Niloufer Wadia – Children’s storybook illustrator

Finally, FINALLY, I really can call myself that!

Kanna Panna - illustrated by Niloufer Wadia

Kanna Panna - illustrated by Niloufer Wadia

I mentioned last time I wrote, that interesting things were happening… Well, what did happen was that Tulika Publishing, another well known children’s book publisher contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to illustrate a book for them. What a question! Of course! Of Course! I’d barely agreed when Pratham, the people for whom I’d participated in the 6 Frame Challenge also contacted me. Talk about ‘when it rains, it pours’. Wow! I mean, I wasn’t sure how I’d suddenly manage both deadlines, but I was determined to do it if I had to work nights. Which I did!
Well, here’s Kanna Panna from Tulika. I’ve been grinning ear to ear all week.
If you’d like to buy the book (and you should, it’s an enchanting story by Zai Whitaker, even without my illustrations :) it’s available here.
The other one will follow. Soon, I hope.

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Hand drawn Illustration Challenge Update. We have a winner!

I have some really awesome news. I was just told this weekend that I’m a winner of the Pratham Books’ 6 Frame Story Challenge! I can barely believe that my illustrations, done in such a huge rush, actually got noticed and appreciated above the rest, – and I can tell you there was some great work there!
Niloufer Wadia winner of the Pratham #6FrameStoryChallenge?
I’m still pinching myself. And here’s a secret… some great things have already come of it. I’ll keep you posted.

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Hand drawn Illustration Challenge

I often start out with great intentions, when I see a competition or a challenge online. But this was a rare occasion when I actually saw the job through to the end.
This was my illustrated entry for Pratham Books’ 6 Frame Story Challenge. They provided a few simple story lines and participants could choose, or there were a whole lot of unconnected words and you could choose some to make your own story.

Niloufer Wadia
Niloufer Wadia
I got to hear about it pretty late into the Challenge and the deadline was already looming. So, though I actually started out with much simpler forms, and somehow managed to complicate them midway, I didn’t really have a chance to go back and change or re-do anything. The great thing though was, that apart from the characters which I love doing anyway, I needed to think each illustration through to the complete background, something I don’t always do.
Another thing I was pleased about is that though I get a fair number of illustration assignments, it’s rarely for hand drawn work. And I’m not very good at pro-actively working at a portfolio as I should.
All the 6 images are available here.

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Book Cover Illustration

The story of this book cover illustration can only be called serendipitous. A few of years back I was experimenting with charcoal. At the time I did a lot of work with graphite pencil but never felt very confident about charcoal. At some point, determining that it was a failed experiment I put it into a plastic sleeve and dumped it on a high shelf.

A while later, good friend Kavita Kané came poking around my work room, discovered it, and when I said I didn’t like it she asked for it, happily took it home, framed it and displayed it. Can’t say I was very thrilled; if she was going to display something I would have preferred an art piece I was really proud of.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. Kavita has almost completed her second book, and the first being a bestseller, she’s in the position to harangue her poor publisher into agreeing to consider a cover of her choice. She wants it to be my incomplete charcoal sketch. Hurray!

Sita's Sister. Illustration by Niloufer Wadia

Clockwise from top left : The original charcoal sketch. The final version. Hand-done drawings from the background - forest and Ram, Sita, Laxmana. The completed cover almost ready to send off to the publisher. Kavita Kane with the original sketch framed in the background.

I was pleased of course, ( but that one…?!) So we take it out of the frame, and I scan and play around with it in graphic programmes. Narrowing the face, Widened the forehead, printing it out, adding more details in graphite pencil, changing to more princess-like jewelry… In general turning her from rustic to royal. Or that was my intention, fiddle, fiddle, fiddle until I was really pleased with her.
And then of course there was all the rest to add – background, other characters.

A fortnight later, the cover was all ready for the publisher, and I think they too were a lot happier with the outcome than they’d been with the original. Well, it’s out in print now. Available to order here Sita’s Sister
As mythology based books go, monochromatic is unusual in the market I believe, so let’s hope to disprove that as Sita’s Sister flies off the shelves as fast as the earlier book.

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Food Artist

I haven’t showcased another artist’s work for quite a while. Not, mind you, for lack of finding artists to admire and envy. Sometimes, most times, it’s just easier to while away time on the internet rather than actually do anything concrete; from one site to another, from one enchanting link or the next. Well here’s so awesome work I found via Pinterest. Food art by Alya Mark. The problem of course is that it’s not English (again) and I’m Alya Mark - Food and funhaving a really jolly time figuring out the weird Google translations. But the important part, the words embedded in the illustrations, of course remain enticingly just out of reach – unreadable. Ahh, well. A little guesswork, a lot of imagination, but the main thing of course, is the art. I love the lines, fine and yet… well frolicking! Love the elegance, clean lines and then the sudden and visible movement – mixing, stirring, whizzing, you can actually see it.

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Illustrations on Mobile phone cases

Just FYI people, this design is now available on mobile phone cases through Redbubble. Hope to increase the collection significantly. Soon.

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Illustration for Recipes

I know I’m mentioned this site again and again, but TheyDraw&Cook has to be one of my favourites. Participating is always at the top of my TO DO list, but ahem, you know me, if it doesn’t have a deadline, it doesn’t get done. Well, finally, I had a deadline. They’re running a competition with Glad #Save it Sunday – use 1 ingredient to make 3 recipes. Well of

Recipe for Broccoli ©Niloufer Wadia

3 yum Recipes for Broccoli ©Niloufer Wadia

course I want to win those yummy prizes. And the deadline was just what I needed to do an illustration. I’ve been at it all day because, yes you guessed it, tomorrow’s the last day :) and I’ve just had this approved and it’s up and ‘live’. Now cross your fingers that I win!
You can check out my illustration on the site here.

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