Paint me a tale | education | Hindustan Times
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Paint me a tale

education Updated: Dec 20, 2011 15:04 IST

The lowdown

Children’s book illustrators are individuals who create pictures in textbooks, storybooks, posters, and anything else that is enhanced and clarified by artwork. They use different styles, including photographs, pencil sketches, computer design, paints and collage to create the pictures. A children’s book illustrator has to submit artwork for any publication meant for an audience that has just started to read or enjoys flipping through books with good pictures. Illustrators can work for children’s magazines or bigger publishing houses, or a number of NGOs developing content for Indian children such as Room To Read and Pratham


8am: Start work — illustration for a National Book Trust assignment

10am: Check colour samples of page sent by the printer

1.30pm: Take a break for lunch

2pm: Leave for meeting with publisher, discuss book for which illustrations are required

4pm: Go to the library to look-up reference material (books, journal, and videos) for illustration. Make sketches/notes

8pm: Finish up for the day

The payoff

The English publishing industry pays you decent money though things might be a little difficult for illustrators in the Hindi and regional languages segments where books are not priced high. Freelancers can earn Rs 25,000 to Rs 45,000 a month


* A confident, strong hand

* Sound knowledge of drawing and painting techniques

* Ability to gauge children’s mind and deliver what they want

Getting there

If storytelling is your forte and you are good with the brush you can continue to hone your talent at the senior-secondary level and build up a portfolio of your work before you join art school. Most colleges will hold an aptitude test. Those of you who make it to a good art college will be required to do a four-year bachelor’s degree in fine arts

in which you will be taught about visual communication, drawing, nature and object drawing, illustrations, etc. You can follow it up with a master’s in fine arts

Institutes and URLs

* College of Art, Delhi

* Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai

Pros and cons

* Money is not very good

* Frequency of work depends on your talent, turnaround time and networking skills

For children, images tell just as much of a story as words do. If your forte is telling stories through a pencil or a brush, this profession is for you Shweta Mohapatra, English/Hindi illustrator based in New Delhi