07 May Liz DiFiore
Why did you become a children’s illustrator?
According to my mother, I’ve been insisting I’d be a children’s illustrator since I was four years old. Whether or not that’s true, I have been pretty single-minded about this goal since I was in grade school. Looking back on it, I think I just always wanted my art to tell stories.
Now that I’m grown-up, my motivation lies in telling stories that I wanted as a kid, but couldn’t find. I want to emphasize empathy and communicate that those big emotions are okay to feel, and can be managed in a helpful way.
Children’s books do more than just entertain, they teach kids how to navigate the complicated world around them. Then, in that magical way, the stories and illustrations show them how to expand on that world. Imagine something grand, incredible, unbelievable, and inspire them to make those things happen in their own world. I love being a part of those little revelations that turn into big dreams.
What project are you most proud of? What do children learn or understand from it? Why is that important?
I think I’m most proud of my Twitch channel right now. Twice a week (Mondays at 8 pm Eastern, and Wednesdays at noon Eastern) I live stream the creation of my children’s art on Twitch for an audience that gets to interact with me, and I love getting to know them. The videos are titled “The Road To Being An Illustrator” because I think it’s important for kids and adults alike to see the process of being a professional artist; the trials and the successes. I love it when kids watch with their parents. Sometimes they request that I draw their favorite things, and they get to see it happen right in front of them. Other times I’m blown away by the questions I’ll get about my job or industry. Kids are really smart and want to learn about pursuing their passions.
What are you itching to draw or illustrate next?
It’s Mermay right now. MER. MAY. That means I can draw as many mermaids as I want and no one can tell me it’s too much!
Ha, but on a more professional note, I’ve got a picture book contract I’m working on right now and am really excited about! And yes, it has mermaids in it!
Tell us about your latest project. Where can it be purchased?
Last year I had the incredible opportunity to work on a video game by indie developer Burn Phase. It’s a puzzle platformer about a rainbow messenger deity named Iris. She must put her world back into order after a terrible darkness shattered the elemental mirrors that keep things in balance! It’s not out yet, but you can follow the progress at https://www.burnphase.com/.
I’m also in the process of working with independent author Maureen Lynah on her picture book The Enchanted Island Pre-School. It’s about dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and fairies going to preschool! It’ll be published in August of this year on Amazon, so please keep an eye out for the announcement!
Liz DiFiore is a freelance illustrator with a passion for children’s stories. Her favorite projects create empathetic characters, encourage relationships, and inspire kids to imagine the “what ifs.”
Images © Liz DiFiore. Used with permission.