Nepali Times Asian Paints
Life Times
Inspired by Miss Moti


Kripa Joshi's Miss Moti takes a plus-size woman's anxiety about her body and turns it into a comic book with a strong message: size does not matter.

The word 'moti' in Nepali means 'fat' if the 't' is pronounced hard, and means 'pearl' if the 't' is soft.

The concept behind the character comes from a painting Joshi submitted as part of her MFA thesis for the School of Visual Arts in New York.

In 2006, she took the plum, self-conscious woman from her painting and transformed her into Miss Moti, the main character of the comic book. At a time when the definitions of beauty are becoming increasingly narrow with skinny and fair being the most important feminine qualities, Miss Moti is a role model for some of us heavies.

Joshi says, "I wanted to tell the story of an ordinary person with an extraordinary spark. My mother who is also full of life like Moti was my biggest muse."

Joshi was inspired to experiment with comic book format after reading graphic novels and meeting comic artists in the US. "In Nepal we usually think of comics as funny and light-hearted like the Tin Tin or the Archie series," she explains, "but after I saw the wonderful work of rising artists in New York, I realised that comics can be a great medium for serious storytelling."

Joshi is fascinated by traditional Mithila art, and has retained a similar style in her drawings. While she has completed the air-based Miss Moti and the Cotton Candy and the earth-based Miss Moti and the Big Apple, she plans on completing a five comic volume incorporating all five elements: earth, water, fire, wind and ether. She is currently working on the 'water' theme.

Apart from the Miss Moti anthology, Joshi wants to make a graphic novel about her great grandmother's life from the Rana regime to the present. "It's challenging to put 90 years of real life onto paper and cartoon," she says.

Joshi recently conducted a comic workshop at Sattya Media Arts Collective where she met many promising Nepali artists and had words of encouragement for them: "Just because someone can't draw well does not mean they cannot have comic strips," she told them, "the key is to start small, self publish and distribute your own work."

Stuti Sharma

www.missmoti.com
www.kripakreations.com



1. Lakshmi N
Impressive and inspiring to many young artists both at home and abroad. Would love to read your comic series Kripa ! Great work !


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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