It’s the idea of creating something out of a tiny spark which inspires me the most. Transforming a blank paper into something entirely different, something meaningful, is so satisfying. Artworks of some talented artists, their passion, commitment and patience never cease to amaze me. – Sikha Prasad
As a writer, there’s no greater joy than connecting with a reader. Believe me, every reader is special to the author. The fact that someone who’s never met me would sit down with my thoughts for a few hours and allow me the privilege of taking them on a journey. The entire experience is beyond words.
It never dawned on me that one of my readers would be an artist…. that would eventually breathe new life into one of my characters.
That reader is Sikha Prasad.
I was in the middle of doing a Book Giveaway for The Little Light. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew I had stumbled across Sikha’s Instagram page. I was instantly drawn towards the simplicity and depth of her work. It is not an easy balance to strike – to maintain a certain innocence to the way you create art and yet capture that elusive complexity of the human experience.
It was this same premise I worked with when I created The Little Light. There are loads of artists out there, but not every artist can bring your work to life in a way that’s in line with your vision. Something in me said that Sikha would be that person… but I waited to see if she connected with my work the way I did with hers. Patience is not one of my virtues… but time and experience has taught me to simmer the heat in my veins.
A few days after the book giveaway, Sikha got in touch with me saying she’d read the book and loved it. Hooray! My instinct and common sense pushed me forward. I asked her if she would work with me… and thankfully she accepted. Double hooray!
All characters are special to the ones who created them. But in the eyes of the reader, the characters take on a life and meaning of their own. I talk with Sikha Prasad about journey as an artist… and her very first character sketch.
Dipa: After reading The Little Light, you mentioned that Mercury is your favourite planet. What about his character appealed to you?
Sikha: It’s Mercury’s wits that attracted me the most. His conversation with the Little Light and the other planets, especially with The Sun, was really engaging. His looks, thoughts and the way he deals with situations, all this makes his character appealing.
All children love to be scolded by their parents.
-Planet Mercury from The Little Light
Dipa: You are a self-taught artist. How did you learn on your own?
Sikha: I don’t remember quite exactly when I took an interest in drawing. I used to scribble when I was a kid. The results were always clumsy but I liked the feel of drawing.
It was during my first year of college I started taking drawing seriously. Two of my classmates were exceptionally good at drawing. Slowly we became close friends and I started learning from them. They helped me a lot with the basics and gave an exposure to different mediums they were familiar with. With their constant guidance and support, I learned a lot.
Even now, after completion of a work, they are the ones from whom I ask suggestions first. They are like the best critics!
Tutorial videos and time lapses also have helped me to learn. When I’m confused about using a particular medium, I google it to gather information.
Dipa: What inspires you as an artist?
Sikha: It’s the idea of creating something out of a tiny spark which inspires me the most. Transforming a blank paper into something entirely different, something meaningful, is so satisfying. Artworks of some talented artists, their passion, commitment and patience never cease to amaze me. When it comes to artwork, there’s always scope for improvement and learning.
Dipa: What was it like doing your very first character sketch?
Sikha: I was really excited and anxious at the same time. At first, l wasn’t confident to take up the work. For me character sketching was an unexplored area and I’m not really good at creative drawing. I mostly use references for my works.
But I wanted to try something new.
So I committed to the work. It was a really good experience. With the help of references and clear descriptions provided by the author, we slowly built the character sketch of Mercury.
Messenger of the Gods, Mercury is a young business person, impeccably dressed in a spotless white shirt and perfectly tailored black pants. He governs the mind, the intellect and worldly intelligence. Witty, charming, and a bit of a trickster, he has a way with words and a young and youthful energy. He doesn’t like dealing with emotions and enjoys irritating his father, The Sun.
“Are you listening to me?” the Sun asks.
“No,” Mercury replies with a secret smile. “But that never stops you from lecturing me anyway.”
About the Artist
Sikha Prasad hails from Kerala, India. She’s a post graduate student who loves reading novels and stories rather than study materials. Enamoured with the world of fiction, her hobbies are: drawing, reading, and trying her hands on crafting. She’s a self-described confused soul who is in search of a purpose. She loves pets and dreams of creating a safe haven for them some day.