Q&A with the illustrator for Shinoy and the Chaos Crew series

Amit
Tayal

When I was a kid, I used to love watching He-man & Spiderman animation series on TV and soon the passion followed so that I started to draw these characters myself. I also used to love collecting those stickers representing cartoon characters and started copying them and drawing them too. Even my school books were always filled with such drawings.

amit tayal

Shinoy discovers that he has the power to bring his TV heroes into the real world. They must unite to fight an evil artificial intelligence lurking nearby. Inspired by gaming and fantasy, this is a sure-fire hit with reluctant readers and perfect for ages 7 – 9. Brilliantly written and superbly illustrated, it’s a must have for school libraries! It truly is a SUPER series!


I’d like to thank the talented Amit Tayal for joining us today in the VIP Reading blog. Firstly, congratulations on the brilliant Shinoy and the Chaos Crew series, which you helped to bring to life through your fabulous illustrations.

When did you first start illustrating and have you always loved to draw?

When I was a kid, I used to love watching He-man & Spiderman animation series on TV and soon the passion followed so that I started to draw these characters myself. I also used to love collecting those stickers representing cartoon characters and started copying them and drawing them too. Even my school books were always filled with such drawings. I even remember using my superhero scribbles to get the special lunch treat or even get my homework done. That was the start of my passion towards drawing. Later on, when I got exposure of Indian comics, this passion grew further. One wouldn’t guess I’d taken up Chartered Accountancy as career and hung on to it too for a while but this crave of mine never let me do anything else for a long time. I always looked up for something related to animation and cartoons in newspapers. I still have no clue how I would start my library sessions from Account section and end up finding myself submerged in Art books. I knew I wanted to become an artist but didn’t know the know-hows. The iron age of Internet and lack of art school in India kept me away from taking this thing any serious. But the passion persisted and I got an opportunity to get enrolled in an animation institute which opened the door wide enough to turn this into reality.

Of all the titles in the series, what was your favourite book to illustrate?

In terms of books, Creepy Castle is full of suspense, exciting and it has equally funny climax. I totally loved drawing it.

What did you enjoy most about illustrating the series and what were the challenges?

I loved every bit of it. The storylines are humorous and full of adventure. There was this one book where I had to draw doppelgänger of the chaos crew. That was a little tricky to work on. It was challenging to keep the characters close enough look but easy to identify

On average, how long would it take you to illustrate each book?

Depending upon no. Of pages one book of this series took me almost 2-3 weeks to finish.

Where does your inspiration for this comic-book-style of illustration come from?

I grew up reading Marvel, DC and indie comic books and watching Disney cartoons and I love almost all kind of comic book illustration styles. So seems like my illustration style is a mix of Disney animation and Marvel/DC comic books.

Which illustrator do you find most inspiring to you?

I started my career when internet was in its earliest stage so finding stuff to learn from was scarce but I learned a lot from Andrew Loomis books.

What advice would you give to any children wanting to become an illustrator?

Just take inspiration from the kind of work that you like and keep practicing. Take full advantage of internet era, use Google, Youtube for tutorials. There is more material than you can grasp…mostly free. I liked Nick Harris’s work and when I contacted him he was nice enough to share his brushes and painting techniques. Don’t be afraid to work for less money and even collaborations. A lot of people out there are looking for newbies. Think of this time as your practice time. Starting somewhere is more important than starting big.


Q & A hosted by
Rob McCann