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3 & 1/2 Questions: Laura Carlin


3 & 1/2 Questions: A World of Your Own by Laura Carlin


Last autumn, I found this gem at my favorite bookstore in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a picture book + drawing guide, and I adore it because it captures the essence of what we try to foster at Kid Can Doodle: creativity through drawing. The author/illustrator, Laura Carlin, invites us to create A World of Your Own by showing us how she creates her own wonderful world in the book. I love how she combines different media, and charms us with her imagination.


We’re tickled pink that Laura’s graciously answered our 3 & 1/2 Questions:

In your book, you suggest looking at life as a starting point, but you have the courage to abandon reality, and invent a new world. How did you learn to be so free with your drawings? How can we do the same?

I am struck down by the same insecurities as everyone else! Because of being surrounded by stories whilst growing up, as well as being dyslexic, I was always finishing stories for myself. I also have ‘themes’ which I seem to return back to again and again…

While it can all sound pretty self indulgent to reflect on what interests you and why, I think it’s especially relevant nowadays when we’re swamped by imagery and, in our own insecurities, can latch onto what we think we should be drawing or what we think we should like. You have to rely on what sparks your imagination and what you have to work on to embellish it. I think it shows.

The idea of the book is that you use reality as a starting point (it can be difficult to conjure up something from nothing!) but then expand it in your own way. And, most importantly, there is not a right or wrong way of doing so—everyone’s should look different.


Do you have favorite materials or a medium of choice?

The book started out in my favourite mediums of acrylic paint mixed with coloured pencil. I became so engrossed with My World using these that the book became quite closed off for the reader. So the idea of using mixed media throughout was to again encourage the idea that there isn’t one way of drawing/painting/making something. Some children will just read the book, some will respond to a drawing and some might like the wooden peg dressed up as a soldier.


Is/Are there any artist/s who inspires you? Whose world would you want to live in?

Picasso is an obvious choice. John Broadley… But most of all, Andre Francois—I think it would be poignant but funny in his world.


Please complete this sentence: I like to draw __.

Kittens and Soldiers

Thanks again Laura!

We highly recommend that you check out A World of Your Own by Laura Carlin, and do see more of her gorgeous work too.

Images credit: Phaidon


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