Title image with lilac frame and black tag on the bottom left with website details. In the white space an image on the left is an outline map of Panjab illustrated in watercolour hues of orange and purple. Text on map reads Jaagde Raho (Stay Woke) in Panjabi. Text on right reads: Meet the founder of Jaagde Raho: a social change maker
Jaagde Raho: Strengthening a Nation through Collective Intelligence
January 17, 2022
Lilac frame with black tag in bottom left corner. Gold logo and white text on tag reads SEEDS of KNOWLEDGE. In white centre, image on left shows Nav Dhillon, founder of 1iCollective with each hand to each side of her face. She has black hair parted in the centre and adorned with a tikka. She wears antique gold bangles on her write wrist and a blush chunni is draped over her left shoulder. grey background.
Challenging the Stigma of Disability: Meet Nav Dhillon of 1iCollective
March 3, 2022
Show all

Meet Parmeet Arora Bori: Mixed Media Artist + Illustrator

Lilac frame with black tag in the bottom left with website details. Text in centre of frame reads: Featuring Mixed Media Artist + Illustrator: Parmeet Arora Bori. 3 images from the calendar are placed around the text.

Our stories can be interpreted through all forms of art, which in turn become historical references to moments or movements in time. Art can be found in remnants from our past, to remind us about our actions or our silence, to help mend our present and our future.

When I first saw an image posted by Parmeet Arora Bori, I couldn’t stop thinking about the dashed lines she’d used in a piece interpreting a year of missed hugs during the pandemic. When she later shared the story behind this ‘running stitch’ I knew this style would be perfect for our 2022 limited edition calendar featuring a year of farmer protests.


2022 calendar is displayed on a wooden stand. It is placed beside a white pot with a green plant inside it. Front cover of calendar is an art print illustrating the two realities of Panjab - one as fertile through regenerative farming and the other side (right side) showing a barren desert with bottles labeled pesticides and books about the green revolution on the ground.

Image credit: Ajooni + Ollie’s Schoolhouse



Hi! I am Parmeet Arora Bori, an Indian born mixed media  Artist/ Illustrator, who loves indulging in nostalgia – the comfort & protection of my joys of childhood and re connecting with what I am passionate about as an individual. After graduating from University of Arts, London focussing in Fashion Design in 2005, I have been working as a Surface Pattern Designer for a high street supplier in UK. 

After losing my mom to cancer in 2015 and becoming a mother myself within consecutive years, I started painting & illustrating art which creates a sense of repose, growth, recollection and belonging for me and the viewer. I am constantly relooking at my environment while appreciating a sense of belonging.

Watercolours, Gouache and Acrylics are my favourite mediums to work on. I take inspiration from the energy of people, textiles, and the meditative qualities of nature.

(BIO: https://www.arorabori.com)

Indian lullaby of Chanda mama and memories of growing up in India. ©Parmeet Arora Bori

Welcome Parmeet!

NAVJOT: Your focus at university was in Fashion Design. How did your story transition into painting and do textiles still play a prominent role in your work?

PARMEET: For me textiles are also similar to painting just a different canvas – one of my cousins used to hand paint dupattas on my grandparents house terrace to sell, it was a joy to see the floor splattered with  different coloured mediums. It only clicked with me recently how strongly that image was imprinted on me.

I have always loved painting no matter what the canvas but I only revisited my art practice after having my son. Since childhood my family always encouraged me to create and work on my art, be it on walls (creating murals), furniture, fabrics or canvas. My first solo oil exhibition was way back in 2003 but during studies and being very lucky to get a job as a Print Designer after graduating, I got less time to work on it.


colourful interpretation of a moped bike in vibrant shades of pink, teal and orange. Camel poster colour marker on right with cap off (bright pink).

Decorated Vehicles Project ©Parmeet Arora Bori


NAVJOT: I was drawn to your illustration interpreting ‘a year of missed hugs’ created during this pandemic. Could you elaborate a little about this piece?

PARMEET: This piece was made after experiencing a year of lockdowns back to back. It felt as a year of missed hugs or more….a year of not being able to see loved ones…a year of only listening on phone about other’s  joys and struggles…so many things I have missed and with so many heartbreaking things happening around me. I wish I could send hugs out to the whole world. I simply wanted to send a hug to myself too. This image was created with a wish of sending out hugs out to as many people who needed them. Hoping people can understand how much they are valued and loved and know that we can feel each other’s pain and worry.


two people in a warm embrace. Faces are not shown and their bodies are almost entwined in an oval. They sit on a bed of leaves which wraps around them like a wreath. background is a bright yellow. The two people are illustrated using a 'running stitch' style which Parmeet feels is a way to mend pain.

A Year of Missed Hugs ©Parmeet Arora Bori

NAVJOT: How do the dashed lines in the illustrations created for our 2022 limited edition calendar reflect challenges faced by farmers in the year-long protests?

PARMEET: The illustrations have been coloured using dashed lines. For me those dashed lines work as a running stitch one that is commonly used to mend things. On the artwork ‘Hugs’ and the 2022 calendar using that style for me really resonates to help mend something that’s broken within today’s society. Hugs artwork was created as the Pandemic brought so many mental bruises and such distances that we weren’t aware of. Here I feel ultra special to use this style to illustrate the year long protests by farmers, as to me it somehow represents how lovingly and unconditionally the makers have given their lives, their time to help mend a big fault in the system.

As the Protest became stronger and stronger I had started drawing farmers portraits in my sketchbook based on the pictures shared by photographers on Instagram.
I am really grateful to be able to illustrate a tiny portion of the farmers protest with this calendar for Saffron Press.


White shadowbox with 3D cut art pieces creating an image of what Parmeet and her son would see while out on their walks. Birds and plants are featured.

Shadowbox ©Parmeet Arora Bori


NAVJOT: You mention the loss of your mother to cancer and becoming a mother yourself shortly after. How did painting and illustrating art heal you through this time of grief? How has it all translated into life as a working mother?

PARMEET: My parents and sister have been my biggest cheerleaders always. It felt I had lost a big piece of myself as we said bye to mom, there was a big void, we didn’t want to believe that she wouldn’t recover. Becoming a mother a year later made me realize the selflessness, the protection, the struggles  a parent goes through, especially a mother. Though I was freelancing as a print designer through my maternity, I always knew I wanted to show my child what I love doing or making. True awareness of the healing effects of painting  and illustrating started as I worked my way through my first 100 day project, where I painted everyday for at least for 30 mins about what me and my son (18 months old) looked at or paid attention to on our walks. These turned into shadow boxes of me being able to appreciate my present, my now and seeing my world with wonder through eyes of my child – this also helped me realize the strong presence of my mom in me and around me.

Peach background with sketchbook featured. Sketchbook pages are being held by clasps on each side. The spread is filled with sketches of farmers from the protests in Delhi.

Sketchbook ©Parmeet Arora Bori

NAVJOT: When you say: ‘I get tingles in my palms whenever I come across folk Islamic/Mughal or Panjabi patterns’, are you able to interpret these forms through your commissions as a surface pattern designer? Can you share any challenges you have faced in the industry and how have/not you pushed through?

PARMEET: As my Paternal home is Amritsar near Baba Tal Gurudwara Sahib, we have been very lucky to have plenty visits to Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple). I have recollections as a child of admiring the beautiful engravings on doors and patterns on the walls. These along with other visits to Palaces, Forts and Blockprinting workshops in Rajasthan fill me with deep love and appreciation for our history and design. I constantly move between food, still life and Sarasa – or motifs inspired from Islamic and Punjabi patterns while creating surface pattern collections.

Working for many years as a designer for UK high street brands, had put me in a block of creating generic patterns which I really had to work hard to push through to create a collection for my freelance portfolio. I joined an online course, a community of other surface designers and took part in a few competitions. These steps really helped me to gain confidence in my own judgment once again and helped me believe in myself. My first print collection as a freelancer to a print studio was sold out and these were all inspired by Sarasa motifs in contemporary colours.


Green notebook with black spiral binding at top. A black pencil sits diagonally on the bottom right of the notebook and the sticker is placed on the bottom left. Sticker shows farmers sat reading Trolley Times - a grassroots newspaper.

Eco stickers illustrated by Parmeet Arora Bori. ©Saffron Press

NAVJOT: Would you like to share news of your upcoming events or projects?

PARMEET: For the first time I have started hand painting on ceramics (food safe), my last collection of six pieces had a great reaction and am looking forward to launching my next collection in May 2022.

I am also in middle of illustrating my children’s book – a simple touching story of saying goodbye to one’s much loved grandparent. It’s based on my Mother and how my niece and nephew felt when she passed away. I would like this to be a reassuring story for kids and their parents as I have seen how  difficult it is to explain loss, especially when one is  processing the information.

Our 2022 limited edition calendar is illustrated by Parmeet and each sale supports The Green Pind Project.

Parmeet has graciously offered a link to download a free print of A YEAR OF MISSED HUGS here. Please forward the love to all the humans you have missed giving a hug to. Please do credit Parmeet Arora Bori when sharing her work.

To learn more about Parmeet’s work, please visit her site. You can also follow her on Instagram.

Image of Navjot Kaur with thank you message for supporting a small, independent press. There is a green frame around the text with a black tag in the bottom left. Text on black tag shows website address and hashtag #WhereStoriesGrow. Small logo in gold. Navjot is wearing a white top and some of her long black hair is placed over her left shoulder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *