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Paint me a tale

education Updated: Dec 20, 2011 15:04 IST

Hindustan Times
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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



Clockwork

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



Skills/Traits

* 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


http://www.delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/Lib_Collegeofart/collegeofarts/home


* Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai


jjiaa.org/home.htm



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