Michelle Ripari - Interview (August 2019)
Why do you want to be a published author/illustrator?
Life takes us on a different journey than what we sometimes imagine it will be, and we often need to stop and remember what our dreams were when we were younger. Although I trained as a teacher in primary and special education, I never expected to become injured at work and my life to take another path. Art was a massive part of my physical and emotional healing, so I’d love to promote through my words and illustrations that creativity in any form fosters confidence, helping individuals to take time to enjoy every moment and obviously it’s fun!
How long have you been writing/drawing?
I still have many written stories and drawings that I completed as a child. I have always loved drawing and although there were a few years where I forgot how much, I’ve now returned to art and am a professional fine artist who teaches classes and workshops. I started writing my first children’s fantasy/adventure novel last year and absolutely love writing as well. I would love to be able to illustrate my own books.
How will/did you celebrate your first publication?
I had my first short stories published locally last year in a writing group anthology which also included a couple of my illustrations. As a fine artist who works predominately with coloured pencils, I’ve been very lucky to have been published internationally quite a few times. I’m continuously grateful and strive to improve my skills but to have my stories and illustrations published would be a dream come true!
How would you describe your writing/illustrating style?
My coloured pencil artworks are highly detailed, realistic and very time consuming but in contrast, my watercolour pencil and ink illustrations are much quicker, looser and more on the comical side. I’m still working on my first novel and have a long way to go yet, but I hope it will be seen as a journey that readers can see themselves taking, striving to overcome with some light-hearted laughter.
How has Creative Kids Tales assisted you on your journey to publication?
It has been fantastic to be involved in contributing to the Creative Kids Tales Story Collection 2. As an emerging illustrator it is a fantastic opportunity to start the journey because it appears very overwhelming and difficult, but I can’t think of a better way to become fully immersed in writing and illustration!