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Interview with Paridhi Apte - Children's Book Creator and Illustrator
I recently shot a Perth branding session for Paridhi Apte, a children's book illustrator whose book, "Adventures of Jacob and Charlie" with author Disha Patwardhan launched earlier this month. Paridhi and Disha would have loved to have done the session together but Disha is based in the US so it was not possible at this time. I had worked with Paridhi a few years ago for her family session so I was thrilled when she reached out to me to capture images for her book launch and brand. I was immediately in awe of her creative illustrations. She is not only talented but has managed to release a book while being a mother and work in a graphic design company full time. This is an incredible achievement and I was curious to learn the process behind creating a book - from the initial idea to the launch of their book.
Paridhi's work is vibrant and full of life. I am excited to have her here to talk about her work and her creative process. Hope you enjoy this little interview with Paridhi as much as I did and if you have young ones at home, I would highly recommend you purchase Paridhi's Book 1 of her 3 series book - Adventures of Jacob and Charlie.
Tell me about yourself and what made you create a children's book?
I have been fascinated with drawing and sketching for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood filling up dozens of sketchbooks with cartoons, illustrations and freehand drawing. And so I channelled my drive for sketching into creating vibrant animations.
For the past 15 years, I have created animations for a variety of mediums such as children's short stories and e-learning content. I have always wanted to create a children's Illustrated book but was unaware of how and where to start.
One of my dearest colleague introduced me to the world of self-publishing and that was it. I spent hours each day for months researching all the different aspects of publishing and once I had acquired all the basic knowledge I got in touch with my sister Disha, who is a content writer and lives in the USA. With her excellent writing skills and my illustrations skills, we were confident that we could create an excellent product for children. Together we have started a company called 'Royal Blue Elephant Books' and this is only the first of many more to come.
Can you tell us one thing that people may not know about you?
I enjoy all kinds of artistic things, from painting to pottery. But if I am not doing any of that I love to shop, not online but going to actual shops 🙂
Shopping is like therapy for me at times. And I love to listen to Audiobooks one after another.
What makes you passionate about being an illustrator?
Illustrating anything brings me a great sense of satisfaction. Being able to create amazing colourful artwork every day is very exciting. Especially with children's illustration, because you are not limited to anything. You can think out of the box and let your imagination flow.
Where did ideas for your book come from?
My son was the inspiration behind this particular series of books. He has had an elephant soft toy since he was 6 months old and still loves his elephant as much as he did then (he is now 5). The bond that children develop towards their teddies is very heartwarming. They use it as a comforter or a companion. Cuddling teddy bears “evokes a sense of peace, security and comfort,” psychologist Corrine Sweet said in a 2010 press release.
This is what inspired us to create a series of short illustrated stories to show the bond between the child and his companion.
Where do you find inspiration for new stories and characters?
For me generally, inspiration comes from a keyword or a phrase that I read somewhere or if I came across through conversation with friends. Social setting and personal experience also play a huge role in generating story ideas. Our next two books in the same series are very much based on everyday scenarios. For instance, Book 2 is called 'Jacob and Charlie and the lost kitten'. and book 3 is called 'Jacob and Charlie Learn to recycle.'
What do you hope kids learn from your book?
Imaginative play is a very important part of child development. It helps them learn and build social and language skills. It also nurtures their creativity and boosts their confidence in tackling new situations. With Jacob, he always has his buddy Charlie with him and they learn and solve problems together.
We want to foster a child’s imagination and introduce new ideas by creating colourful and attractive graphics that are eye-catching. At the same time give them something new to learn on the way.
Secondly, we want to take account of the global crisis that's going around the world which is 'Plastic Pollution and take this opportunity to teach kids how they can help contribute by understanding the basics of recycling and how they can help a lost animal find its way home.
Where can readers order your book?
Follow our journey @royalblueelephant
Website coming soon: www.royalblueelephant.com
How was your experience working with Surabhi for your brand photography?
Surabhi has done a wonderful job. She guided me throughout the process from choosing an outfit to how I can pose to look natural.
The photos tell the final story. She was very patient with me as I am a very camera shy, conscious person. On top of that, she wasn't rushing things, she had put aside ample time to get good shots and not just limit ourselves to strict hours. which was fantastic!
(For more info on my portrait and branding sessions please visit my portrait photography page)
Anything else you like to share with us?
We hope you enjoy our creation with your little ones. If you do please leave us a review. There is more coming from us so look out for our new release every few months.
Lastly, if you have a passion for something and are after a personal branding session, definitely give it a go and Surabhi will help you get across with her Perth brand photography art.
Thank you so much for giving us an insight into your world Paridhi. I am truly grateful to be involved with such an ambitious and fun project! I wish you all the best for a vibrant career ahead as a children's book illustrator and publisher.
Sacred Seed Photography is a branding photography service based in Perth, Western Australia serving all metropolitan areas including Guilford | Swan Valley | Inglewood | Scarborough | Mount Hawthan | Hillarys | Queens Park | Subiaco | Leederville.
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