Coloring Books “Unleashed” – An interview with the Artist
Q. Why coloring books?
A. I worked with kids for years, I taught them the basics. I wanted to make learning fun and at the same time stimulate creativity. I know coloring books are the best way to do that because when I was a kid, the most I learned was from coloring books.
They are a smart entertainment. Let’s turn off the TV and open a book!
Q. Who inspired you to create these books?
A. Kids, kids, and more kids. I just love them! I don’t envision kids as “kids” I see them as adults in a little body. They have a lot of energy and affinity. I see them as my “buddies”. I associate with them. I don’t have the viewpoint: “You are a kid, I am an adult”. One day I realized: “My best friend is a two year old!”
Q. What made you create these coloring books?
A. First of all, the purpose of creating these books has never been to be “selling books”. I always had children in mind while making them. I taught many kids to read and write and I always wanted to make learning fun and give them a way to use their creativity as well. In addition I didn’t find one single kid that would not cheer at the sound of the word “coloring”. If I could, I would give out these books for free, but if I did, I soon wouldn’t have a table to draw on, pencils and paper to draw with and a roof to live under and no more books or art would come out of my studio.
I LOVE kids and making things for them and I love coloring books myself. An artist is the kid that never grew up.
Q. Did you have coloring books when you were a kid?
A. Of course! I grew up with them! Every year I would ask Santa to bring me a coloring book and he always did!
I learned a lot from them and the things I remember most where those I found in coloring books. I learned about fancy animals like toucans and lemurs and the platypus because I had to color their pictures and I would go up to my dad and ask, “What is this?!”
Not only did coloring books teach me, they also nourished the artist that I am now. I remember vividly one coloring book that had the pictures on the left in colors and the same one on the right to be colored. I would always try to get the exact same colors that were in the book with my colored pencils and if I did not know how to do it I would go up to my parents and say, “Mommy? Daddy, how do I make this color?” And they would advise me to mix the pencil colors. A skill that is now vital for me as a fine artist.
Q. How do you make those pictures look so cute?
A. Good question! I usually never have the character or picture defined in my mind. I let my hand move on the paper and the character shows up looking at me or doing funny and cute things for me. Leonardo da Vinci said: “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no Art”. I guess the best answer is: “THINK CUTE!”
Q. What would you say to those who buy your coloring books?
A. First of all, they are not “buying” a book, they are helping a kid learn and to increase their creativity. Therefore:
“Thank you for helping a child learn and for giving that child the gift of creativity”.
July 1st, 2012