pashmina cover

pashminacover

I’m super excited to share the cover of my debut graphic novel, Pashmina, with you! It was shared with a host of other great covers on Entertainment Weekly.

Have a great weekend!

walking on sunshine & more

 

walkingonsunshine

I returned from San Diego Comicon on Monday and commenced 10-12 hour workdays to complete Pashmina. The convention was my best ever, not because of sales (honestly, they dip every year) rather is was the feeling of being ushered into the greater comics world. Meeting editors, journalists, and librarians – I’ve worked on Pashmina for 4 years and even though Fall 2017 feels far away, it’s closer than I’ve ever been to sharing this book with everyone. I’m nervous but also thrilled.

Plus, I’m almost finished! My deadline is in 2 weeks! My favorite phrase currently is “After Pashmina is done…” I have stacks of books to read, groups of friends to see and trips I am looking forward to enjoying with my family. Oh, and after a multi-year hiatus, sometime in late August I will begin to create & share NEW illustrations  ^_^

Meanwhile, we have an overstock of prints due to some shops we work with shuttering their doors. There are lots of prints on sale on our online shop!

That’s all from me – back to coloring Pashmina. Have a lovely weekend!

 

new site + comicon

Screen shot 2016-07-14 at 9.14.38 AMi’m super excited to share my newly refreshed website* with you (it’s been a long and arduous process and i’m SO happy it’s finally over)! we have new greeting cards, and for the launch a bunch of my mini wood burnings are on sale and our newest product – rubber stamps! we’re taking the bulk of the rubber stamps with us to san diego comicon next week but i wanted to offer a few of each design online.

rubberstampsIG

meanwhile in the studio i’ve been working night and day on pashmina. you can see one of the shaded pages below. i may have said this before – but its worth repeating – this is the hardest i’ve worked on one thing in my entire career. i cannot wait to share this book with you next year! for now, i’m trying to hit my august deadline.
PashWarmcolors
i hope you have a happy thursday!

 

*please note that if you had an account on our old site, you’ll need to create a new account. please email artofnidhi@gmail.com with any questions or concerns. thank you for your support, as always, you make everyday love art possible <3

first second celebrates 10 years

firstsecondbooks

My publisher, First Second, is celebrating 10 years of making books. I first encountered them as an attendee at San Diego Comic-Con in 2009. I remember finding Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, and how deeply it impacted me. It shifted my ideas of what comics could be. I’ve picked up a few of First Second’s books every year since, as a fellow exhibitor in San Diego.

I created this comic to illustrate how I see myself in each of their titles – and it was hard to narrow it down! I didn’t get to include This One Summer, Three Shadows, Same Difference, Battling Boy, Sailor Twain, Sumo, The Undertaking of Lily Chen…agh! I love them all!

As I wrote my forthcoming graphic novel, Pashmina, I had First Second on my mind. Their titles are diverse and literary. When my agent asked me about pitching, I told her that if First Second bought my book, I would be ecstatic… and I still am!
Thank you and congrats, First Second, for 10 years of publishing wonderful books. I am so happy to be part of your family of authors!
#10yearsof01

pashmina helper

pashminahelp

we’ve been fighting the family cold, so progress on pashmina has been slow. but i had a cute helper while working on pages yesterday!

what’s in a page?

pg1a I am working diligently on Pashmina. As I completethe final art, I feel challenged and discover new ways to communicate the story through art andwords. Even at this stage of final art I continue to learn and edit. The evolution of a graphic novel is excruciating but also wonderful. I cannot believe how far I’ve come in what seems like a short time – although I’ve been working on this book for 3 years now. The above page was in thepitch to publishers. Originally page 1 wasan establishing shot of Priyanka’s home. pg1b After a few manuscript revisions, page 1 was her school for a brief moment, until I settled on a driving scene. I trieda “soft opening” which includeda series of shots of Priyanka enjoying driving – hand out the car window, wind in her hair, listening to music. I wanted to contrast her feelings of freedomwith her worried mother and end it with her mom yelling, “PRIYANKA”. pg1c After one of many long conversations with my editor he made the comment that it’s better to start with action. I thought about that and shifted the panels. I began with her mom yelling and it felt right. Instead of an establishing shot, a soft flowing opening, we dive into STORY and their relationship. My editor suggested that I think about how my characters hands can look more natural, and to act out what my characters are doing. For months during the thumbnail process I would walk around our apartment saying lines and acting. Nick would giggle at me as I repeated some lines over and over trying to put myself mentally in the moment. While working on the story and revisionsI was thinking about Pashmina so much that it felt like Priyanka and her family wereliving with us. And in many ways, they still are. pg1d Finally I settled on the right hand placement and after thumbnailing the entire book for roughly a year (which included many revisions small and large) I started on final art earlier this year. As I looked back on the pitches, I thought, “Wow! So much goes into just one page!” I’ve always wanted to make a graphic novel but I never realized the amount of work it takes to visually communicate a long form story. From panelling, character design and acting to story development, line work and shading (and color!) it exercisesevery creative muscle – and I love it more and more every day!

pg1final

priyanka

prisss

 

I’m back in the studio after a 2 month break to be with my daughter. It’s the longest break I’ve had from art in 5 years! My biggest project is working on the final art for my graphic novel, Pashmina. As I opened my completed pages I noticed my main character, Priyanka, looked different in a few panels. I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep her consistent throughout the book. As I revised the panels that bothered me, I thought about how much work isn’t seen by the reader. There’s so much pre-work – sketches, notes, ideas, drafts. Through the next few months as I work on final art I want to share some glimpses of the pre-work with you.

As I worried about character consistency, I pulled up a file with a bunch of Priyanka expressions I drew during the thumbnail process. This exercise not only gave me an idea of her personality, but also how to draw her face up, face down, and from the side. Once I brought this file up, I felt calm. I already did the work that could help me with consistency. I use the file for reference through each page.

This is my first attempt at a graphic novel. The whole process is a learning experience. By the time you hold a copy in your hands, each page will have been revised, redrawn and edited at least eight times. The manuscript had five drafts. The thumbnails had three rounds of editing. The final art will no doubt have at least two. Some pages are easier than others. I’ve read about other creator’s processes in writing and drawing. I’m sure I’m doing things wrong and I know I’ve made lots of mistakes. I’m okay with that. Once I finish, I will know what works for me.

For now, I must push forward, making mistakes and learning along the way.

pashmina announcement

PashminaPg1

I am thrilled to share the official announcement of my graphic novel Pashmina! You can read about the story, my inspiration and see 3 final pages here! I will be working on the final art through the end of this year and into the beginning of next year. As we move forward my publisher, First Second Books, has said I can share progress posts with you, so look forward to those monthly!

Thanks for all your support ^_^

pashmina (big news! ^_^)

PashminaPitch

I am super excited to share that I have signed with First Second (Macmillan) for my debut graphic novel, Pashmina.

This is the big project that made me pull back from daily drawings and I am happy to finally be able to share the news! I’ve been writing (and re-writing, mostly) the book for about a year and will be working on the drawings for the next two years. Thus far it has been one of the hardest things I’ve done in my career and I’m nowhere near finished! The above drawing is one that I used in my initial pitch to publishers. It isn’t final art and won’t appear in the book but I believe it captures my feelings and the essence of the story.

That’s all I can share for now. Have a happy Monday! ^_^

(The official announcement was in Publisher’s Weekly)