It’s the “fell in love” part that surprised me. I never put it like that before, but it’s true. I have a deep heart feeling about creating children’s books. It’s a feeling so large it takes me just beyond my ability to verbalize. It has a lot in common with falling madly in love and staying there. That’s how I know making children’s books is one of my favorite mediums.
I have worked with children’s book publishers for many years, and for the time being, still do, but I do not personally consider myself a children’s book illustrator/author. I am and always have been an artist. So that’s how I relate to book making.
I am deep into process. After many years of creating art, design and words for books with fantastic editors Dana Goldberg and engaging publishers like Harriet Rohmer, my partner and I suddenly decided to open our own press—basically because we realized we could. We saw the immense potential present in creating books by and for the people with technology close at hand. Using relatively, easily accessible platforms, like Print-on-Demand, together with the abilities we each had, we understood that we could affordably create kickass books.
Much like art, we didn’t really have a choice. We began making books. We just had to. Claiming Face, Gender Now, I See Peace.
Being publishers gave us total creative power. Sometimes as artists and authors, our vision is more far reaching than traditional publishing and current trends allow. But with this kind of independent publishing muscle, we have the freedom to dream as big as we want! We can revision, switch up, freee the whole game; publishing-wise, social-wise, political-wise, spiritual-wise, you name it! We can literally change the face of history through books like never before!
So that’s exactly what we decided to do. We decided to change history. OK, well, not technically, but sort of.
Maya Gonzalez is largely self-taught. She has illustrated over 20 award-winning multicultural children’s books and written 3 with, not an end in sight! Her fine art has shown internationally and appears in numerous books about the contemporary Chicano Art Movement including on the cover of Living Chicana Theory and Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture and Education considered to be "the Bible of Chicano/a art." Ridiculously creative, she’s probably making art as you read this or thinking about making art if she’s driving a car or using the stove. And one of her ultimate passions is inspiring others to create books, because she believes that creating children's books has the potential to be one of the most radical things you can do!
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First Fridays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer , man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
Second Fridays will feature awesome multi-award winning author Marsha Diane Arnold who will be writing about character-driven and/or nature-based books and/or anything she likes :)
Third Fridays will feature independent Aladdin/Simon & Shuster editor Emma Sector who has helped bring many books into the world.
Fourth Fridays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
Fifth Fridays will feature the fabulous Carl Angel award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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