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Taiwanese author believes 'creation is like life'

Children's book writer and illustrator, Laima, says originality is everything and involves a lot of research

Picture book author Laima (National Academy for Educational Research photo)

Picture book author Laima (National Academy for Educational Research photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Renowned picture book author Laima (賴馬) was a recent guest on the latest episode of the I-Fun Learning website's "Celebrity Interviews."

Produced by the National Academy for Educational Research (NAER), I-Fun Learning provides resources for teachers and students. During the interview, Laima touched on a number of topics, including his career path and the difficulties of caring for a baby and being creative after becoming a father.

He started off by describing his artistic process. His work, “A Day of Early Rising” was, he said, inspired by having to get up very early for an event.

“When I've got a story to tell, I usually type it up because words are the soul of the story and pictures are more like the body,” Laima said. “Therefore, the story is most important. When I draw the story, I feel as if I have entered the story and lived within it.”

He went on to say that in order to draw pictures for, "A Day of Early Rising," he got up regularly to see the sunrise and what traditional markets looked like in the early morn.

Touching on his career, he said he worked as an illustrator for Children's Daily for seven years, when he drew pictures for children’s poems, compositions, fairy tales, and other literary works. “I think that work experience was the best training for me and a stepping stone for my career,” Laima said.

The picture book author also talked about how he had to toggle between his career as an artist and taking care of his baby after becoming a father. He said he had to stop the creative process to change diapers, make milk, or take his child to and from school.

“In the past, I drew pictures for myself but now I draw them for my child and a lot of inspiration comes from what I experience with my child, so there is a big difference,” he said.

Laima said his books must be original and that during the creative process research is a prerequisite to come up with the content.

“I feel that creation is like life. At certain points, decisions must be made. Therefore, I hope that children can think clearly at some stage in their lives and make a good decision that they won’t regret,” he said.

Taiwanese author believes 'creation is like life'

Taiwanese author believes 'creation is like life'

Taiwanese author believes 'creation is like life'
(National Academy for Educational Research photos)