Comic maker, illustrator, printmaker, keeper of pocket dragons and really, really nice person Aleesha Nandra took time to chat to us ahead of her appearance at this years CCZF.
CCZF Hey Aleesha, what are you doing right now?
AN I am currently soggy, trying to dry out from the rain with a cup of tea in my studio…also…answering these questions…
CCZF How long have you been drawing and making comics and stuff?
AN Drawing foreverrrrrrrrrr. Comics I’d say for the past 4 or 5 years!
CCZF Is Catford a long way from you?
AN Yes – I live in Harrow. I suppose it could be further, though. Any tips for an easy route?
CCZF Jade King is coming over from Glasgow and Paul Ashley Brown has a 250 round mile trip so you’ve got it well easy. TFL says its 1hr and a half to Catford Bridge it’s then a ten minute walk to the Blythe Hill Tavern. I promise you it’ll be worth it.
CCZF We first met when we were neighbours at the sadly no longer Bristol comic and zine fair. You were running your table with your very chatty and entertaining mum. Her love and support of you and your practice was a joy to behold. As a father and son comic making duo we know what it’s like to share these times with your family. How has it been for you?
AN You are both so sweet, and it’s lovely to see the both of you tabling with each other. It is the best feeling having a supportive family. It’s great to bring Mum with me to fairs or exhibitions because I think after a few years my family now just ‘gets it’ and they all understand what I do with my life and why I love it so much. My parents have always been behind me 100% and I know how lucky I am to have that – it’s nice to share the fun moments with Mum as a thank you for all of that.
CCZF I hope your mum is coming to Catford. What are you listening to at the moment?
AN My brother’s will probably tell you that I’ve not been listening to anything else other than the album: IGOR – Tyler, The Creator since we saw him live in Brixton a few weeks ago.
AN I would also say that I have recently come back to Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin (I think it’s probably my favourite Zep studio album).
CCZF You recently took part in the Creating Heroines Project which saw you travelling to Nepal making Animations and zines. That’s a bit further than Catford.
AN Just a bit.
CCZF How was that and how has the experience influenced your practice?
AN It was incredible, eye-opening and heart-warming and inspiring all at once. I met some amazing creative ladies and we all bonded over experiences both shared and different. I’d like to think that I made some friends for life on that trip – it also made me really want to delve into and explore my own identity and be brave about the personal work I make in future. The trip really influenced my mini comic : Local Angrej. I’ll be back in Nepal before Catford in November, working on another project with friends. More on that soon, though…..
CCZF In order of preference what are your top 3 favourite soups?
AN Does dhal count as a soup?
CCZF Erm…Stan thinks not but I’m over ruling him … so, yeah.
AN Ok, so dhal is number 1. Followed by Carrot and coriander, then a good old mixed veg.
CCZF Top notch soup ranking from the Nandrha.
What can we expect from your table at CCZF?
AN A new(!) zine of all of my INKTOBER drawings!
CCZF Blimey! They were superb.
AN And copies of ‘Local Angrej’ and then some fun stickers and pins (ideal Christmas gifts, if that’s your thing).
CCZF That’s our thing! Where do you stand on the daytime quiz show Tipping point? Work of genius or complete waste of time?
AN Oh man, can’t stand it. I find the pace of it too slow. Don’t tell my Mum, though…
CCZF We are so telling your mum. If you were only aloud one condiment, what condiment would that be and why?
AN TOMATO KETCHUP. It’s my favourite, my parent’s parting gift to me when I went to University was the largest bottle of Ketchup you can buy. Ask my close friends and family, my love for Ketchup is true.
You can meet Aleesha and hopefully her mum and buy her beautiful work at the Catford Comic and Zine Fair 2019 on the 8th December at the Blythe Hill Tavern 12-5pm.
You can visit Aleesha’s website here