Sandhya Prabhat's IGNORE THE TROLLS

Here's a picture book that addresses issues I never had to deal with in my childhood - online bullying. Author Jordan Gershowitz took on modern-day bullying in this beautifully-illustrated book. Sandhya Prabhat dropped by to share more about it's creation.
e: What was your creative process/medium for Ignore the Trolls, can you walk us through it?
My medium of choice for professional work and for most personal work, is digital. This is because I’ve grown really comfortable and fast with it over the last eight years or so and find that it can be used to emulate a traditional medium when needed. For a picture book such as this one, I first receive and discuss the script with the publisher and/or author. I ask for clarifications and notes where they’re required. Following this, I design the main character(s) of the story based on the descriptions provided. When we finalize this, I work on one page or the cover of the book. This would help us determine how the overall aesthetic and colour scheme would be like. I also create rough storyboards for each page in parallel. On taking feedback and incorporating changes into the storyboard, I paint the pages of the book one by one.

e: What was your path to publication?
I completed my Masters’ Degree in Animation and Digital Arts from NYU Tisch in 2012, following which I have been working independently. I’ve loved to draw and design for various purposes and kinds of projects such as short films, apps, movies and books. After dabbling in editorial illustrations and short comic narratives and showing these around, in 2015, I got a chance to work on six picture book titles. I’m lucky to have now created over 15 picture books and also some illustrated children’s books in other formats.
e: What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?
In the context of picture books, I love when the image can show something that the text does not explicitly tell, and together the image and the text can come to mean. This sometimes means composing the image to draw the eye to a part of the page that’s exciting, or to include little details around the page that are great to discover on reading the book more than once, or to capture the mood of the text by intelligent use of colour and space. What to not show on a page, can also be important: sometimes less can be more. This helps the reader wonder and thereby discover.
e: How do you advertise yourself?
My work is on my Instagram, updated very regularly. Most of my networking is via social media. I update my website and Facebook as well but am largely connected to clients and artists via Instagram. I’m at
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
I love being a creator. I love new projects and different design challenges. I love deadlines and timelines and collaborations. I’m not as fond of being my own accountant or my own publicist, but they come with the job of being independent!
e: Is there something in particular about this story you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
I’ve enjoyed being a reader of this book as much as I’ve enjoyed being its illustrator. The book captures a theme and sends a message, that are relevant to several walks of adult life, and not just to a child’s life. I love this about it and hope it will have many adult readers that can relate as well!
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
I’m working on a few more books, an animated sticker project and a short animated film, all of which are nearly complete. As long as I’m illustrating and animating (and getting paid enough!), I’m already living the dream, however, I hope to have time to work on some personal book and film projects soon too.

e: Can't wait to see more!

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