I have just received the latest copy of the beautiful and very readable The Indian Quarterly magazine with my illustration in it for the story Mountain Disease, my first assignment since returning home. The story extract was a very challenging one because it consisted of a lot of conversation taking place in a school. There was no strong visual description within the story that I could use to capture the essence of it. However while re-reading the conversations within the extract, I found that it dealt with prejudice - about appearances, colour, places, intelligence, looks, wealth, gender... it was all there. I chose to depict it by drawing two symbolically different faces (by varying the eyes and the colour) and depicting the unpleasantness of racism in the conversation through snakes coming out the mouths of the faces .The colours are muted and cold. The atmosphere created in this image echoes the mood of the story.
I don’t use software while creating my images and I do everything using my hands, pastel, paper and a pair of scissors. Someone whose opinions I value a great deal pointed out that in a world of buffed and polished, perfectly finished images, this business of working directly with my hands makes my visuals unpredictable, spontaneous and very distinctive - qualities which give my images depth. I am glad to hear that. Probably because of these results, the kind of illustration work that I have been invited to do in these last few months has been very interesting to say the least.
2015 has been a year of hair-raising adventures, mind-boggling challenges and fantastic experiences across continents. It is a year that I will never forget especially if I consider my mindset during the start of the year and how I feel now. A friend in Montreal once assured me that everything would turn out all right. I didn't believe her then but I thank her for that reassurance now. This year has ended in the best way possible. Apart from the warm and supportive friendships that have been constant throughout this year, I can consider getting a copy of this particular magazine with my illustration in it as a sign of a very good ending to 2015.