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BISCOOT & RAIN: CREATIVE DUO FROM SHILLONG: SIRAWON AND BEN
Posted by: NeBuzz Uploaded: 09-Jul-15





Biscoot & Rain is a design and stationery brand made up of creative duo – Sirawon Khathing and Ben Ningtoutao – who are both professional graphic designers and illustrators. Inspired from their love for the places they have been to and lived in, their work is result of a mix of cultures and influences, and every product tells the story of a journey.

NeBuzz: What is your connection with the North-east? 
Sirawon Khathing: It is where home is. Both of us are from Shillong but I am based in Mumbai.
Ben Ningtoutao: I live in Christchurch, New Zealand.

How did you end up in this field of design? 
SK: I was always inclined towards art from a very young age. In high school Studio Art was my major. And then I went to Shrishti Academy Art and Design School, Bangalore, where I was quite focused on working in a creative field. 
BN: I went to Design & Arts College of New Zealand and always knew that I would be doing some sort of creative work. Graphic design and illustration seemed like the most reasonable option to me. 

Biscoot & Rain Sirawon Khathing Ben Ning
Image source: facebook.com/biscoot

How would you describe your approach to design? 
Procrastinate, until it is fairly late, and then somehow that’s always when inspiration hits. Also, it is nice capturing simple day to day things/ situations or being able to tell a story through an art form.

Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking? 
SK: The first two cartoonists that really inspired me were Bill Watterson and Mario Miranda. 
BN: The Internet. So many amazing creatives are on the Internet. I have to keep challenging myself to be at par with them and so keep up-skilling constantly. 

How do you think online design resources have influenced the graphic design being produced today? 
It is incredible, it has changed how everything works. Everything is available online. From tutorials to softwares to buying and selling to networking. There is also more to share and be inspired from. 

Biscoot & Rain Sirawon Khathing Ben Ning 2015 Calendar
Image source: facebook.com/biscoot

What's been your most important project so far? 
We learned and gained a lot from the first project on Christmas cards when Biscoot & Rain was launched. The response was also something we had never expected. And our 2015 calendar, which is inspired by streets of Shillong. It was good to celebrate the local food and vegetable stalls and to recognize the impact it had on the landscape and economy of our hometown.

Have you ever thought of shifting your business to the North-east? 
At one point yes, and if it is necessary we would. But we live in a digital age where work is possible from anywhere and anytime. And besides, we make it a point to take a trip to North-east at least once every year for our necessary dose of home. 

Biscoot & Rain Sirawon Khathing Ben Ning 2014 Calendar
Image source: facebook.com/biscoot

How much of your work is influenced by your roots? 
All of Biscoot & Rain’s work is influenced by the North-east and places we have lived in. We started this because we wanted to use our style of art to tell stories about where we come from. It’s what makes our work unique compared to what’s produced in New York, London or even Delhi. So we make sure we try and stay influenced by our roots.

What are your plans for the future? 
We want to get more exposure and grow. Have more products soon. We want to keep doing what we love, and celebrating everything unique and wonderful about our cities and towns – while having fun doing it. 

Biscoot & Rain Sirawon Khathing Ben Ning 2014 Calendar
Image source: facebook.com/biscoot

Besides your work is there anything you are passionate about? 
Books and Comics

What do you miss most from home? 
SK: The hills, home food and Grandma’s homemade wine. 
BN: How easy it is to get food off the street (compared to food places in New Zealand where street food is almost non-existent), the sounds, the smells.

What's currently playing on your playlist? 
SK: Paolo Nutini, Chet Faker, Prateek Kuhad 
BN: Spotify all day, everyday. But when I am working on Biscuit & Rain, I always go to Kishore Kumar, Muhammad Rafi and old school film music. They always help induce scenes of home in my mind.

What are you working on right now?
We will definitely have another calendar for 2016. And our Christmas cards will be on sale again.

Biscoot & Rain Sirawon Khathing Ben Ning Cards
Image source: facebook.com/biscoot
 

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