Friday, November 20, 2015

Meet Sonal & Sumit, the illustrators of Chunnu-Munnu

Meet Sonal Goyal and Sumit Sukhuja, the talented duo behind the vibrant illustrations of 'चुन्नु-मुन्नु का नहाना', which was the final (8th) story of our ‘Weave-a-Story’ campaign. Written by Rohini Nilekani, the story is about two children being bathed by their mother, and all the fun they're having together.



Sonal and Sumit have been active members of the Pratham Books community for a while now. Their illustrations in 'The Elephant Bird' and 'Goonight, Tinku!' were thoroughly enjoyed by all our readers. They also contributed towards the #6FrameStoryChallenge which we ran earlier this year. You can see their wonderful artwork here.

We had a little chat with them recently and here’s what they had to say about illustrating for children, finding inspiration and much more.

An illustration from 'Chunnu-Munnu ka nahaana'

You have been active members of the Pratham Books community. Tell us a little about what illustrating for children means to you and what has kept you motivated. 

I think all of us love going back to our childhood days... the fondness of childhood memories remain with us forever. And we consider ourselves fortunate to get this chance almost everyday - with each new story and scene, we relive those days. Who wants to grow up? Not us, for sure!


When you read a story, both of you might have different ideas for the illustrations. How do you decide the final approach for a story?

Most times we take bits from each others' ideas, so we get the best of 2 views and then one of us puts the thoughts to paper. Whoever is more comfortable in a particular style gets to work on it, no fighting unless it is a Pratham Books story!


Which is your favourite medium while illustrating and how do you decide the look of a story?

Both of us have a similar approach to drawing. We sketch on paper manually or sometimes digitally on the computer, and then colour the drawings on computer using different softwares. We love to experiment in different styles and most of the time, it is the story setting, theme that itself gives us clues to picking a particular style.


What do you do and where do you go when you desperately need inspiration to draw? Yes, we are asking you to spill your secrets.

We look for ways to relax. Generally, I (Sonal) read a book and Sumit plays games on his computer. We also play TT on our makeshift TT table in the office, it really helps us unwind. Better still, simply looking out the window helps too. 

'चुन्नु-मुन्नु का नहाना' is available in Hindi and Marathi currently. We want the story to reach more and more children in multiple languages so that they can read in a language of their choice. Translate this wonderfully rhythmic story into any language that you are fluent in and help Chunnu and Munnu make friends around the world. Here are some tips on translating on StoryWeaver

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