Trash Talk with Bhavana Vipparthi

Posted by Remya Padmadas on March 13, 2017

Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi, has lived and studied in Bangalore all her life. Having finished a Fine Arts course at Srishti, School of Art Design And Technology, she went on to do a masters in animation film design at NID in Ahmadabad. Her mind is now consumed by her terribly talkative two and a half year old son, a perfect dog, and a fellow animator husband. She makes up a million stories a day to stay sane. You can find their work on

When I was given the opportunity to work on a book for Pratham Books, the script that got my attention was the one on garbage. Chikoo, a little litterbug gets a dose of her own messy medicine, when all the trash she keeps carelessly throwing around, comes back as a big cloud of smelly garbage that hangs over her head. Managing our garbage through very doable means like segregation and composting, has always been a cause I support. And I was very happy to get a chance to do my bit for this important issue. The script by Karanjeet Kaur was quirky and unusual. As I read it, I imagined a mixed media/ collage approach would work really well with the theme.

I knew straight away that the garbage had to be real. It would add a great texture to the images along with being the only effective way to show the reality of our very serious trash problem. I collected our trash at home over a few days, arranged it and photographed the cloud that would haunt Chikoo.

 After the initial rough page layouts were done, I had a lot of fun exploring ways to show other elements. The flies that swarm around the cloud of trash were done with a dab of paint and fingerprints for their buzzing blurry wings. 

The odorous vapours were cut out of OHP sheets and painted, as the paint dried on the plastic surface it left interesting organic patterns. 


The backgrounds were done with watercolour and I used different kinds of leaves as stamps to make trees and bushes.

The ground and park railings were also created using different materials as stamps. 


With this abundance of different textures, the characters had to stand out on the page, and making them cutouts solved this problem effectively. The final characters were drawn on paper, cutout, and carefully painted. They were made in different parts with the hair, head, and body as separate pieces. Legs and hands were drawn on the computer later. We always draw from our own influences and the uniforms are the very same ones that I wore as a quiet little girl in primary school. 

All the different elements, backgrounds, desks, characters, flies, smell etc,were first photographed and then cleaned up on the computer. The final pages were assembled on Photoshop. Where most projects I work on start and end digitally, it was a welcome break to cut/paste/paint, explore and create something unique for this book.

You can read 'A Cloud of Trash' by Karanjeet Kaur and Bhavana Vipparthi by clicking on the image below


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