T. (Theertham) Balaji
T. Balaji is a master craftsman working in the traditional Kalamkari style of Indian textile painting. He holds a PhD in Physics and currently lives in Hyderabad where, in addition to painting, he works as a physicist, sculpture and volunteer teacher in his native village. He is the winner of five national awards and has exhibited work throughout India, France and the UK He is the first Kalamkari artist to illustrate narrative fiction.
M.P. Dhakshna has been in the hoardings business for fifteen years – beginning as a teenager, he continued to paint throughout his five years at the College of Fine Arts in Chennai. One of the most talented and successful artists to have emerged from Chennai’s vibrant 1990s street art scene, he is known for his dramatic use of colour and state of the art compositional skills. He and his studio of skilled artists and craftsmen produced the artwork for The Nine Emotions book and exhibition.
Durga Bai is a young tribal artist from the Gond tradition of central India. Gond is a ritual and functional art style with distinctive decorative elements, mostly painted on walls of houses, using natural colours. Durga Bai constantly re-works and pushes the borders of the Gond art form to create art that sparkles with a distinctive energy.
Pulak Biswas is one of the most senior children’s book illustrators in India. He started his artistic career over 40 years ago. He studied painting at the Calcutta College of Fine Arts, and did stages in graphic design and illustration at the Hornsey College, London and the Rietvald Academy, Amsterdam. Based in Delhi, he worked in several advertising agencies before he gave up this career in 1981, to become a freelance artist. He now concentrates on painting and children’s book illustration, which he considers his dream vocation.
Piet Grobler is an extremely accomplished South African Illustrator who has illustrated over sixty fictional and educational children’s books. Piet studied Theology at the University of Pretoria and Journalism at the University of Stellenbosch, and went on to take up varied careers, first as a Minister of Religion, then as a graphic designer for an advertising agency, and finally as a freelance illustrator. His exhibitions and freelance work have been shown worldwide. He is married to Marietjie, a music teacher and they live in Stellenbosch, South Africa with their daughter, Catherina.
Anita Leutwiler is a Swiss textile artist who works extensively with patchwork and appliqué. She is known for her creative and meticulous use of fabric to create images that have both depth and lightness. She visited India in 1999, and during her travels, collected pieces of the textile riches of the country. With the stray bits of cloth that she took back, she created a series of images made entirely of cloth, to re-create her experiences. Anushka Ravishankar wrote a story in verse to these illustrations, resulting in the book Excuse me, is this India?
Christiane Pieper is a well known German illustrator for whom illustrating children’s books is a dream vocation. She has worked for some of Germany’s most prestigious publishing houses, and has illustrated over 25 books in all, receiving among other recognitions, the Troisdorfer Bilderbuchpreis. She is particularly interested in capturing moods and movement in her pictures and revealing the humour in the situations that she depicts. Christiane travels widely and has conducted workshops on illustration in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and India.
Radhashyam Raut is a young painter, trained in the traditional art of Patachitra mural paintings of Orissa. Awarded a national scholarship for continuing work on the Patachitra tradition, he lives and works in a village near Dhauli, Orissa. This is his first venture into the world of books.
Indrapramit Roy is one of India’s finest upcoming contemporary artists. He teaches painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda, in western India. In 1990, he received a fellowship to study painting at the Royal College of Art, London, and won the Burston Award and the Fleur Cawles Award for Excellence. He has exhibited widely in solo and group shows all over India.
Emanuele Scanziani, originally from Italy, is an artist and freelance illustrator who lives and works from Auroville, an international commune in South India. He has illustrated the Shikra set of books on environmental awareness, and The Gita of Waste, on recycling. His stunning line drawings for The Legend of the Fish was his first work for Tara. To Market! To Market! was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, and he is currently working on Metamorphosis, a yoga book for Tara.
Orijit Sen studied graphic design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Since 1988, he has worked on diverse graphic, exhibition, and textile design related projects, and has exhibited his work in Japan, Europe and India. He also co-founded ‘People Tree’, which promotes design, artisanal and marketing collaborations, and runs small but well known retail outlets in Delhi and Goa. He is also an artist and illustrator, who enjoys working with photographs and found objects. He is especially interested in graphic narratives and other sequential art forms.
Bhajju Shyam is one of the finest artists of the Gond tribe in central India. Like most children from his tribe, Bhajju grew up helping his mother paint the walls of their village home, and at the age of sixteen, he moved to the city of Bhopal in search of work and soon became an apprentice to his uncle, the famous artist Jangarh Singh Shyam. Bhajju’s prowess as an independent artist grew quickly, and in 2001 he received a state award for Best Indigenous Artist. We published his first book The London Jungle Book, a visual travelogue of his first visit to a western metropolis.
Ram Singh Urveti
An artist from central India, Ram Singh Urveti is one of the most brilliant living artists of the Gond tradition. Ram Singh’s work has spread the myths and stories of the Gond community throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America and has won him awards nationally and internationally. His work creates a world of fantasy and metamorphosis, coming alive with finely detailed organic forms. He is the artist of many images in The Night Life of Trees.