Comic artist Kripa Joshi will be running our next comics inspired Young Curator’s project this September. We spoke to her about all things comics including her favourite comic artists and the inspiration behind her motivational character Miss Moti.

What do you remember about reading comics as a child? What interested you in them?

When I was growing up in Nepal the most popular comics were Tintin, Asterix and Archies. My brother had the whole Tintin series! I liked the sense of adventure in these stories. There were also Indian comics, Amar Chitra Katha, that dealt with Hindu mythology. It was a fun way to learn about complex stories.

I think the general assumption was that comics were meant for children. It was not until I went to New York for my MFA in illustration that I got exposed to the scope in comics and the various genres it encompasses.

Who was the first comic artist you really admired?

There are so many artists I admire! There have been two in particular that have inspired the creation of my comic character, Miss Moti. First is Winsor McCay, an artist in the early 1900’s who created a story about Little Nemo, a young boy who falls asleep and has adventures in Slumberland. This play between imagination and reality was very influential. The second artist is Chris Ware. He is very prolific and a master of design.

You are the creator of Miss Moti, a character who is full of positivity. What was the inspiration for her?

Miss Moti came out of my own struggles with weight and body image issues. But I wanted to make a character that was positive, someone who overcame challenges and motivates others, including myself! The main inspiration was my mother who, despite her weight, is very optimistic, energetic and active.

What are you most looking forward to about leading the Young Curators Workshops this September?

I am looking forward to sharing the incredible and versatile world of comics with young people. I am keen to see the creative way in which they employ this medium and respond to the comic exhibition at The Lightbox.

Thank you to Kripa for chatting with us! Explore more of Kripa Joshi’s ‘Miss Moti’ illustrations here.

Young Curators: Comics will take place over five sessions on Thursdays 8, 15, 22, 29 September 2016 and 6 October 2016 from 4.30pm – 6.30pm.

‘The Story of British Comics so Far! Cor! By Gum! Zarjaz! exhibition will run from 6 August 2016 – 31 December 2016.

All images © Kripa Joshi