My desire was to create souvenirs that highlighted the beautiful islands of Andaman and Nicobar. The designs had to be good and yet, it had to be a tool for promoting the place. The product had to be of good quality, affordable and something that people could carry back with them.
My first inspiration was from the maps of the islands that I noticed in the offices and at the airport. For some reason, the layout of the islands pulled me in. And thus, we created our first design – Untouched Paradise.
When I visited the Andaman Islands for the first time, I fell in love with the white sand beaches, clear waters that showcased a wonderful marine life and a clear sky! Less number of tourists meant that nature’s canvas was unspoilt. To me, it was a paradise and therefore, I named it Untouched Paradise.
The colour green on the map signifies nature and the lovely vegetation on the hills. The islands are named mainly for the tourists and people in the mainland, who thought this paradise wasn’t part of India.
Notice the bottom of this design where we have placed a black dot in the “ocean” and labelled as “Indira Point”, it is considered to be the southern most point of India. In 2004 Tsunami, which hit the Indian Ocean, this land was submerged and we lost some families there. This is our tribute to them.
Till date, this is one of our most common and popular designs among the tourists. It is one of the highest selling items within our Andaman series. Our popularity and success have led to many unauthorised dealers and resellers printing this on their own without the slightest guilt that the design (the intellectual property) belongs to BellOPages and me in particular. Unfortunately, the community of independent artists and private label companies take a hit from these imposters. And I’m very sure that no one knows the reasons and the story behind the design. Perhaps, this is a time to set the record straight!
Fun Fact: Our first version of Untouched Paradise (distributed in 2010), had the text “Untouched Paradise” right in the mid session of the t-shirt. After watching some overweight tourist wearing our tees, I realized that the text was more like a 3D panoramic. From the subsequent re-prints, we changed the version and added more colour.