Aura: I made the book two years ago, which was just a little before this current feminist moment. I’m lucky that the timing was so perfect! I’ve always been interested and passionate about the women’s movement and feminist history, particularly second wave feminism in the 60s and 70s. I wanted to find a way to talk about these ideas with kids, and when I had the idea of making a book about Ms. Steinem it seemed perfect!
Aura: I sent in a complete book dummy to a conference. My editor there loved it and made an offer.
Aura: I created the book during the first year of my illustration grad program. When I graduated a year later, I was extremely excited to learn that Ms. Steinem was the keynote speaker at our graduation! I had the opportunity to personally hand her a package I made with a letter and paintings, telling her about the book.
Aura: Aviators, yes:)
e: What was your creative process and media for this book, can you walk us through it?
Aura: The illustrations are done in pencil and watercolor. In most of the images I collaged parts together- so each illustration was handmade in parts and then assembled digitally.
Aura: I love this question! For me much of the heart is in the color, which sets the tone and mood. I also feel like each illustration should convey an emotion, or hold a secret that the reader can look for. Something surprising, joyful, interesting or meaningful. Adding thoughtful details can also bring the reader back again and again.
Aura: I really wanted to convey the message to kids to be strong and proud of who they are, and feel like they can dream and do big things! The book is not only about feminist ideas, but about empowerment in general.
Aura: Oooooh I would love to make books about lots of women, but it’s tricky when they’re not as famous as Gloria:) Some women I would love to write about are Jane Austen, Yoko Ono, Maya Angelou...and many more 🌸
e: I look forward to seeing them!