Get to Know Our Illustrators: Kunj Bhatt

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How long have you been a member of SCBWI? What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI?

I have been a member of SCBWI-SoCal for about 2 years (on and off). The most impactful thing that I have learned from being a part of SCBWI is how inspirational the yearly regional conferences are. They are a great resource on refilling our creator cups, as well as a great source of knowledge. 

What medium(s) do you use to illustrate? If more than one, which do you prefer?

I love to work with a variety of mediums. However, I primarily use watercolor, ink, oil pastels, and acrylic. Currently, I am learning procreate and having fun with it.  

Are you self-taught or did you study illustration? If you did study illustration, what school did you attend?

Aside from a few art courses in high school and one in undergrad, I am self-taught. 

Do you have a dedicated art space? 

I use my desk for both my art and writing. 

What would be your dream book to illustrate? 

My dream book to illustrate would be one that I’ve also written! I also think that any book where the author and publisher trust me to bring their words to life would be wonderful.

Are you working on any fun projects now? 

Right now, I am starting on creating a mock picture book with text that I’ve written. The story is about the relationship between a granddaughter and grandmother in India. 

Do you write children’s books as well or have any plans to do so? 

I write in many genres. Currently, I have completed a few picture book manuscripts and a young middle grade novel. 

Do you currently have an agent? If so, how did you end up with that agent?

Currently, I do not have an agent but I hope to soon.  

Where can people find you?

My Instagram is @monsoonschai

List 3 to 5 interesting things about yourself.

I was born in Gujarat, India and grew up in Orange County. South Asian/Desi culture is a part of me and my art (written and visual).

One of my favorite places in the world is the local library and I hope to see one of my books on the shelf.

My favorite picture book is Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.

I love anime (Pokémon, Studio Ghibli, etc.), nature, and will never say no to pani puri! 

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