|STEPPING STONES TO SUCCESS: Rachna Prabhu is a sought-after illustrator now.|
A good illustration is sometimes more effective than a photograph. That is why when Rachna Prabhu (Class of 2008) was a student at Commits, the college newspaper featured her work regularly.
Rachna also provided caricatures (see below) of the speakers — to accompany our students' audiovisual speaker introductions — at the Hard Sell seminar organised by Commits in Bangalore in January 2007. It became a tradition afterwards to have students include sketches of the speakers at every Commits seminar.
Rachna, who says she has been "doodling in schoolbooks, paper napkins, other people's important files, on walls, and on unsuspecting people's faces pretty much since I was a five-year-old", is now a full-time children's book illustrator. Recently, after she illustrated a book on entrepreneurship, Entrepedia, written by Prof. Nandini Vaidyanathan, I conducted an email interview with her to learn more about her work:
- How did you get the Entrepedia assignment?
With children's book publishers, they send you a tabulated list of illustrations needed for the story, including the character's expression, clothes, background description, and sometimes even their body structure! This limits your freedom as an illustrator.
With Entrepedia, Nandini Ma'am and the publisher gave me the complete freedom to illustrate the book any way I wanted to. I was just provided with all the chapters and from thereon it was just about me sending across the final illustrations as and when they were ready. The conceptualisation process for Entrepedia was my favourite part of the project.
- What inspired your illustrations?
The ideas behind each illustration was different from the other. For instance, in the chapter about 'Where to look for ideas', I drew three men of various age groups looking in all directions through binoculars and a magnifying glass with the light bulbs floating right near them, just waiting to be spotted. In other words, there are ideas everywhere, you just need to find them.
Similarly, in another chapter that was about Business Incubators, I illustrated with an entrepreneur emerging out of an egg (egg=incubator). All in all, it was good fun deciding what to draw for each chapter, especially when there were no limitations.
- Which software did you use?
- How long did you take to complete the job?
- You can take a look at Rachna's Entrepedia illustrations and her other sketches on her blog, Doodle Doo.
Rachna is now, as she describes herself, the owner, designer, and "do-it-aller" of Doodle Doo, an online store for illustrated goodies. Check out the store here.
- Also read: Hadi Farahani: Quick on the draw