It’s funny how old interests resurface. When I was a kid, there were two things I did a lot: read and draw. I was also very much into creatures and monsters, in part because I played so much Pokémon.
As I grew up, the rational side of my brain kind of took over and for several years I was much more a science kid than an art kid. I would still draw and read plenty, but not nearly as much. Only the creatures thing never really went away. Then, in high school I decided video games were a good area to go into, and I was apt with—almost addicted to—pixel art. …And that got me into art again. I took an advanced art course and eventually decided to take art at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagam campus, in Kelowna. I also started writing around this time.
Going to art school was a big step. I had lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, my entire life, and suddenly I chose a campus in a tiny Canadian city no one had ever heard of. Granted, not a lot of Canada makes it all the way down to Brazil, but still. Anyway, there I went, all by myself.
At first I didn’t really know what I would like to focus on. I took classes in drawing, photography, digital media and creative writing, and I did lots of design work. I enjoy design work, but I could never see myself working with it full-time. Digital media became more of a skill than a medium, and now I use it as part of several work processes, but I rarely make anything 100% digital. Photography established itself as a hobby I’m good at. I do it all the time when I go on trips, and I don’t just take the usual vacation snapshots. Drawing and writing are the ones that really stuck. I found I’m actually pretty good in writing short stories or doing drawings in ink and watercolour, neither of which I had done much of before.
The whole time I stuck with creatures, though. And then, in my fourth and last year at university, I decided to combine my three primary interests: drawing, writing, and creatures. I wanted to write and illustrate short stories about re-imagined mythical creatures. But how to present this kind of project? Small, hand-made books seemed like a good solution. Thus I got into bookmaking, and even took a History of the Book special topics course.
Turns out I still like books. When I finally moved out of little K-Town and settled in Vancouver, I almost immediately started two publishing internships. Actually, turns out I really like books. Not just for reading, but also for writing, illustrating, editing, looking at—making. Publishing.
Now, September 1 2013, I’m literally on the verge of starting my Master of Publishing at Simon Fraser University. I won’t abandon my drawing, my writing, my creatures. Actually, I see my study of publishing as a way to make sure I can continue doing all the things I like. But I will also be helping other people realize their own projects and dreams.