Residency and Binny’s Diwali

My Disney residency begins this weekend! I will be painting live at the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney every Saturday (5-9p) and Sunday (4-7p) this month.

Meanwhile I’m excited I have permission to share! I AM ILLUSTRATING A BOOK ABOUT DIWALI FOR Scholastic. A beautiful text by Thrity Umrigar, BINNY’S DIWALI will release fall 2020.

I LOVE DIWALI! I’m half way through the final art and I smile the entire time I’m drawing. It’s a dream project with a dream team. I’m very happy!!

I hope to see you sometime soon!

1 reply
  1. Uma Jayakumar
    Uma Jayakumar says:

    Congrats to you! I love your work.
    I’m a South East Asian writer like yourself. Except, as a tenured professor, my writing is mostly in less accessible academic venues (journal articles, scholarly books, policy reports, legal advocacy). My work focuses on the experiences of women and people of color, racial and gender equity and policy issues (racism, college access and climate, inequities, exclusion), and how individuals interact with and challenge social structures and oppression. I’m best known for my research on diversity and inclusion which has informed Supreme Court cases regarding race-conscious and equitable admissions practices in higher education.

    But I recently—very randomly— found myself writing a children’s book that’s really an adult book for the little girl in each of us women of color. It started off as a joke when I jotted down all the random indian saying that my mom and aunty like to say, which sound hilarious and make very little sense  when translated to English. Somewhere along the way, I decided to bring in my research about how dominant societal and schooling processes work to strip youth of their cultural resources (the untold side of the immigrant assimilation narrative). I also realized that whenever I’ve heard or when I retell my mother’s immigrant story, It’s always in reference to or centering a man (e.g., she got an arranged marriage and moved to the U.S.) as opposed to centering her voice and perspective  (e.g., she had the courage to leave behind everyone she knew to move to a new country of complete strangers). What I ended up with is an adult children’s book titled “Lost in Translation” that centers immigrant mothers and the knowledge they pass along to their little girls. And the sayings add a touch of humor. I’d love to share it with you and discuss a collaboration. If it happens to resonate with you, maybe you could consider doing the artwork and publishing together.

    Please reach out if interested. Hope to hear from you!

    Uma Jayakumar 


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