En octubre me realizaron una entrevista para la revista taiwanesa DPI Magazine. Pero se me había olvidado compartirla con vosotros. Raquel me ayudó a traducirla ¡gracias!
Would you share something about yourself with us? Like your education background, your homeland, or anything you want to say.
I was a very shy and introverted child, and I loved to be surrounded by books. When I had to decide what to study, I found there were two things I cherished over the rest: literature and art. I studied graphic design and work as art director for advertising agencies for some years. I have always liked design but but I needed to tell stories, and that’s what slowly put me in the path of literature for children.
When did you decide to be an illustrator? Why?
It wasn’t a decision. It happened, without even noticing it. I enjoyed children literature more and more and the first year I visited the Bologna Book Fair it was a revelation: that was what I wanted to do.
What are your favorite creating materials?
I love all materials related with water: watercolour, tempera, etc. I like to experiment how they interact with different types of papers, with different brushes, with more or less water… I am very fond of the expressiveness, the spontaneity and the strength they provide. I am a little bit chaotic and need to work with materials that can give me immediate results.
Is (are) there any artists who influence you very much? What points of the artists that fascinate you?
Wolf Erlbruch is definitely one of my references. Duck, Death and the Tulip is a masterpiece, full of poetry. I also love The Big Question and The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit, which is really fun. Jimmy Liao also has a very special poetry. The imagination and the power of Kevta Pachovska’s work are very impressive for me. Sendank and Anthony Browne’s books. Sempé’s free lines and his sense of humour are very inspiring.
Would you describe the wonderland in your imagination?
I’m a very introspective and emotional person. I feel very close to poetry; I like to take my time to study the meanings of a line, an empty space, a colour. I feel comfortable in the place that lies between the tangible and the unreal. To find inspiration for my work I always turn to an imaginary snapshot map. Fragments of my memories that create a story. Every text suggests different questions to different readers. You need to be honest with yourself and to look back into your past to find the balance between your personal space and the author’s. It’s a fascinating trip, sometimes funny, sometimes exhausting, towards your inner world.
Is this the first time that your work being selected in the Bologna Illustration Exhibition? How do you feel about it?
It’s the second time. It’s always flattening to see that, among all these marvellous illustrators they choose your work. It’s an acknowledgement for the effort you’ve done. I don’t know what it will mean for my career. Publishers have been interested for my portfolio in Bologna this year and specially for the selected books. But this is a long distance run, so we’ll see!
If this is not the first time that you’re selected in the Bologna Illustration Exhibition, how many times and in which years have you been selected? How do you think about this year’s (2011) exhibition?
I have been selected the two years I have taken part: in 2010 I was selected with Hansel and Gretel, and in 2011 with The Happy Princess. I feel that the level has been very good this year and I’m very honoured to by surrounded by the other selected illustrators.
Would you talk about your work selected in the 2011 Bologna Illustration Exhibition? Where did the inspiration come from? The subject talks about? or anything you want to share with us…
The illustrations belong to a book called The Happy Princess, with a text by Carlo Frabetti. The author tells a fascinating, poetic, mistery tale. It’s a very special book which was a challenge to illustrate. It’s the story of a curious girl who wants to see more of the world than what her father, the king, allows her. She is supposed to have everything to be happy, but still she isn’t, because her world is a lie. I wanted to suggest this oppressive world of lies and melancholy with closed backgrounds without any perspective, dull colours and fake forests…
Which of your works are your favorite till now? and why?
The last two, Telmo and The Happy Princess. I am very fond of The Happy Princess because Carlo’s text is a jewel and it’s a beautiful book. Telmo is completely different - full of colours and joy. Telmo has a character which is very similar to my two sons, and that makes it very special.