Folk Art and Craft in Tulika's Picture Books
Pictures have been integral to storytelling in many oral traditions of India. Phad or patachitra scrolls unroll as the story unfolds, just like pages in a picture book.
Tulika has explored this natural connection between folk art and stories almost from the very beginning – from And Land Was Born and the Under the Banyan series way back in 1997-8 to the recent Where’s the Sun? and It’s All the Same.
The use of folk art in books has become increasingly common. But how can we make folk art meaningful in books for children, not merely exotic pictures that decorate pages? This can happen when the creative process becomes intensely collaborative – between the artist, the writer, the designer and the editorial vision of the publisher. It happens when art and story adapt to each other with an integral purpose, and come together to create a distinct cultural identity, even a contemporary one.
The understanding and insights we have gained from our own explorations of using folk art in picture books is summed in this presentation by Radhika Menon.