Folk author: Collaborations between folk artist and publisher, a Tara Books case study | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2052-0204
  • E-ISSN:



This article refers to a specific case study, i.e. collaborations between folk artists and an independent publisher in India – Tara Books – with the purpose of creating book narratives. Central to this article is the concept of the folk artist as author and illustrator as well as that of the publishing process as a community effort. The article begins by reflecting on popular definitions of folk art with the aim of providing an understanding of ‘the function of folk’ in the Indian context. Using examples of two titles – The London Jungle Book (2004) and Following my Paintbrush (2010) – on which this author has worked in the role of book designer, the article examines and illustrates with visual examples the roles and nature of collaboration between folk artist, publisher and book designer. It looks at the development of a folk-art book from concept origin through to completion. The article explores the challenges of working with folk art within the constraints of a commercial book market and queries what place folk art conventions have in the context of communication design.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): book design; folk art; illustration; India; publishing; Tara Books
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