Thursday, August 02, 2012

Meet Roomani Kulkarni, illustrator of Have You Seen This?

photo courtesy

Arthi Anand Navaneeth's first book Have You Seen This? will be launched in Chennai and Bangalore  on Saturday, 4th August 2012. The appeal of the book lies as much in the zany illustrations by first time illustrator, Roomani Kulkarni as with Arthi's quirky lines.

Roomani Kulkarni is from Mumbai, and a student of graphic design from DJ Academy of Design, Coimbatore, and this is her first book too, done during her internship with Tulika books. You can see more of her work here. Take a look at this lovely illuminated manuscript and these sketches.

Here's Roomani in her words.

ST: Is this your first published book?
Roomani: Yes, this is my first published book. Actually it’s also the very first book I worked on.

ST: What is the medium you normally use? What is the medium in the book?
Roomani: I normally use water colours, pencil colours and photo ink colours. I wanted to try a new medium in this book. These illustrations needed to be very colourful and vibrant to match the text, so I thought acrylic colours were the best choice for this.

ST: The blurb on the book says, "She illustrated this book during an internship with Tulika." Please tell our readers how you go about doing an internship, and what it entails.
Roomani: Yes I illustrated this with one another book during the summer internship with Tulika. Internship is basically working on what you like with a professional company, organization or a design studio. I was always interested in illustration. I came across this wonderful children’s illustrated books publishing house: Tulika. Really loved some of their illustrations, so I sent them my portfolio. They got in touch with me for two projects, one of which is this book.

ST: How did you collaborate with the writer, Arthi Anand Navaneeth?
Roomani: I did not correspond directly with Arthi. Tulika books sent me the test, and I sent them the illustrations, which they then ran past Arthi, and sent me the feedback. When I read the text of Have You Seen This? for the first time, I was pretty amused by the crazy, cute ideas in it. Also it was a challenge for me to put those ideas on paper in the form of vibrant, weird yet innocent illustrations. I really needed to connect with writer and understand what she wanted to say.

ST: Everyone who has read the book has remarked on the pair of children romping around the narrative. Tell us more about them. Especially the boy's hairstyle.
Roomani: The pair of children was to support main characters on each page but later they became an important part of the story telling. The absent presence of both the characters spices up the story. That’s what I feel! The boy’s hair style? Well it was the result of crazy text. The text inspired me to come up with both the characters having their own unique personalities. Also I imagined myself as a child and thought, what would excite me?

ST: Tell us more about yourself.
Roomani: Well, I always loved listening to stories as a child and as a student. I never thought someday I would tell stories through my illustrations. Since I was in school I loved creating my own stories around the drawings I made. I started liking creating characters keeping certain attributes in mind.

ST: From your portfolio on, one can see that you have an interest in photography as well as sketching. Your sketches show a lot of motion. Comment?
Roomani: Yes I really love photography. I like how old photographs narrate your own past to you. There is a story hidden in every photograph I click and I love looking at them every now and then. Sketching is like always having a book to read with you. I sketch things I see around me, so sometimes it is about the motion. Sketching keeps me busy when I’m bored and alone.

ST: What would you like to say to those who are artistically inclined among our readers?
Roomani: I would tell them to observe more, read more, sketch scribble draw more!


artnavy said...

Very refreshing interview, thanks Sandhya and Roomani.

Sheela said...

Thanks Sandhya, and Roomani, I enjoyed reading the interview.

Lavs said...

I loved Roomani's illustrations, so vibrant and catchy.

Great interview. I always thought the author and the illustrator directly correspond.eye opening!

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