Arts Q&A: Belfast designer Karishma Kusurkar on JK Rowling, Jurassic 5 and 90s punk

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Belfast designer Karishma Kusurkar

Karishma Kusurkar is an independent multi-disciplinary designer based in Belfast and founder of her one-woman studio Karishma's World

When did you think about design as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I always loved drawing and making from a young age and knew I wanted to do something creative. It was when I had to decide between pursuing further education in science or art/design that I had to make that more concrete. At university I interned at Vogue India, at Top Shop design and with Universal Pictures. I wanted to experience a breadth of design with my internships in order to know which direction to take when it came to pursuing a job in design or setting up my own business.

Best gig you've been to?

Rancid at Ulster Hall in 2003. I used to play in a band and we were big fans of 90s punk. We even tried to throw a demo tape their way, but the security were having none of it.

Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Hall and Oates. In their prime they would get everybody dancing, I think.

The record you'd take to a desert island?

Quality Control by Jurassic 5.

And the book?

The Harry Potter series because they make me feel warm and cozy.

Top three films?

Fantastic Mr Fox, Romy & Michele's High School Reunion and Blancanieves, a re-working of the Brothers Grimm classic fairy tale Snow White.

Worst film you've seen?

A lot of the newest superhero franchise films. They focus too little on dialogue or plot lines.

Favourite authors?

Chuck Palahniuk, Brett Easton Ellis, PG Wodehouse and JK Rowling of course.

Sports you most enjoy?

Tennis and taekwondo.

Ideal holiday destination?

Rural Japan.

Pet hate?

People who interrupt others constantly.

What's your favourite:

Dinner? Dim sum.

Dessert? Something with mango in it.

Drink? A Bramble cocktail.

Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My mum.

Is there a God?

God only knows.

:: Karishma Kusurkar is a co-founder of Belfast Design Week (November 4-10). Her latest design project, a hand-designed card game called Espionage, is available for pre-order on This year's Belfast Design Week programme includes pop-ups, workshops, exhibitions and talks on areas of design including graphic design, product design, interiors, architecture, social entrepreneurship and web development. See

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