We are talking today with Sadagat Aliyeva, a talented up-and-coming picture book author/illustrator. Thank you for being here, Sadagat. Let's start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in the country of Azerbaijan. As I remember, I always loved reading and drawing as a child. I have an MA degree in Theatre from my native country. I immigrated to the US with my little family in 2004 and got my Associate degree in Graphic Design here.
I currently live in Des Moines, Iowa with my husband, my three beautiful kids, and my two cats. As a day job, I’m a librarian, but I feel like there is a little girl inside me that tickling me to tell stories and draw.
So, I thought I better listen her since I’m very ticklish.
Today we are talking with Joanne Wong, an author and illustrator. Thank you, Joanne for being here. First off, tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Hertfordshire, England. Since 2010 I have lived in my ancestral home of Hong Kong with my husband and a blue-eyed rabbit named Bunni.
What is your earliest memory of books?
Books filled our home when I was a child. My favorite books as a kid included ones by Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. I loved the silliness and humor of Roald Dahl’s writing, as well Quentin Blake’s loose, quirky illustrations to go with it. I also loved Potter’s simple stories and her beautiful animal illustrations.
How did you come to be an author/illustrator?
I’ve always loved drawing and art, so it was a natural progression to take an arty subject at University.
I studied Graphic Design and Illustration at University. I’ve taken on various creative freelance jobs and projects along the way. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to pursue my dream of being an author and illustrator.
What inspired you to pursue that dream at that point in time?
I’ve never thought I had any stories to tell, until I was inspired by an actual dream I had that was a catalyst for me to making a book. During those years, my art was becoming more and more playful and geared towards children; I guess working with children had an affect on my artwork.
What does it look like to watch you work in your studio?