Post by Evan Turk
“Have I not told you how anger is like electricity?
Anger can strike, like lightning, and split a living tree in two.
Or it can be channeled, transformed.
A switch can be flipped an it can shed light like a lamp.”
Where there is a shadow, there is always a light. Our shadow is often the worst things we believe about ourselves: the things that make us feel unworthy. For Arun, in Grandfather Gandhi, this was his anger.
“How could he, a Gandhi, be so quick to anger?”
“Grandfather didn’t have to say it. I’d never live up to being a Gandhi.
I’d never be at peace.”
In the original thumbnail sketches for the book, I tried to think of ways to use shadows to communicate how Arun was feeling. The shadows could show his inner anger, the pressure to live up to his grandfather, and his untapped potential.
The contrast between light and dark, often with the sun or moon beaming overhead, goes throughout the illustrations in the book, illuminating Arun’s inner struggle.
Arun’s shadow follows him, showing how he sees himself. He sees his anger as an uncontrollable force within himself, and something that makes him different, monstrous, and unworthy.
Throughout the story, Arun learns that his anger does not make him unworthy, but presents him with a choice of how to use that anger.
Shadows can be dark and frightening, but they also have the power to unify, connect, and make the shape of things more apparent.
Your potential is all about how you want to see yourself, and whom you choose to be.