Pathways at MICA and Beyond: Avani Dwivedi ’19 (Illustration BFA)

Website | Instagram | Represented by Painted Words

During my time at MICA, I was highly motivated to explore different mediums and illustration styles and find a voice that communicates my stories.

The guidance and resources I received from MICA’s Illustration department nurtured my talent and help me bring direction to my creative career. In Shadra Strickland’s Advance Book Illustration class, I was encouraged to combine writing with my illustration to bring vivid stories to life. Later, these stories received positive feedback from many industry professionals and help me find my agency, Painted Words.

After my graduation, I moved to New York and started writing my first picture book, My Bollywood Dream, while also working at a publishing house and building my freelance career.

Illustration by Avani Dwivedi, “Happy Diwali!”,  2020, digitalIllustration by Avani Dwivedi, “Happy Diwali!”,  2020, digital

Unfortunately, I had to move back to India when COVID struck. However, my two years spent in Mumbai were some of my most formative years outside of MICA. I started applying for scholarships, and competitions, built a reputable client list and received the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)’s BIPOC scholarship. My Bollywood Dream was sold to Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick Press in the US.

The experiences and learning opportunities I received at MICA built a strong foundation for my career.