Vani Foundation Children's Literature Fellowship
Illustrator Fellowship awarded to Lavanya Karthik
We feel glad to announce that Lavanya Karthik is the first winner of Vani Foundation's Children's Literature fellowship. Her work has been selected by the eminent jury comprising of famous lyricist and author Gulzar and children's literature expert Paro Anand. The fellowship program is powered by the German Book Office, New Delhi and Takshila Education Society.
Lavanya Karthik is a writer and illustrator of children's' books, living in Mumbai, India. She is also a published author of speculative fiction for older audiences, and comics. Lavanya has written and illustrated two books–'What Does Anu See?' (available in 11 Indian languages) and 'The Lion's Feast'. One of her illustration from “Endangered Animals of India” was selected for the Illustrators' Gallery at the Asian Festival of Children's Content, held in Singapore in May 2014. She draws a web comic called 'Maya Bizarre' that is more autobiographical than she would like to admit, and is also the creator of 'Blunder Years', a monthly comic strip for Youth Inc. magazine.
Lavanya can remember being fascinated with books – both reading and making them – even as a young child. Her love for illustration was sparked by the work of Mario Miranda, R. K. Laxman and Pran, all cartoonists that she grew up reading. She also cites the work of Pulak Biswas, Atanu Roy, Badri Narayan, Manjula Padmanabhan and Bindiya Thapar as strong influences on her development as an artist. She especially admires Chris Riddell, Posy Simmonds, Raymond Briggs and Alison Bechdel for their skills in combining narratives with art. Her daughter is a primary influence in her life as well; raising a child has allowed Lavanya the privilege of being one all over again.
As a storyteller, Lavanya considers herself fortunate to belong to a country with such an astonishingly rich and diverse heritage in art, craft and literature, as she believes her roots are her greatest inspiration.
Lavanya enjoys working with her hands, her illustrations often combine a variety of materials, textures and media. She loves nothing more than the opportunity to experiment with new ideas and techniques, and discover the stories hidden within them, and thinks children are the best audience a storyteller could hope for. Lavanya thinks these are exceptionally exciting times for children's publishing in India and feels privileged and honoured to be a part of it. New stories are waiting to be told, in a host of different languages, and in a variety of new ways thanks to multimedia.
Vani Foundation congratulates its first Illustrator Fellow.