Artist and illustrator N. Jayachandran’s death, at the age of 57, on 19 September did not leave just his family and friends devastated, it left all of us at Lounge grieving as well. For over a decade now, Jayachandran’s lyrical, pointed, and often profound illustrations had graced many stories published here. His stint with Mint, from 2006-20, and thereafter as a freelancer, is one of the great modern careers in media illustration. To celebrate the man and his art, we present some of Jayachandran’s sterling recent work for these pages.
His ability to convey a story through his art is aptly demonstrated in the illustration, which ran in April, for a Lounge cover story on India’s disappearing languages and the people who are fighting to preserve them. Another excellent example is the illustration that accompanied a 2018 story on the movement to rewild Indian cities.
Jayachandran’s illustrations also graced award-winning Lounge stories, like the one from August 2021 on the struggles of transgender athletes in India, which won the Outstanding News Story award at the Likho Awards For Excellence In Media this year.
Be it illustrating the fear and isolation of interrupted childhoods during covid-19 from April 2021 or the bravura encapsulation of Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s short story, Where Is Gopal?, for the Lounge Fiction Special from January 2022, there was no story Jayachandran couldn’t tell. His passing leaves a void in the hearts of everyone at Lounge, but his work will live on forever.