In a few weeks, I will be celebrating the one year anniversary of Mith Books. After 12 years of twists and turns, I finally did it. I’m an author and a businesswoman. I followed both my heart and the footsteps of my ancestors.
None of this would mean anything if not for the wonderful people who I’ve crossed paths with through the course of this journey. In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous talented individuals. I truly treasure these relationships.
What I look for when selecting people to collaborate with is not years of industry experience or a plethora of degrees and awards. Rather, I seek out individuals who are passionate about what they do and are willing to develop themselves and others as they create work they truly believe in.
Sikha Prasad is one of those people.
I was immediately drawn in by Sikha’s illustrations when I first saw her art on Instagram. It was both young and old. There was an innocence, depth and sincerity to her art that moved me.
We all need inspiration
A spark that ignites
Something deep inside the soul
Richard Page’s You Are Mine
In my last interview with Sikha on The Making of Planet Mercury, we talked about what inspired her as an artist. Her thoughts on the creative process were not too different to my own. Who can understand an author’s desire to create better than an artist who creates from her soul?
Despite what many people think, the creative process isn’t easy – there are many unexpected challenges that one encounters along the way. In this interview, Sikha and I discuss the difficulties that creative people face as they manifest their dreams from the spark that ignites the soul.
Q: There is a big difference between creating art for yourself and doing commissioned work for someone else. Could you briefly describe what each process is like for you?
A: When I draw for myself, I feel at ease. There’re no restrictions regarding the medium to be used or the time to be taken. I can draw whatever I want in the way I feel. When it comes to commissioned works, the artwork created is more specified.
The basic idea is provided and we have to work on it. We have to make sure the work is done according to their preference. Most of the time I keep on wondering if I’ll be able to meet their expectations. There’s also the time constraint which sometimes makes the work challenging. At the same time, I think these factors makes the work more interesting.
Q: I’ve worked with many talented artists. Even though they’re perfectly capable, sometimes their work isn’t in line with the vision I have. What’s the best way to deal with feedback regarding your work?
A: While doing a commissioned work, it’s important that the idea is clear. Here, two individuals who have different perceptions are working together. So it’s important that both have a common understanding regarding the work. There are instances where differences arise. In such cases, communication is needed.
While working on Surya, I came across some difficulties. Even without me mentioning it, the author was able to identify something was wrong. She asked me and I explained my situation. I’m grateful that she let me take a break from the work and continue when things had settled down.
When there’s an understanding among both the individuals, things become easy.
While working on Surya, numerous questions like: the posture, the background and the medium arose in my mind. When I asked about it, the author always provided answers with clarity. This kind of feedback always leaves a positive impact.
The most important thing is the author had a clear vision about how the Surya is to be depicted. Because of that, there was a solid base to work upon. There are situations when people don’t clearly know what they want. Having vague ideas leave us in difficulty.
Q: As an author, I believe there’s a big difference between writing for yourself and writing for publication. Does the same apply to artwork?
A: I do believe the same is applicable to artworks as well. When I draw for myself, I just go with the flow. I don’t focus too much on sticking to a fixed method. Sometimes I take a pen and keep on scribbling for a long time. In the end, the picture may not even make any sense. But still there’s this satisfaction which I get from these aimless scribbling.
When I draw for others, I’m more conscious about the materials used, the style and the content. There’s this inner voice which urges me to bring out my best performance.
With every work, I’m trying to set a new standard, a new challenge for myself.
And I feel really happy when someone enjoys my work. What’s more satisfying than to see someone getting connected to your work!
Q: You’ve done two characters designs from The Little Light. Did you enjoy bringing the author’s imagination to life? What was your experience?
A: Trying something new is always exciting. When I got the proposal to do character sketching, I was quite excited and a bit anxious. For me, giving life to imagination is a huge task as I mostly draw using references. But once I started the work, I felt good. It was a pleasure to work with the author. She always had a clear view about the work and how to develop it.
Working on Surya was a bit challenging for me. Unlike Mercury, Surya was to be made using colours. Also… more details, like the chariot and horses. I doubted if I was up to the work.
The author helped me to gain confidence. I started working on the ideas she gave. She also gave me full freedom to work on the character. She allowed me to take a break from the work when I felt down. I’m grateful for that.
It’s indeed a pleasure working with the author.
UNVEILING SURYA THE SUN
“I am not a planet,” the Sun says. “I am a luminary. It is I that sustains life on Planet Earth. I am the Earth’s superstar.”
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.