Carme Lemniscates' TREES

Sometimes you can feel the joy that went into the creation of a book. Such was the case in Carme Lemniscates' TREES. And it was confirmed when I watched her video tutorial (below). Her sense of PLAY is contagious! I'm thrilled she stopped by (all the way from Barcelona) to talk about her new book!
Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for these interesting questions; a pleasure to respond to them:
e: What is your creative process/medium, can you walk us through it?
Ideas arrive, as well as images. This is what first happens; but then I need to express them. Inspiration is one part of the whole thing; next step is to give “body” to this inspiration. Sometimes the feeling, when you are inspired, is as if you where at the top of a mountain and can see everything, and then suddenly, next second, you are at the bottom of that mountain and need to walk up to reach again that view. You have to create from zero what you have seen. This is creative expression, and you have to find, or even better let to arrive, the right word and the right image. At this stage I am somehow eclectic in my way of writing as well as choosing artistic techniques. I like to experiment with different mediums such as collage, painting, drawing, grattage, woodcut... and I like to let characters and stories to find their own voice and expression.
  e: What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?
In my view, everything made with soul has the magical attraction I guess you mean by “Heart Art”. And to me this quality is not restricted to Art, in my opinion, you can find “Heart/Soul Art” in a poem or in a children’s book, but also in a speech, a meal or a conversation. When we are completely committed to what we are doing then something works there that produces, I believe, this magical attraction you talk about. I had an old teacher of Chinese calligraphy when I was very young, who always said: “When you write an “A” you have to feel, to be the “A” itself.”  
e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of TREES?
The book TREES is a direct result of my experience in Nature and with trees in particular, and the reflections I share with some children in a school workshop a few years ago. It was really a very gratifying experience!  
e: How do you advertise yourself?
  I have a wonderful literary agent, Adriana Dominguez from Full Circle Literary, and I also have a website.
  e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
The best and more challenging part of my work is the responsibility —and also the joy— involved in creating contents for children. One day a child, somewhere in the world, will open that book. Children are the future, children are genuine, they have no preconceptions yet - we have the most extraordinary audience!
e: Is there something in particular about TREES you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
On the one hand TREES has an ecological message, the book aims to encourage love, and respect for trees and Nature in general. On the other hand, by ascribing a somehow anthropomorphic qualities to trees —they have their heads in the clouds/ their feet on the ground, help one another, are generous, and so on— the book encourages reflection about some of our own attitudes as humans.
Download some fun activities to do with the book HERE.
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
Following TREES, I have just finished a new book for Candlewick Studio, BIRDS, which will be launched next year. Right now I am also working in new project in this line, again observing the natural world and learning from it. I can’t advance more about it at the moment, but just say I am working finding ways to encourage reflection, knowledge and love for the beautiful and magical world that surround us. I have also recently illustrated a wonderful story by Jennifer Adams - I AM A WARRIOR GODDESS, which will be launched this month by Sounds True.  
(Check out this wonderful tutorial Youtube video by Carme.)
Thank you so much Elizabeth to give me the opportunity to talk about my work.
e: Thank you for visiting, Carme!

TREES. Copyright © 2015 by Lemniscates. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
Studio/work-in-progress pics ©Lemniscates.

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