A picture book is a small door to the enormous world of the visual arts, and they're often the first art a young person sees.
The children’s literature market is growing at 20-25% annually. To generate great content, both in terms of stories and illustrations, capacity building of authors and illustrators is required. The idea behind Riyaaz Academy is to train young students to illustrate from a child’s point of view, keeping in mind children’s developmental milestones, and being sensitive to the fact that children in India today are growing up in a multilingual and multicultural world. Riyaaz illustrators will be trained to bring in humour in their work because children enjoy that the most. At the same time they will address social biases, champion values of sustainable development, equality of gender, caste and religion and break stereotypes.
The most difficult transition for me was our first exercise. While other students were on their fourth or fifth page of illustration, I was still on my first page. The faculty at Riyaaz helped me through it by encouraging me. That’s when I knew how supportive the staff at Riyaaz was.
Even though I joined the program late, I improved dramatically from the guidance of Atanu Roy and the other artists here. I’ll be applying to finish a full term next year!
From this Fair (World Book Fair), I was able to secure two deals for book publishing. I’ve already finished one project and I’m about to start the next project.
Riyaaz really helps you understand what children love in books. It’s not about getting them to read; it’s about getting kids to love reading. My kids love looking at the picture books I designed at Riyaaz.
There’s no children’s illustrators where I come from. In fact, no one really considers that a real job option. I’ve always wanted to do this and Riyaaz is the first program to train illustrators to follow their dreams.
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