Oddball is a playful creative studio that specialises in design for children’s culture. The work includes graphic design, illustration, toys & games, products, play spaces, workshops and all things odd & wonderful.
Children are incredibly curious and have a wonderful sense of imagination, which gets lost somewhere along the way. I want to create tools to keep their imagination and curiosity stimulated, create better experiences for them and make sure they don’t forget to play! I’ve been playing all my life. Doesn’t that make me an expert?
I’m Nalisha Chouraria, an independent designer and founder of this non-traditional studio. I was born and raised in Bangalore, where I studied Visual Communication Design and Interactive Toy Design from Srishti School of Design. I then went on to do a Masters in Designed Objects at SAIC, Chicago and another unique Masters in Child Culture Design at the university of Gothenburg, Sweden. Before Oddball, I was the Art Director & Lead Designer at Strawbees, an award-winning toy & education startup in Sweden. My designs are now sold in major chains like Barnes & Nobles, Office Depot, Urban Outfitters, Meyers, Amazon etc.
I draw inspiration from children and my excitement comes from the intersection of play+design. When kids play, they get into a ‘flow’ where they lose all sense of time & space and enjoy without fear. I approach every project with a child’s curiosity and strive for this play state of mind in my design process.
During my early education, all my designs were termed as ‘cute’. This led me to question this very attribute and break out of it through experimentation with the unconventional. Whether it was the irregular toys I made for children that are sick of cute, or my designs for which I won several awards – a recurring theme in my work is the uncanny.
Oddball is now in the Gold Coast, Australia.