Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Illustrating stories: inching closer to my dreams

An illustration for one of my own stories
I don’t know when it clicked my mind – to become an illustrator. It could have been during my college days that I was increasingly getting tempted to doing illustrations. It was during one of my college days that I came across an international competition for children’s books’ illustrations.  For the first time in my life I tried out few illustrations for a simple story with my crude skills and had it posted abroad. My illustrations may not have been good but they did travel far and returned to me saying, “You still need to work harder”. Since then I always dreamt of becoming an illustrator one day…umm…a Writer Illustrator for children. Yeah I tried out several of them, but sadly they did not take off well. They were just too bad to take off I suppose. Sure they were! A mere drawing is no illustration at all. Now I understand, an illustration means more – it requires conveying the whole story at a glance and this is just so difficult a task for me and for any illustrator may be.

Sample illustration from my friend's story
But I’m already into it now. The moment I get free time in the office, I find myself with the characters of the story imagining their noses, eyes, mouths, facial expressions, their gestures and the kind of environment they are in. And when I get back home in the evening, I catch hold of my pencil and paper wherein I try to match them with my imaginations. This is interesting to keep myself engaged, for to get the desired results demands volumes of patience and commitment.

Last couple of weeks I had been working on one of the stories of my friend (it is now completed from my side) and the feedbacks I received from my friend and my own daughters had been overwhelmingly encouraging. Such illustrations require sequential arts to display story in picture. Therefore, it is not without difficulty for to maintain consistent characters throughout is yet another challenge. But somehow I’ve learnt to play around with it too.

It is my hope to display my works one day. And let’s look forward to that day – when your children and my children would go to bed holding the works of my “Lazy Fingers”.

***I would like to thank my friend for having rekindled my interests for picture illustrations.