Artist interview: Tania de Regil

We hope you have enjoyed our first artist interview with Zorana Zivic. This month, we would like to connect you with another of our beloved artists, Tania de Regil from Mexico. Tania uses a variety of media in her work, such as watercolor, gouache, color pencils, wax pastels and ink to create richly textured, engaging images. Through her artworks, we also learn about Mexican culture, such as in this illustration about the Day of the Death, Dia de los Muertos, which is the main theme and inspiration of the 2018 Oscar best animated movie Coco.


This interview with Tania was also done via email. We’d like to thank Tania for telling us her journey with arts.


A short self-introduction 

My name is Tania de Regil and I am an author and illustrator from Mexico City.  I studied Fashion Design and worked as Costume Designer in film for a few years, but I later discovered that the thing I loved to do more than anything else was to tell stories, so I decided to pursue my career in children’s books.  


I love to draw, obviously, and I love dancing ballet, I don’t do it professionally, but I’ve taken classes since I was a little girl.  I also like travelling, and the beach!

How did you discover your interest in arts? How long have you been creating artwork?

I’ve always been fascinated with children’s books and their art.  The fantastic collaboration between Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake continues to be, without a doubt, my favourite of all time. They inspired me to write and illustrate since I was very young, and I guess I I’ve never stopped since then.  


Do you have kids, nieces, nephews, or young family members? What is your favourite creative play or art & craft activity with them?

I have two nieces which I love more than anything.  They like reading books with me and we recently discovered washable chalk paint, so they really enjoy painting with me on our garage floor.  

In your own words, how do you describe your artwork?.

I mainly use watercolour but I like combining it with different media such as gouache, colour pencils, ink and wax pastels.  Each illustration is different, so each image requires its own approach. But I guess what is consistent throughout my work is that I really try to capture what my characters are feeling at that exact moment.


Who is a big fan of your artwork?

My family, of course, and I guess children in general.  I’ve noticed that children are very good at discovering the little details that I absolutely love adding to my work.  

Please describe a favourite piece, or pieces, of art that you created?

My favourite so far is the art I just created for my upcoming picture book entitled “A New Home”, which will be published by Candlewick Press.  Although, I won’t be able to show it until it’s released in spring 2019.


Do you have anyone in mind when creating art, someone you would love to share your art with?

I don’t have anybody in particular in mind, but I do empathize with the characters I’m illustrating.  If they’re smiling I usually find myself smiling as I draw them.


How would you like young children to perceive your artwork?

I would love for them to feel inspired, as I did when I was a little girl, and for my illustrations to open up a world of wonder and imagination.  


How would you like adults to perceive your artwork?

I believe adults perceive my illustrations just as children do, with joy and curiosity, but I hope it sparks warmth in their heart and makes them smile with nostalgia.  


Please tell us about the next art piece you’d like to work on?

I’ll be working on a new picture book soon!


We can’t wait to see your new picture book, Tania, and hope to feature more of your work on Art Picks 4 Kids!

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