This month, our Hooked on Books author is Lauren Soloy! She is a Canadian author, illustrator and nature lover. Lauren has proudly lived on both coasts and currently resides in Novia Scotia with her family. Fun fact, she currently lives with her family in a 140-year-old house. To learn more about Lauren and her books, read our interview below!
What is Hooked On Books?
Our team at Teachers on Call loves to read and encourage students and their families to do the same. With Hooked on Books, we introduce our community to the latest children’s book with a behind the scenes author interview to learn more. There is also a chance to win the debut book in a social media giveaway, with a grand reveal of the winner(s) by the featured author themself. A large focus is introducing readers to Canadian authors and illustrators from coast to coast with a mix of emerging and well-known literary talent including Chris Ferrie, Jess Keating and Barbara Reid – just to name a few.
About Our Author: Lauren Soloy
Lauren Soloy lives in the wilds of Nova Scotia in her 140-year-old house, and has a Visual Arts BFA with Honours from the University of Victoria and a certificate of Fine Furniture from Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia. Along the way, she has learned to make a Queen Anne Highboy, a pottery mug, a hand knit pair of socks, a headstand, and a mess.
Thank you for entering our giveaway to win a copy of When Emily Was Small.
Thank you to everyone in the Teachers on Call community for entering our giveaway to win Lauren's book, courtesy of Tundra Books!
We received great participation on our Facebook giveaway and loved reading comments on our contest post: Telling us what's your favourite way to make art.
Click on video to find out our winner, selected by Lauren personally!
We’re super thrilled to have had Lauren Soloy with us for an interview! Check out her answers to our questions.
Your illustrations are amazing. Did you want to be an artist as a child?
Thank you! I was always doing art as a child, and writing, too, but I don’t think I realized that being an artist was a career option until much, much later. I went to university for Visual Arts, but after I graduated, my family was like, “What are you going to do now? Why don’t you go back to school and get a trade?” So I did! Sort of! I went back to school and learned how to make custom furniture. I then worked in various cabinet shops for several years. I think it’s hard for kids to imagine doing a career they’ve never seen anyone do. At least, it was for me. I liked science, too, but I always felt like, “Who pays people to be scientists?” It was all a bit of a mystery to me!
What’s your favourite medium to work with?
I haven’t decided yet! I like them all, and I also like how they intermingle with each other. It’s a good way to get a very messy studio, but also some interesting results! Lots of thought goes into the story and the layout, but when it comes to making the final art, I like a bit of chance in the mix.
What would you love to tell children about making art?
Anything goes -- especially when you’re learning. (We’re all always learning -- that’s what makes it so fun!) It’s okay to copy a picture someone else made, to figure out how they did it (just don’t try to pass it off as something original; that’s generally frowned on!). If you make a drawing that isn’t quite right, it’s okay to trace the parts you like, and redraw the rest. The more you draw, the easier it gets! And, finally, it’s totally okay to be inspired by someone else’ work and combine that with ideas from other things you like, then mix in some bits from your imagination, to create art of your own.
What inspired you to write When Emily was Small?
This story was inspired by a story called “White Currants” that Emily Carr wrote in one of her autobiographies, The Book of Small. I started with that as the loose inspiration, and then I added in some ideas from her life and her paintings and mixed in some imaginary things that felt true to me. The end result is When Emily was Small! (Sound familiar? I think this is how most art gets made!)
On a more personal note, I’ve always felt connected to Emily Carr. I grew up in Victoria, just like she did, and her art and writing make my heart soar. I’d love it if my book inspired people to seek her out and experience that thumpety-bump for themselves!
Tell us about the book itself!
When Emily was Small is about a young Emily Carr going on a joyful romp through nature with a wild, wolfish guide, learning to see herself and the world as bigger and richer than before. And she does it all without ever leaving her own backyard!
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