The Indian Artist, Final Year: Leela’s Braids

Good evening everyone! I hope that you are all doing well! I know that I have been a bit MIA but I wanted to come back with a post about a project that has been my pride and joy this past year. On Thursday, April 26th, Pages for Pediatrics at University of Michigan sent out its first children’s book for publication and production. I received our new books in hand on May 2nd! As I mentioned in my last post, I completed illustrated this book from cover to cover. It was an incredible labor of love and I learned so much throughout the process.

I have been doing art for as long as I can remember. However, I didn’t start calling myself an artist until senior year of high school or even early college. There is a certain responsibility that an artist holds in my opinion, the job of navigating visual media in a way that is respectful, striking, and even controversial. I have done a really good job of challenging myself within the confines and boundaries of my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I have continuously found ways of pushing myself, but it wasn’t until Leela’s Braids that I was confronted with something that I had NEVER done before in a medium I knew absolutely NOTHING about. It was humbling.

Teaching myself the ins and outs of digital art and children’s book creation was an incredible process. I still have so much to learn, but it has given me so much confidence. As a future physician, it is my dream to complete write and illustrate a series of children’s books discussing different topics in medicine and various diseases. For any of you who are interested in or have even considered writing and/or illustrating your own children’s book, I would say to absolutely go for it! It can be very harrowing but there are so many wonderful free resources out there and in this day and age, the internet is the best classroom. If you are interested, please also feel free to reach out to me!

I want to thank all of my readers for the wonderful support all of these years. Without this blog, I may not have had the courage to take on this project and many before it. Please feel free to reach out to me or comment if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts! If you would like to see my work, please feel free to check out my website and follow me on Instagram.





Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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