It’s about Loving What You Do with Raissa Figueroa

Hi everyone! I am over the moon with happiness because today I get to chat with Raissa Figueroa! She is the illustrator behind the beautiful art in Sophie and Little Star, We Wait for the Sun, Oona and The More The Merrier. I’m a huge fan and am excited to share what stories inspired her and her wish to children everywhere.

Rainbow Bridge from Raissa's Etsy site

Hi Raissa, and thank you for joining us! Can you share with us what your first memory was as a child where you connected to a book?

My mother was avid about reading to my brother and I when we were kids. ‘Twas a very precious night-time ritual. We were expected to be safe and snug in our beds by 8pm if we wanted a story read to us. It was either that or we got to stay up for an extra half hour to watch some of our favorite cartoons. We almost always chose the former. Who would pass up a chance to rest your head on your mom’s lap as she transported you to different worlds? She’d do the voices of different characters and everything! It’s hard to choose just one book as we went through so many, but as an adult a few titles that still stick out in my mind are The Giving Tree, Rainbow Fish, Where the Wild Things Are and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory! It sounds like your mom put her whole heart into reading to you and your brother. As a mom, I love reading stories with my kids because it is a chance to be close and share a moment, a story, and a journey to another world. When I read, I love hearing the words just as much as seeing the world the illustrators created. The art brings picture books to life, and I love seeing young readers search the pages as the words are read.

In what ways do you hope your art will impact the lives of children?

I can only hope that my art inspires future kids to perhaps pursue illustrating as a career. Growing up I always loved doodling but as time wore on I sort of pushed art aside to focus on a career path that wouldn’t leave me “starving”. It still blows my mind every day that I’m able to do this for a living. Had someone told me it was a legitimate possibility earlier I definitely would have stuck with it! Doing what you love, whatever it may be, is not only just an option, but it’s the best one you can make.

I love that! Being inspired is such an important part of life, and I hope that all children would be given encouragement to explore their interests, whatever they may be. Because with support, children will feel secure to try new things and experiences, which could potentially lead them to their passion in life. #Books4KarachiKids are working to provide access to books for the children of Karachi. We know books open up a world of possibility, and this is something we hope to achieve for them. Thank you for sharing your wishes with us, Raissa. And thank you to the readers. Have a great day everyone!

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