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Proiti Roy : Illustrator

Posted on : 26/08/2019 06:14pm
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Indian artist Proiti Roy has illustrated many picture books for children, as well as text books, book covers and magazine articles. Before ‘settling down to become an illustrator’, Proiti worked as a graphic designer in advertising and manufacturing, both in India and Bangladesh. She also worked with handicrafts in recycled mediums and taught art and craft to children in Kolkata for 12 years.


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Proiti’s work has been published across the world – her most well-known books are What Shall I Make?, written by Nandini Nayar, and Ismat’s Eid/Nabeel’s New Pants: An Eid Tale, written by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, and both these books feature in 101 Indian Children’s Books We Love edited by Anita Roy and Samina Mishra (Zubaan (India), 2012). However, it is also well worth delving into Tulika Books‘ catalogue to discover the many other gems she has created in recent years. As with all Tulika’s picture books, Proiti’s books are available in different languages: English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and/or Telugu. As can be seen from this selection of book covers, Proiti’s style is varied and her skill consummate.


As well as picture books, Proiti is also the illustrator of the latest books in the middle-grade series ‘Aditi Adventures’ written by Suniti Namjoshi: Books 9-12, also available as a single volume, III.


As well as picture books, Proiti is also the illustrator of the latest books in the middle-grade series ‘Aditi Adventures’ written by Suniti Namjoshi: Books 9-12, also available as a single volume, III.



Welcome to Mirrors Windows Doors, Proiti. What was your path to becoming an illustrator of children’s books? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?


Thank you Marjorie for having me over here… It’s a pleasure! I had been drawn into the world of illustrations since my childhood. Whenever they could, my parents would buy many books for us (my older brother, a younger sister and me). We would spend hours reading and looking at the illustrations. I was always fascinated by the pictures in story books as a child. The pictures would take me to another world… they still do! As I grew older, I developed a keen interest in art and craft and gradually started to get ready to study at an art college. After my graduation in fine arts from Tagore’s university in Shantiniketan, India, I almost immediately got married and moved to Dhaka, Bangladesh. There, I started to work in an advertising agency, where I learned a lot about graphic design, illustration and publishing.



Over the next few years, I started to freelance as a designer and illustrator; and I also started teaching children art and craft. So without really planning to do so, I was getting more and more interested and professionally involved in illustrations, particularly for children’s books. And I felt very happy about that… so I decided to take it up more seriously, professionally, and meet a few children’s book publishers.  Tulika Books and Orient Blackswan were two of them. After doing quite a few books with them, I was now very sure that this was where I wanted to belong, and I hope I shall be a part of this world for a long time!



Just by focusing on the trees in your different books, it is evident that you adopt a variety of styles in your art.  What are your favourite media and techniques? 


Yes, I do like to try out different styles and that depends on my mood as well as the story. I use black outlining pens, water colours, gouache paints, colour pencils and coloured ink. I would like to experiment a little more and explore other mediums. My techniques are generally very conventional and traditional.


View larger images of these and other trees, incidental or otherwise, in the Gallery below the interview



Who or what have been the biggest influences on your art? 


Children, nature, the animal world, works of literature, films, music, dance and different cultures of the world are my inspirations. And my mother, who is an artist of extraordinary talent, a very creative person in every sense. And then there are quite a few people in my life who have been inspiring: sometimes as a person; sometimes their talent, their work.

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