Friday, March 22, 2019

A Kashmiri Girl on a Cover

This is the cover for my picture book due in October 2019, published by Seagull Books. The cover illustration is done by me and the cover design by the awesome Sunandini Banerjee who designs all the Seagull Books covers

Here is Sunandini's response to me after sending me this cover design:
Thank you for the beautiful work you continue to do, and for having faith in me—for trusting me to add to your image on the cover. It has been a tremendous freedom and a responsibility and I am so very glad I could make you happy.
I am very touched to read this. While I am personally wary about emotion expressed over artwork, I have to admit that this time, when I saw my illustration placed within this understated and sophisticated cover design, I discreetly wiped away a tear. Who would've thought all those years and years of practice I put in would all lead to this?

This book was what I spent part of 2017 and most of 2018 frantically illustrating. To say that it was hard work would be an understatement. For an illustrator, making a picture book is akin to writing a novel. 

Here is a synopsis about the book ~

Priya Sebastian and Neha Singh, 'Is It the Same for You?'

‘The day they found my brother with a blood stain, I found one on my kurta too, but no one noticed my blood stain.’ Thus begins “Is it the same for you?” a story of a young girl in Kashmir as she goes through the turbulence of adolescence in her conflict-ridden world. While larger issues of terrorism, violence, and death engulf the hearts and minds of all those around her, she struggles to come to terms with her changing body and all that it entails. Left alone to deal with her constant questions, she experiences despair and loneliness but also shows resilience and hope in the faint knowledge that maybe it is not very different for all young girls around the world. : ‘Is it the same for you?’ she asks.
With powerful yet sensitive illustrations by Priya Sebastian, which infuse the story with universality, this beautiful volume is a tender attempt in imagining the different strands of a young life in Kashmir - a place where the inner conflicts of voiceless, adolescent girls are often overshadowed by the political, religious, and military conflicts that are now a constant in everyday life.

Forthcoming. October 2019.

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