Q. How did you get on the path of a children’s book author?
A. When I was teaching Japanese language in Lebanon, I met art students and got involved in their graduation production. This experience woke my passion and led me to decide to learn art. I started making picture book when I was doing my MA in Fine Art in the UK while my artwork focused on issues surrounding nuclear power. I wanted to create something where I could dream and also give dreams to others.
Q. What do you keep in mind when drawing picture books?
A. First, enjoy myself. Second, look at things from the child’s point of view. Third, don’t include all the ideas, but try to keep them simple.
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. I’m working on my 4th ‘Bocchi and Pocchi’ picture book series, which will be published in the UK later this year. In this story, I have introduced a new character, Baby Sock, modelled after my three-year-old daughter who has been very naughty since she was a baby.
Q. Can you give a message for young people who want to be children’s book authors?
A. Pursue what you love. Express your favourite world. Some people say, “I don’t have the talent.” But I think your talent is in the field that you love. Do what you love and the talent will follow you. You become good at what you love doing – that’s my experience. Even when you can’t open your way with what you are passionate about, if you’re working hard on what is right in front of you, another way will open up. You can live this life only once. Do what you love to do.