Artist of the Week: Puvaneswari “Lalita” Krishnamoorthy


Artist of the Week: Puvaneswari “Lalita” Krishnamoorthy

January 25, 2024

Puvaneswari “Lalita” Krishnamoorthy (he/him) is a WVHS art department dynamo, whose outstanding digital artwork and design sense have caught people’s attention on everything from promotional posters to children’s books, to award-winning personal works featured in local and regional exhibitions. A senior this year, Lalita has a lot going on, not the least of which is planning the next step along a busy and productive creative journey. He also took some time to look back with us, at the first inspiration behind all the creativity.

“I remember my very first inspiration for drawing very clearly,” said Lalita. “It was my oldest brother. He would make these very cute, little drawings, and I wanted to both impress him and also be better than him!”

Lalita’s grandmother, who practiced cross-stitch, knitting, and other textile arts, is another inspiration, as are a brother currently studying architecture and two little sisters “who just love drawing.” And yes, Lalita is the premier illustrator in the family now!

“Yes, I’m better. But, my brother also stopped drawing a long time ago,” Lalita laughed.

“Lalita is an extraordinary digital artist who is equally extraordinary when it comes to helping out those in need,” said WVHS art teacher Kristen Spano. “For example, right now, Lalita is the head designer for the Warwick Great Cut – talk about a great community/school connection – which is a nonprofit event where people get their hair cut and donate the locks to create wigs for children.”

It is a collaborative effort between Warwick resident Soney Frommeyer’s Great Cut Warwick campaign and Wildcuts Salon, the student-run, full-service salon that is part of the WVHS Career & Technical Education program. Lalita has designed the promotional campaign for the event, including physical and digital promotional posters and flyers, business cards, and is currently working on a tee shirt design for the event.

“Spano asked me one day if I could volunteer for the Great Cut, and I agreed,” said Lalita. “I hadn’t really done anything like it before, so it’s been a really good learning experience. I’ve gotten to see what it’s like cooperating with [a client] and figuring out what they want.”

Lalita, who loves collaboration, said that everyone has been “amazing and easy to work with”, and that the project has provided plenty of creative freedom. This is Lalita’s third year collaborating on Once Upon a Child, an annual project between creative writing, visual art and video production students. Students form creative teams that include a member from each discipline, and combine their talents to author, illustrate, and animate an original children’s book.

“I’ve done Once Upon a Child since sophomore year, and I remember I even wanted to do it in freshman year,” laughed Lalita. “So, it’s been three years, and every single year it’s been so fun to do. I love every single bit of it.”

The first Once Upon a Child book that Lalita worked on was called The First Day, the story of a little cat on her first day of kindergarten; the second, Everybody’s Human, is a short story about diversity.

“I had so much fun designing the characters and incorporating as much diversity as I could into that,” Lalita shared. “This year, I’m working on a very cute story that my friend, Miller Pritchard, wrote. It’s about a little bomb with anger issues, who learns how to calm down!”

Lalita plans to study art in college, and has been looking into programs like Maine College of Art & Design, SCAD, and Alfred University, among others. The dream: to get into animation with a job in either character design or storyboarding.

“I really like making stories, and I think it’d be fun to work on a show – a children’s show or something –designing background characters. I like thinking about what a character would have; imagining their personality traits,” Lalita said.

“[Lalita’s] characters possess a depth and personality that you seldom see from an artist at this age,” said Ms. Spano. “Moreover, it’s the proficiency in adding intricate backgrounds and vibrant colors that elevate the work to a level of visual storytelling that is simply outstanding.”

During our discussion with Lalita in the WVHS art studio, early notification came in; Lalita’s piece, Birthday Wish, will be announced as a winner at the regional round of this year’s National PTA Reflections program. That means it will be moving on to the state adjudication round!

“A piece that makes it through states, goes on to nationals,” said a proud and hopeful Ms. Spano. “Meanwhile, it’s going to be hung at the Orange Arts Council’s Arts Build Confidence showcase, which will be over at the Galleria again, on February 10.”

The award-winning piece is one of many highlights in Lalita’s portfolio, which has been coming together with Ms. Spano’s guidance in Portfolio Class. With all this going on, Lalita still makes time to be part of the Art Club and the Yearbook Club. Lalita said that all of the creative and collaborative opportunities available to young artists in Warwick come together to create an encompassing vibe that feels – and a support system that functions – like an arts community, rather than a traditional art department.

“Honestly, when I’m doing my own artwork, I like to study what my friends are making,” said Lalita. “My classmates are a pretty big influence, and a lot of the art that I see in Portfolio Class is just, like, stunning! And looking at other people’s art is really important to developing your own style.”



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