Interview with Krishnashish, author of ‘The Paintbrush’

After reading the journey of Raman, we have a lot of questions for the author of this heart warming book, ‘The Paintbrush’

Here are the answers to some:

The Bookoholics: From an illustrator to writer, how did that happen?

Krishnashish Jana:For me, the two always goes hand in hand. The very idea of storytelling, irrespective of the medium, fascinates me immensely. Maybe that also explains why I love graphic novels so much.


TBH: They say a writer’s first book is almost autobiographical. How much of you comes out in The Paintbrush?

KJ: A lot of people have asked me this. I honestly do not have a clear answer. But there are certain things in the story that actually are a part of me – for instance, the things that I personally feel about ‘art’, or the idea of a ‘masterpiece’ and what it means to its creator.


TBH: What did you want the readers to understand or feel after reading the book?

KJ:  I want readers to to see the man buried under all the paints. I believe that even those who have never been associated with art of any kind will also be able to understand what I have tried to say, because art is inherent in all of us. And somewhere down the line, I hope readers will feel that there are underlying themes besides art, because essentially it is the story of a son, a husband and a father, and how a ‘little kid finds his magic lamp’.


TBH: What advice would you give for the people who lose someone important in their lives?

KJI do not qualify to answer this question because, by God’s grace, I am yet to have my share of encounters with grief. But I have witnessed deaths. I had lost a friend when I was very young. A very close friend of mine lost his mother. I just know that we are all visitors, and we will never be ready to see someone go. The best thing we can do, if you ask me, is to try and be a better person to honor their memory, because I truly believe that before the final departure, people always leave a part of them behind, for us.


TBH: What do you think about the current art scene in India? Is it easier for artists to get exposure and make their passion, their profession?

KJ: I won’t say it’s all sunshine and no clouds, but definitely things are much better than they were a decade ago. If used the right way, social media can prove to be a boon. There are numerous websites where an impressive number of artists sell their art. Galleries are becoming more and more popular. Currently India’s graphic novel scenario is changing at such a rapid pace. I follow many sketch-artists and painters who have made YouTube their official platform, and they conduct workshops as well. So yes, things are definitely improving. But there’s a lot that needs to change, and I believe the most important thing that is required is support and appreciation from a very early stage.


TBH: Who is your favorite author and artist?

KJ: One of the toughest questions ever. I can never name one. But I can mention some of my favorites.

Artists – Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Amit Bhar, Vladimir Volegov and Samir Mondal.

Writers – Sharat Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Khaled Hosseini, R. K. Narayan.


TBH: Which part was hardest for you to write?

KJ: A few phases of Raman’s life. The biggest reason is that I haven’t experienced them yet. It becomes easier when a father writes about fatherhood.


TBH: How hard was it to get your book published?

KJ: It was a long journey indeed. But I was fortunate to have people who had faith in Raman’s story. I am grateful to my literary agency team, The Book Bakers, and my publisher, Locksley Hall Publishing, for their faith, support and love. Writing a book is the job of a writer, but getting it published and marketed is the result of the hard work of a lot of people.


TBH: What publishing advice will you give to young authors?

KJ: Again, I am not at all qualified to give advice! But I would like to say that if you have have a story to tell, write it and have faith in it. A lot of people abandon their work because of rejections. Please don’t abandon your work. Be it a 500 page novel or a 5 page short story.


TBH: Is there a second book on the way?

KJ: There is one, yes, but that is going to take some time.