvement I’ve had with a “sketchbook” is this feature right here.

Kamaira: Like Dee, I don’t really keep a sketchbook as such, but I do have a Moleskine containing a tremendous amount of scribbles, doodles, notes and quotes. I really like sifting through the chaotic pages every once in a while too, it’s quite fascinating to see how my mind works.

Where do you illustrate? 

Dakshaja: I really don’t know and that’s because I completely lose track of time and space when I’m into it. So I’m guessing it must be in my room and sometimes when I’m travelling by train.

Kamaira: I actually rent a studio because working from home isn’t ideal. Yet, my favourite pieces always seem to be produced late at night, with a cuppa by my side, at my kitchen table- go figure!

What inspires your work? 

Kamaira: My emotions completely influence my work. If something I see or hear stirs my curiosity then I pay closer attention. I get inspired by absolutely everything but mostly people (especially you Dee). I like that our work’s emotive, it’s our representation of people, for the people. Their reaction when they see a piece is priceless.

Dakshaja: It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing but my inspiration is also drawn from things in and around me. It might be a famous quote, a good movie, a delicious meal, a great song, a dream I’ve had, anything. With our portraits, I study the emotions, traits and eye catching elements in each one. Once you know what really gives a portrait its true identity, making a story out of it comes naturally.

What music do you listen to? 

Dakshaja: Music is food for my soul so it has to be full of variety. I’m a violinist too and this only adds to my love for music. I listen to anything that best emotes my thoughts at that moment. It might be Indian, classical, rock, trance, the list goes on. But one group I just cannot take off my playlist is Coldplay.

Kamaira: Well I’m no violinist (although I did used to play second clarinet in the school band, ha!). I too love Coldplay, Muse, Radiohead, to name a few. I have to fit a bit of ‘angst’ in there too so if I’m feeling melancholy then a Twilight soundtrack does the trick. There’s an amazing up and coming singer here in the UK called James Arthur, I cannot get enough of him right now. Classical is great to work to, it’s very calming but then again, so is Bob Marley. What can I say? I have an eclectic taste.

What did you have for breakfast? 

Kamaira: A cup of tea (milk, one sugar) and a solitary piece of toast with strawberry jam, as I do most mornings. I can’t really manage much at that time of day so I usually follow it up with some bran flakes for elevenses.

Dakshaja: I’m not really a breakfast person either. I’m used to having brunch and it’s become a routine. Although sometimes, when I do feel hungry at that hour, I usually have stuffed omelette with bread toasts and a glass of milk (on compulsion, not that I like it). Hmmm, we’re actually very similar. You hate milk too, right Kami?



Check out more of  Athlay Anderson work at or follow them on twitter @kamikreations or  @ink_a_holics