Thursday, March 21, 2019

Between the Lines

Ruchi Singh interned with us at Karadi Tales for four months between December 2018 and March 2019 as a part of her Bachelor’s in Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Vadodara. During her design internship with us, she was given the project of illustrating a board book, Something’s Falling. The book was on falling objects such as fruits, leaves, and so on, and Ruchi had the challenge of not only illustrating this book, but coming up with an innovative way in which to make the objects seem as though they were quite literally falling off the pages! She brought her own unique style inspired by Indian folk art to her illustrations. This is her blog on her experience working with us and illustrating her own book.

Doing an internship and consequently illustrating ‘Something’s Falling’ was a part of my degree project. I like to play with lines and patterns made of lines. As children’s books are usually coloured, my initial experiments for the illustrations made me question whether we could colour with lines. “Why not?” I asked myself. This led me to a very different technique of illustrating with coloured lines. The patterns formed by lines inside a shape, in this case, would need to be very close so that the shape seems filled with colour. This technique seeks to capture the ‘feeling’ of colour rather than its traditional depiction. The child reading the book would learn that imitation isn’t always important, and catching the ‘essence’ of something and representing it in one’s own style can do wonders.

Drawing the illustrations was a fun experience, for which I used coloured ink pens. As the book has flaps that fold out to tell the story, figuring out how to fit the art into the print format was a bit puzzling. But when I looked at the finished sample of the book, I was surprised and delighted. The flaps really added to the feeling that the story was ‘falling’ out of the book.
Karadi Tales has a very open mind for styles of illustration. They are open to experimenting with techniques, media, and ways of telling a story. At the beginning of the internship, I wasn’t very sure if they would agree with my style and experiments, but their positive response encouraged me to challenge myself. During my time here, I learned many things from the KT team. They are a helpful and broad-minded group of people. Along with my widened perspective of children’s books, my decision-making skills and presentation skills also improved. Interning here has been a great, fulfilling experience.