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A Fruitful Collaboration

posted Mar 20, 2017, 8:20 PM by Kanika G   [ updated Jul 2, 2017, 3:41 AM ]
I love writing children's stories, but I am not very good at drawing. One of the difficulties of self-publishing free ebooks is finding an illustrator. In the Tania series I used photographs, cc licensed pictures and public domain clipart and it worked out quite well. But then I started writing other short stories and had a hard time finding suitable images online. I also hoped to get a consistent set of images for each story. But I couldn't think of a solution. Then one day, I came across a post by a blogger named Aesha Shah. She mentioned in a post, that her daughter, Mishti, is learning to do illustrations and really enjoys it.

When I read it, I wondered, if Mishti would be able to illustrate one of my stories. If she could, it would be great for kids who read the story, to know that, another little kid just like them had illustrated it. May be, she would be just as enterprising and motivated as my fictional Tania. So I approached Aesha.

I was amazed, that not only did Mishti and her parents agree, they were quite keen. Mishti worked hard and produced he first illustration pretty quickly. When I saw it, I knew I was right to put my faith in her. . She had complete freedom and not only did the drawings but also decided what to draw. My own daughter, the 5 year old Pell, was amazed that an 8 year old could create such lovely illustrations. She wanted to illustrate one of my books too. But she is not yet quite there, though who knows, in 3 more years, she could very well be.

To make Pell feel included, I told her we could work in reverse. She had taken up painting a couple of weeks ago. So for every painting she has done off late, I have written a poem to go along with it. Once we have a significant collection, I may publish them as a book. Until them you can find them in my blog. My personal favourite is The Caterpillar And The Butterfly


Returning to Mishti's story. Within two weeks, this super girl finished 4 illustrations, one for each chapter and a cover image for the story, The Mysterious Uncle Uh-Oh, which is now available in various formats here. Aesha tells me that this experience has been a confidence booster for Mishti. So this collaboration has been a win win for everyone involved as Pell too.



It is wonderful what kids can do, if we show a little faith in them and encourage them on. Mishti not only took on the responsibility, but also worked tirelessly and followed through. Such initiative and commitment from an 8 year old is admirable.