Relationships are difficult things to navigate, especially when we're kids. So, I just love the simple difficulty that arises between Stephanie and her best friend in Cinta Arribas' new MY BEST FRIEND, SOMETIMES, written by Naomi Danis for POW! in New York. Cinta dropped by, all the way from Spain, to share more about it.
e: What was your creative process/medium for My Best Friend, Sometimes, can you walk us through it?
I spend a lot of time creating the characters for my books, in this case, I drew many sketches with pencils and makers. After that, I digitized the drawings and put the final touches using Photoshop.

e: What was your path to publication?
I collaborated with POW! in 2018 with another picture book titled I Hate Everyone. This is the second book I have illustrated with the same writer, Naomi Danis. I love the way she writes for children and I think we make a good team. Jordan Nielsen, the editor contacted me about illustrating the book. She’d seen my work online and wanted to collaborate. As soon as I read the script,I said yes.
e: I remember that one! Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of My Best Friend, Sometimes?
I changed the way the characters look many many times. Their hair style, clothes, how they act... I felt like a movie director choosing actors in a casting.

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?
Heart Art for me happens when a reader feels emotions looking at my illustrations. When I illustrate I don't care about realism, perspective or proportions. What I care about is that they transmit feelings, and it depends on colors, expressions and shapes. Then comes the magic.
e: I got that feeling in the bus scene! How do you advertise yourself (or do you)?
I show my art through my website and social media (Instagram, Facebook, Behance...).

e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
I enjoy the beginning of the projects a lot, when I read the script and make the first sketches. Everything is possible at that moment. The challenging part comes later, when you have to be consequent with your chosen characters and make the story flow.
e: Is there something in particular about My Best Friend, Sometimes you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
There are some things that I put into the illustrations that people are not aware of, like toys I had when I was a kid, the dinosaurs you see in the girl’s room, or things that I liked in my childhood, like making a house with a blanket.
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
This summer I am working on a children's book for a Spanish publishing house that I'm excited about. My dream project would be designing patterns for clothes or creating a book about animals. I love drawing them.

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