Monday, October 15, 2018

Interview with Zahra Marwan, 2018 SCBWI LA Mentorship Award Winner

This interview series introduces the talented recipients of the SCBWI Mentorship Award at the 2018 Summer Conference. Please welcome Zahra Marwan to the KidLitArtists Blog!

About Zahra: 

"Zahra grew up in two deserts which vary drastically and have many similarities in culture. One close to the sea, the other close to the mountains. She studied the visual arts in France, and continues various pursuits to further educate herself. She currently lives in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and works in her studio at the Harwood Art Center, where she incorporates Kuwaiti tendencies into her daily life.

Did the feedback you received during the mentorship critiques either change or confirm the direction of your illustration? Are there any specific examples you can share?

"The feedback I received from the mentorship critiques confirmed the direction of my illustration. All around, I was told that I had a distinct style and point of view, which prior to this had worried me. I was worried my work didn't belong either in the fine art world, or that of picture books."

What kind of projects are you working on now?

"I'm working on two dummies and preparing to participate in an exhibit at the Albuquerque Art Museum."

Is there any type of illustration (or other work) that you’re hoping for in the near future?

"I really hope to create sincere stories which are simultaneously beautiful to see. I hope publishing will render my art more accessible.

Is there one really helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten since pursuing illustration? 

"Keep telling your stories and sharing your work"

Any one piece of bad advice?

"Drawing won't make you money, it's pathetic. You speak Arabic, you should join the CIA. You have gold in your head and you don't know it."

What was one of your favorite quotes or lessons from the SCBWI Summer Conference?

"Tell your doubts to be quiet."

What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?

"The Dr. Seuss series helped me learn English and I then really liked Archie Comics after my cousin gave me a stack."

Where can we see more of your artwork? 


Thanks, Zahra! Welcome to KidLitArtists! We look forward to more from you. 

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