art, Books, illustration, Life, List, sketchbook

My best books of 2021

Last year I didn’t read as much as I usually do, what with one thing and another, but I ended up with some good ones. Here are the highlights.

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman: Recommended by pacificleo, it was one of my best books of the year.

Voices of Dissent by Romila Thapar: This essay puts today’s responses to resistance in perspective, by charting out the history and evolution of dissent from the vedic times. A worthwhile read, even though the language was quite academic. (If you buy from Seagull, you can choose your version of the cover, designed by the brilliant sunandinibee.)

Among graphic novels, I read some beauties: Japanese Notebooks: A Journey to the Empire of Signs by Igort, The Winter of the Cartoonists by Paco Roca, Hostage by Guy Delisle, Leonard Cohen: On a Wire by Pilippe Girard and some more that I shared in Graphic novels by women.

Last year I also updated my perspective on feminism with We should all be Feminists by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie and Against White Feminism by Rafia Zakaria.

Some other books that I enjoyed were Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by Olivia Laing, Daybook by Anne Pruitt and The Pursuit of Art by Martin Gayford.

In fiction The Startup Wife by Tahmina Anam was enjoyable and different, as was Crudo by Olivia Laing and No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood.

Our best pastime was drawing with Making Comics by Lynda Barry that Guto and I used throughout the year.

I thought I hadn’t read much, but now I’m getting tired just looking at this list. Oh well, life is short, and my eyes won’t last.

art, Comic Strip, drawing, illustration, Life, sketchbook

The path to your artistic voice

Where does your artistic voice comes from? It’s your story – and your story could have anything, from memories, obstacles, truths and morals. It’s important to know yourself and listen to yourself – even though it hurts. And also, hours and hours of craft and expression so the craft becomes part of your body and your expression can break through. the journey to finding your voice comes with a lot of risks and failures – but trusting that you will always find the way to your voice.

These are the resources that I’ve found useful – The Artist’s Way, Find Your Artistic Voice (which I may be quoting above), and doing Lynda Barry’s exercises.

art, illustration

Pingola the Grumpy King

This is the cover of The Grumpy King, it has been published by Ladybird. The story – not written by me- is about Pingola a very very grumpy king who was always worried and grumpy. He made too many laws and tried to force everyone in his kingdom to follow the laws – bedtime at 9, everybody must always do their homework, no eating sweets, no parties, etc. The king himself had to check everyone’s report cards to make sure they were all studying hard. The only saving grace was the king’s son, Singola (!!) who tried to make his father understand there can be no life without fun…But in vain.

One day the king woke up in the night to find everyone celebrating. He found out that they were celebrating his death! And try as he might, he could not make them see that eh was not dead. It was a nightmare! Finally when the king actually woke up, he decided to abolish the old rules and make new rules! Like school till 3 in the afternoon only, weekends for fun and parties, etc. The people were happy and they lived happily ever after.

Well I’m not too fond of the story myself, but apparently the book was pretty popular with children (and their parents!) I met a lady who said that her daughter really loved the book, and thought that she was the grumpy king! But alas, the shelf life for these books are very less… by the time I met her daughter, my book was passé, and she was playing video games instead 😦