Quiller and Graphic Designer - Lavanya Naidoo

Lavanya Naidoo is a young graphic designer in Durban, South Africa. I came across her fine quilling on Flickr some time ago, and then her name and latest work caught my eye again recently when she posted new quillwork on Behance.

click photos for a closer look

Lavanya's quilled design is an entry she created for the 10and5 & vida-e-caffè Design-a-Sleeve Competition. Her precise depiction of the company's logo is a definite winner in my book.

Last year Lavanya had the honor of being named one of just eleven winners in the Design Indaba Superstars Competition. If you aren't familiar with Design Indaba, it's one of the world's preeminent design expositions that takes place annually in Cape Town, South Africa.

From the official website:
Inspired by the excitement in South Africa around 2010
[World Cup!], and struck by the idea that most sports are represented by a national team, this year Design Indaba decided it high time creativity be given its due. Design Indaba 2010 was declared ‘The Creative Playing Field’. Conference speakers became the international touring team and a nationwide search for a local host team was launched.

Upholding Design Indaba’s philosophy that creativity exists within everyone, South Africans from all walks of life were encouraged to try out for the team by expressing their individuality creatively. Hundreds of South Africans entered from children to grandmothers, telesalesmen to architects, nurses to photographers. The eleven members of the Design Indaba Sup
erstars team were announced at the expo.

I'm sure it was a thrilling moment for Lavanya to hear she was named a winner... no doubt her excitement matched the word that's outlined in the mind of her quilled superstar team member. Just in case you're wondering what AWEH means, as I was, I asked Lavanya:

What do the letters stand for on your Design Indaba piece? I've done a bit of googling and it seems to be an expression or exclamation?

Aweh is a South African expression. It has a few meanings, but basically it's usually used to show excitement towards something. It's sort of hard to explain... it's almost like saying 'Wow'.

How did you first discover quilling?

Well, my mom has always been a creative person, and quite into crafts. In between all the other crafts/art she got me involved in, she gave me a quilling set. I revisited that two years or so ago, since I have a love for 3D design and textures, not to mention I love building things with my hands. (despite the papercuts!)

Do you use your graphic design skills to draw a pattern first, then quill overtop a print of it, or do you quill freehand with the design solely in your mind?

What I usually do is start off with a very basic design, often just type, and using a lightbox, I quill on top. This is just to ensure the type is exactly how I want it. That's all I 'pre-design'. The decorative 'flare' designs I do as I go, placing it down first to see if I'm happy with the position and then sticking it down. It's almost like playing Tetris, not knowing what the next piece looks like, but making sure it fits with the others.

Last but not least, here are several pieces of stylish cardboard furniture/lighting that the versatile artist designed for a school project... quite impressive!

I especially love this coffee table, as well as the simple white paper flowers with cardboard stems.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. Beautiful work. I love the colors in the Aweh piece!

  2. love the white on white girl!
    and the coffee table is very interesting!

  3. I really love your work and I read carefully every article you post. You won a fan from Romania:)!

  4. It is a great artist and super talented. is wonderful! thank you for
    Nati from Brazil

  5. Wonderful artist; a joy to see her work featured here.

  6. so talented! Really brilliant work. Her quilling as well as her cardboard furniture.

  7. Really beautiful art!, thanks for sharing!!!

  8. That is just amazing. The colour combinations are beautiful.

    I haven't done anu quilling in a long time. This makes me want to take out my papers again.

    Thank you for sharing.


  9. here quilling is gorgeous and I just adore her cardboard furniture

  10. That is so beautiful, thanks for the links.

  11. Beautiful quilling.. quite amazing..
    Have a great day Ann..

  12. AWEH!!WOW!!
    Congrats to Lavanya, I love the colourful design and the white on white pic.

  13. intriguing, inviting, inspiring - beautiful style!

  14. Very inspiring work. Thanks for sharing.

  15. great...wonderful..awesome.. beautiful art

  16. aweh!!! the colors! i love love love it!
    and the cardboard pieces are so fun, but yes you are right - the flowers in the table are awesome!
    hope you are doing well!

  17. simply superb.. amaging...mindblowing...


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