Parantha Alley

Parantha Alley is one of many fantastic food vendors at Smorgasburg, that gastronomic orgy that happens every summer weekend in Brooklyn. Parantha is shallow-fried Indian flatbreads filled with various meats and vegetables.

Parantha Alley wanted to stand out among the 100 vendors that make up Smorgasburg. So the business commissioned a tent design that would be fun and attractive. The client made three specific requests of the 10′ x 10′ tent:

  • Make it look like the Red Fort. The actual Parantha Alley in Old Delhi is around the corner from the historic Red Fort, palatial home of past Mughal emperors.
  • Incorporate snapshots of the original Parantha Alley to give customers a glimpse of the tight, bustling street
  • Use my illustration style of collaged papers

Detail of tent half-wall, with photograph of Red Fort

From a technical standpoint, art created for this large scale is most efficiently rendered in the clean lines of digital vector formats. I composed the vector artwork with colors and shapes lifted from architectural elements and of the historic landmark. But the challenge was to bring photography and the textured flavor of collage into a format that could be printed on a tent-sized canvas. My solution was to manipulate swatches of scanned decorative papers into digital patterns in Adobe Illustrator. With these patterns I could cover a giant canvas in a few strokes. Economical, and for a change, my studio was free from the blizzard of paper scraps that often accompany my illustration work.