Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Good Things That Happen Over Stories

Megha Vishwanath was one of the participants of the #6FrameStoryChallenge we were hosting in the months of January and February. A few days after we posted her story on our blog, we received an email from an organization that wanted us to put them in touch with Megha as they loved her work. And we did! Megha tells us a little more about what happened she took this challenge :

“Good things happen over art. Really, they do. 

 I’ve spent a fair bit of my work life over grey carpets, between bare white walls and light brown cubicles. You do meet people and things happen over fancy coffees and fine dinners, yes. Nice and not so nice things. But nothing that I found remarkable. Likely because words are measured and thoughts are rationed in sterile work environments... 

 These days, I sit in a forest, under an umbrella, mostly by myself and with many moments of vacant thought through the day. It’s a forest of ideas, imagination and inspiration…”

Even if that isn’t completely true, the real image isn’t much far. I sit with a laptop and my Intuous graphic tablet by a big wide window, in a cluttered study, with loads of un-coordinated art and colour on the walls, in a place I call home. And I sit right here most days making art and meeting people. And this is where one fantastic thing happened quite recently among others.

In a passing moment I see the #6FrameStoryChallenge on my Facebook newsfeed. And I say, “Oh, that’s interesting”. I read more about it and get excited. I get thinking - “Hmmm, 6 words and a story!”

 Story One pops into my head, by now I’m at the edge of my chair. I throw all caution to air and start sketching; it’s impromptu, it’s impulsive. It’s something that makes you wonder if you are good enough at all and yet it’s what makes you throw away those very inhibitions. These are great things to happen and I know not just to me, but to many of you art makers. And it most certainly helps that some of those awe-inspiring illustrators are egging you on to tell your story...

It may not be as joyous if I stalled to think about - “Is this worth my time?”, “What do I get in return?”, “Will this get me recognition?”. They are valid questions, and I ask them at other times. But every now and then, it’s liberating to make art for the sake of a story, for art’s sake! 

You never know, when or why a happy Mr. Chance comes looking for you with a magnifying glass. My entry for Story Challenge, brought (an unsuspecting) me rewarding responses. A gentleman from a prestigious institution wrote to the storyweavers @Pratham Books to reach me for illustrations. I met a talented media professional, who messaged me on Facebook to get a cup of tea and we are still having conversations about some stories. It’s always nice to get a pat on the back from anyone in the artist / illustrator circles. And pats, I got many! My friends and family showered me with praises. A friend, a jolly doodler, used one of my images for his pencil practice. How flattering! 

I might have been walking around with a smug smile on my face over the last month or so. So, if you were thinking I lost a nut somewhere, the truth is really this - I am smiling because Serendip

ity strikes in the most unexpected ways!

Of course the not-so-selfless me knew I was working for the greater cause. Some children somewhere someday will hopefully love my illustrated story. I’m proud of Pratham Books for envisioning and creating the open-source story publishing platform to help me connect with those children. 

More of my art is here:

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