Bookroo Interview With Paula Vasquez
October Bookroo boxes have started arriving! We loved finding the picture books for October’s boxes, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
We think fall is such a fun time of year! The leaves in the trees are changing colors, the air is crisper. And it’s time to break out the jackets and wool sweaters. Speaking of wool, isn’t Lily Wool a super fun story! We were really excited to send it, and today we’re happy to bring you an interview with the author and illustrator of Lily Wool, Paula Vasquez.
Images courtesy of Paula Vasquez
Paula is a talented author and illustrator who is currently living and working in Santiago, Chile, though her work and studies have taken her all over the world, including Spain, London, and New York. She studied graphic design before pursuing illustration and graduating from Finis Terrae University. She also studied at Spain’s beautiful EINA Escola de Disseny i Art, located in Barcelona.
Bookroo: Lily Wool is such a fun book about someone who is not afraid to be themselves. Why did you create the story?
Paula: It started with a comic I made a long time ago. Years later, while studying a writing for children course in London, we met again and I thought, “Why not make a story?”
I have always felt a bit like Lily Wool, with many dreams and multiple times it has not been easy to reach them. I made this story for me and for all those people who, like Lily, struggle for a dream and, even if there are adversities, they never lose hope.
Bookroo: Where do you find ideas for new stories?
Paula: In general, my ideas come in the form of images and pop into my head when I least seek them: walking down the street, drinking coffee or while reading a book. I have learned that when an idea comes up you have to act fast! The first thing I do is to stop immediately what I’m doing and write it down. Ideas go as fast as they come, so I always have pencils everywhere. In the case of my book “Not what it seems”, the idea showed up when I was falling asleep and I became so excited that I turned on the light and began to draw.
Bookroo: Do you have a favorite part of creating a new book?
Paula: My favorite part in a new book is the creation of the characters. I ask myself many questions, like What does this character look like? What is his or her world like? What will his or her personality be like? What material should I use to represent him or her better? I love to investigate and draw for days to finally meet my characters.
Bookroo: What have you enjoyed about working and living around the world?
Paula: I come from a country that is in one of the southernmost corners of the world, separated from our neighbors by The Andes that reaches up to 23 thousand feet high. I think it’s for this reason I’ve always liked to travel abroad. Working abroad has been wonderful, knowing different cultures, ways of working, people and even new meals, has enriched me as a person and as an author.
Bookroo: Aside from your work as a children’s book author and illustrator, what are your other interests?
Paula: I describe myself as a person who likes to do many things at once. I love reading, watching movies and drawing. I am also a great collector of books, teapots, mirrors, printed papers and miniatures. I like beautiful objects.
But my great passion is to travel. I always have a bunch of destinations in mind that I would like to visit. Next year I will travel with my family to Italy and take advantage of attending the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
Bookroo: Are there any stories you’re currently working on that you can share with us?
Paula: These days I have been busy working on a new book for the little ones and even though it’s too soon to reveal much, I want you to know that I’m creating the next Lily Wool adventure!! Yes!! I’m very motivated! I hope to have more news next year.
We really appreciate the chance to learn more about Paula and her work as an author and illustrator. Yay for more Lily Wool! You can learn more about Paula on her website, where you can also find fun activities connected to Lily Wool, including tutorials for drawing your own Lily Wool. And please let us know what you enjoyed from the interview in the comments below!