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I, Ekata Mandal, am a self-taught illustrator based in India. I started as a professional illustrator in 2021. I just graduated with my master's degree in Biotechnology in 2020. It was a total lockdown due to the COVID pandemic. I got a lot of time to work on my creative side, to think, and to imagine. as a child I always wanted to become a painter when I grow up. From a very young age, I was familiar with oil paints, watercolors, and all artsy things. I used to see my grandfather, who was a painter too. I always snuck up and roamed in his studio. It was very amusing for me to see all the big traditional oil paintings, books, brushes, papers, sculptures, and so many things. I was always obsessed with colors. I started painting. I started with traditional painting, with watercolors and oil paints. I liked to draw realistic portraits and landscapes. As I grew up I got interested in cartoons and anime styles.
The more I became older my mind got younger. I really loved various children's book illustrators on Instagram, and got inspired. I started my own creator profile on Instagram in 2020 and made it professional in 2021. I got interested in digital drawing so I began to draw digitally with Procreate and it was really fun. Since then I did many commission works. I returned to traditional painting and discovered a new color medium called gouache. I was new to this but I loved the texture of the gouache. After that, there was no looking back. It's like gouache chose me and I fell in love with the matte finish and messy textures. I eventually developed my own style. I got the opportunity to work with MerlinWand for my debut book 'The climate ninja'. I have worked on a few small projects. A children's book about the biography of Berthe Morisot was one of them. After that, I decided to start my own small business. I gathered all the required information and started from scratch. I build an online shop and started selling art prints, stickers, and other illustrated things. After my business grew a little it very obvious what I want to do as my career. In 2022 I opened my Etsy shop and began to ship internationally. It was quite a long journey till now. I am still learning new things and I have got many dreams and plans for the future. More adventures are to be added here. For now, let's sit and gaze at the clouds and small flowers in the grass. To be continued...
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