Recently, two Calcutta artists-authors returned from Singapore with a new feather in their cap. Their children’s book, Arc of Feathers, was chosen for having the best illustrations at an exhibition, organised by the Singapore Book Council (Asian Festival of Children Content, held at the Singapore National Library) featuring entries from 18 countries. The creators Ritwick Roy and Riddhi Trivedi have weaved Himalayan adventure stories around a kid named Tippu. With the help of his mentor, Badri, the little boy sets out on a journey of being a healer. Instead of sitting on their latest achievement, the duo, who run the creative setup called Roniick, are working on new stories. Here’s what they have to say about the book.
How was Arc of Feathers conceptualised?
Ritwick Roy and Riddhi Trivedi
We wanted to come up with a beautifully illustrated picture book that highlights our creative capacity and, at the same time, wanted to pen down a story as adventurous and intriguing as possible. As creators, we do a lot of illustrated content for our clients. At the same time, we have a lot of childhood memories, full of adventures. One winter afternoon we were returning from one of our comic book launches and outside Fort William we came across a family hailing from the North-east. A cute kid with his family was waiting for a cab. This is when we found the protagonist for our book. We wanted our story to embrace adventure to achieve timelessness.
What makes it different from other storybooks for children?
Arc of Feathers is not only a collectable for those who feel for the environment, but they also care about adventures, like that of Tippu and his Himalayan adventures. The story has an emotional connection and Himalayan folklore translates into a great visual format.
Who does what in the creative process?
We both share responsibilities. If one comes up with an idea, the other person provides all the necessary information about the backdrop, cultural setting and so on. While conceptualising the visuals, we both feel that the audience should be attracted enough to look at the pages time and again. We have put in our best when it comes to the colouring style and look and feel of the characters.
How did you and Riddhi meet?
After returning from Mumbai, I was looking for a colourist to work as a team for a graphic novel. This is when I met Riddhi. I wanted to create the feel of Franco-Belgian comics/graphic novels. Riddhi had the perfect sense of that.
Will Arc of Feathers lead to a series or a YouTube series?
The cover of Arc of Feathers
Definitely. It will be a series and we are looking forward to working on adaptation rights with production houses for OTT or a film.
What kind of storybooks did you and Riddhi grow up on?
I mostly read a lot of comics, British, Franco-Belgian and Bengali. I am a diehard fan of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. Riddhi mostly reads Agatha Christie and Amar Chitra Katha. We both have a big collection of Russian illustrated books for children.
What’s the next project?
We are busy with clients from India and abroad. Together, at Roniick, Riddhi and I have successfully directed and worked on several projects, building a satisfied clientele. As content creators, illustrators and animators having extensive experience in servicing top-tier companies, such as OgilvyOne, Samsung, Cheil Digital, HP, Infosys, Discovery and so on, we have been featured by Creativepool, a world platform for the creative community.
We have plans to take this book series to different platforms as and when the opportunity presents itself. Our readers are awaiting the next book in the series. We are also working on more stories to cover other genres. As animators, we are planning to create a short film with a new concept.