Published: 19th June 2017
After collaborating with Ruskin Bond, Mihir Joglekar discusses the world of illustration and how to make it in the profession
After illustrating for biggies like chef Vikas Khanna and more recently, Ruskin Bond Mihir Joglekar talks about the art of illustration
This is not the first time the 29-year-old Mihir Joglekar is illustrating for India’s favourite writer for children Ruskin Bond. After his first collaboration with Bond for Cricket for the Crocodile, the duo are back with a more personal book - Looking over the Rainbow - Bond’s account of the few years he spent with his father. “As an ardent admirer of nature and its mesmerising beauty, it was exciting to depict Ruskin Bond's simple yet carefully mastered words, through illustrations,” says Joglekar who has been in the profession for eight years. We ask him about illustrating and what it takes to make it in this profession. Excerpts:
Do illustrations enhance the story more than photographs or any other visual does?
The true beauty of photography is that it gives you the power to document a certain moment in time. Illustration, on the other hand can give shape to the wildest of imaginations. For example, Ruskin writes that his father told him “Paddle your own canoe”. He obviously wasn’t talking about actual canoeing. I showed Ruskin canoeing, amidst flying books (his companions) moving through abstract clouds hinting that he is gently making his way through blinding, troublesome times into the light, on his own.
Is there a difference when it comes to the appeal of illustrations when they are in colour as compared to when they are black and white?
Any artwork or illustration should evoke a feeling inside the reader. For children’s books, the illustrations are mostly colourful. The aim of such illustrations, besides being imaginative and interesting. Making illustrations in black and white can be a creative requirement. For ‘Looking for the Rainbow’, the tone of the illustrations needed to be a little serious considering the rollercoaster of emotions in the story.
What would you say about the scope of being an illustrator in India?
I feel that the current need for artists is to have an out of the box approach. Experimentation with colours, forms and quirky styles seem to have gained a lot of importance. With social media exposure, one's artwork can be viewed by people all over the world. This is a good time to be bold with one’s approach towards art. Illustration is required in abundance in many fields like advertising, publishing (books, comics, graphic novels), storyboarding, concept art for films, animation, gaming, fashion etc.
Which software(s) can budding illustrators use to learn the art better?
Foremost, a budding illustrator must develop the ability to observe and visualise. An art student should begin by dabbling in traditional media like pencil, charcoal, ink, water colours etc. One needs to have gone through various media to figure out what they are good at. Softwares such as Photoshop and illustrator can be helpful to be quick to experiment, as well as to edit, refine or even create from scratch.