Six Questions with BlueBean
BlueBean says hello with a little wink! The beauty and harmony of nature inspire her artwork. The artist of the popular Gamer Baby series, she loves working on whimsical stories with cute, quirky characters. Her most recent picture book is The Way We Say Hello, written by Andrea Denish and published by Starry Forrest Books. BlueBean creates illustrations, products, and more from her studio in Malaysia. To learn more about BlueBean, visit her website. Here's a link to activity sheets related to her new book.
1. How did you begin your journey as an illustrator?
I love books! Children's picture books have always been one of my favorite books to collect. Maybe it counts as one of the reasons? I think illustrating a book is something I never dreamed of! I love how my art came out on the spreads and told a story with the colors. Currently, I want to create more lovely picture books and it is one of my big goals!
2. What was your favorite book when you were a child? Why?
Jimmy Liao from Taiwan has impressed me a lot since I was a teenager. His arts are quiet, yet so vivid and emotional. I have always loved his books, especially The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination. The illustrations are just phenomenal and filled with details.
3. What three things bring you joy?
Color. Nature. Animals.
The vibrant hues of a sunset or a blooming flower, the calming presence of a beach, and the playful antics of animals all bring a sense of wonder and happiness. Meanwhile, nature and animals remind me of our connection to the world around us. Taking a hike in the mountains, watching a playful puppy or kitten, or simply admiring a beautiful landscape, these simple pleasures always brighten my day. In a stressful and chaotic world, I love to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and wonder around us, and find joy in the simple things.
4. If you could tell readers one secret about The Way We Say Hello, what would it be?
I guess it is a secret that I shared with everyone! This book, of course, is one of the most exciting picture books I have drawn. Since the illustrations are created in gouache and digitally, it's also the first book I have drawn in traditional media. This was the hard part, and it took me a lot of courage to take the first step. I first painted my book spread with gouache, then digitally touched up the painting and finished it.
5. If you read this book to a room filled with kids, what message would you want them to leave with?
"Love what you do! Do what you love!” These are the words that pop into my head. I know that sometimes we are asked to choose between two options. But I hope that in the adult world, we wouldn’t have to select a single answer to a multiple-choice question—we can always juggle as many as possible. And I feel like it's really important for growing kids to put more meaning and love into what they do. The so-called means joy and enjoyment.
6. Who should read this book?
First of all, I would like to thank Mary for having me in this interview. This book is a lovely book, and everyone is welcome to read it, whether you are an adult or young! I also read this story to my cat, Yibby. who I brought home for New Year's and it was a great welcome gift for her.