French-Italian artist, illustrator and bookmaker Sophie Benini Pietromarchi is in India this week, at the invitation of the French Embassy. Participating in Jumpstart, an annual festival for children’s content creators, she is also conducting an interactive workshop for children at Hippocampus entitled You and Your Favourite Colour.
Benini Pietromarchi’s Indian journey began when her guide to bookmaking for children, The Book Book was published by the Chennai-based Tara Books in 2008. More recently, they released her The Colour Book, a practical guide and a whimsical ode to colour. “The workshop is inspired by The Colour Book,” says Benini Pietromarchi, adding, “the children will create their own book about their favourite colour. At first, it will be black and white, but slowly they will fill it with many shades. I hope it will help them appreciate the various moods of the colour they choose.”
Despite the success of her books in India, this is Benini Pietromarchi’s first visit to the country. Her illustrations use collage art, and many of the collages’ elements have sourced from India, including bindis, stickers and Tamil newspapers. “For me, it is a dream come true,” says Benini Pietromarchi. “I’ve imagined India a lot, and now that I am here, I feel as if I’m walking through an illustration.” While she is not here to directly work on any forthcoming projects, the artist has high hopes for India’s creative energy. “I’m sure that being here will inspire more work,” she confides, hinting, “Although ideas for books do have a habit of coming when you least expect them!”
Koramangala. August 30,
11 am. Registration required.
— Maegan Dobson Sippy