The work of Simran Khaira came to Helen Winnemore’s in a way unlike any Artist before her…from the inside! In the summer of 2014, we interviewed a young woman with a British accent. She was open and engaging to such an extent that we hardly asked any questions of her, as absolutely everything she uttered fit so well with our happy little shop. This woman of course was Simran Khaira, who joined the Helen Winnemore’s Staff immediately.
She spent her early childhood years in England before moving to Ohio. Simran has been drawing or painting as far back as she can remember, as creating art was encouraged in her close-knit family. One character she created as a child would eventually become the representation of her new and growing company, Squid Cat Ink.
Simran earned her Masters of Art in Mandarin Chinese from The Ohio State University. As part of the OSU Midwest US-China Flagship Program, she received a Chinese Government scholarship to Shanghai University. There she had the benefit of taking daily classes with young Chinese artists. This experience fueled her love of travel, art and appreciation of other cultures and no doubt helped develop her keen observation skills and extraordinary empathy.
Simran’s card designs begin with an idea—an image or saying—that she sketches until she achieves the expression she trying to capture. She then draws the image in pen and finishes by adding watercolors.
In 2015, Simran made a commitment to draw “a doodle a day” to see if she could create art as though it were her job. This exercise gave rise to the collection of work that would help launch her card line. The same wit and charm that so engaged her co-workers and our customers comes through loud and clear in her creations. Her creations are sweet and sometimes silly, yet always endearing and relatable…just like Simran. Having known her these years, we’ve had the unique vantage point of seeing how her life, experiences and observations translate to her whimsical work.
After five years at Helen Winnemore’s, Simran was ready to devote herself fully to Squid Cat Ink and all it entails. Though we miss her so much as a day-to-day part of our Staff, we are delighted to represent the work of such a fine human being. Squid Cat Ink cards can be found at art fairs, a growing number of galleries and shops around the country and of course, Helen Winnemore’s.