Ever since I could hold a pen I've wanted to be a writer. Well, almost always a writer and something else: policewoman, firewoman, farmer, politician, lawyer, economist ... and a writer. I think it is the only thing that has remained constant during all these years. I still haven't exactly figured out what I want to be 'when I grow up', but being a writer will always be part of it.
I have written terrible poems, short stories, I have a blog that looks more like a newspaper and yet I never thought I would write for children and that would be my first real project.
I have 2 children, Eric and Nora, and it is true what they say about how motherhood changes the focus of your interests. I have written this book for our family, so it could open the dialogue around some aspects of feminism that need to be absorbed at this very early stage. In a world whose audio-visual and literary market still seems to perpetuate the outdated concepts, I also wrote it for all those families who share those values but can’t find the appropriate tools to pass the message to their kids,
My plan is to write more Mika & Lolo books, and use them as complements to family conversations (always the most important tool) for all those situations that are perhaps slightly difficult to discuss - we can have drawings and characters that kids can identify with and that let us communicate with them in a more effective way.
This project has made me happy since the moment it crossed my mind. First, when it was just a very generic idea: a bilingual and feminist book for kids, then while I was writing it and got to know the two cousins full of questions and innocence, after that it was the emotion of seeing them almost alive, through Paula´s vision…each step of the way was reassuring me that it wasn´t only a stupid idea that you once have in the sofa, but the exciting beginning of something.
I am a mum now, and (almost) a writer. I think my younger me would be satisfied enough of how things are turning out, and I am full of energy to face the challenge.
Here I am writing the book in a café in London, while breastfeeding Eric. Chris said that that this would be an important photo one day to look back at the the happy place from which this project was born. and here it is!
Pablo Picasso said, “every kid is born as an artist, the challenge is to keep being an artist when we grow up”. I really stuck with my intention to be one, it has always been my passion. A difficult choice, in any case. Since I can remember I have always had a pencil, a crayon or a brush in my hand, and although I have been through many phases (as everybody else, trying to find my way) art has always been there.
When I was little I wanted to be like Van Gogh or any of those famous painters that I admired. I thought that maybe I was born in the wrong period. Looking at the past and wondering about the future I always questioned where art was heading, and where it would leave me with my pencils and my brushes. Who could have told me that my first illustrated book was going to be in digital!
Mika and Lolo gave me the confidence I needed to work with them, and while I was creating them we started to know each other, and they just told me what they needed. It was easier to draw them every time, they just seem to appear in my tablet as if they had always been there.
It has been a great experience working on this project. It has inspired me to continue knowing that this is what I really want to do...