Sebin Simon illustrated the gorgeous Vanamala and the Cephalod, by Shalini Srinivasan. He is interviewed by Shalini for the Duckbill blog.
Shalini: First of all, your illustrations are lovely. I like all of them, really, but if I had to pick one favourite picture, it would be the school of toothfish because they have the best expressions. Which one’s your favourite and why?
Sebin: My favourite out of all the illustrations is of the cephalopod and the sea serpents. I just love them because of their magnificent look and feel, which comes from the patterns on them, and the wavy structure the bodies have which gives them a sense of movement.
Shalini: Can you tell us about your first encounter with a fish?
Sebin: I just love fish as pets. (I still own a four-foot fish tank at home.) I still remember my first fish tank and the fish. I was in my third standard at that time and I had a few goldfish.
Shalini: How do you feel about land creatures? Any favourites? And in general, when you’re drawing animals, how much of it is real-life references and how much of it do you make up for fun?
Sebin: I just love animals whether they are on land or water. My favourite land animal is the horse, I just love horses.
Drawing animals was always my favourite part from the time I started drawing.I see real references and then try to exaggerate a few part to add fun to the characteristics.
Shalini: The page borders are absolutely lovely! Can you tell me a little bit about how you worked on them?
Sebin: Working on page borders were really fun. I illustrated each objects in the border and waves separately. Later composed them into one.
It was little time consuming since the waves and the objects had a fine line to it which i had to maintain through out.
Shalini: This is your second book, yes? What was the first one?
Sebin: Yes, it’s my second book.The first one was for an NGO for rural kids.
Shalini: How is drawing for kids different from drawing for adults?
Sebin: Drawing for kids is completely different. The world that kids inhabit an another level of imagination, compared to the adults. So just a line gone here can be different to their eyes, so we need to be careful but at the same time we can’t be boring. So drawing for kids is juggling cuteness, humour, colours and imagination in perfect balance.
I just love to draw for kids because there i can run my wild imagination horse anywhere while for adults that horse as to be tamed.