KLCN Interview: Maine Diaz

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Hey #KidLitCliffNotes readers! I’m excited to share this interview with Maine Diaz, illustrator of LET’S DANCE which was written by Valerie Bolling! Maine has taken time out her schedule for this #KidLitCliffsNotes interview.

Maine Diaz is an Argentinian artist who has illustrated several children’s books in English and Spanish. Some of her most recent projects include: I Am Darn Tough by Licia Morelli, Let’s Dance by Valerie Bolling, Slime King: Chemistry by Catherine Daly and others. Spanish titles include: Tengo un Zombi by Sol Silvestre, El Dragón Perezoso by Kenneth Grahame among others. In 2002 with Crimsomnia Studio, she was a finalist at Ford’s “Saldras mas” publicity contest, with “Habitos noctunos” short. In 2005, she won first prize for the character design category of Bizpills, España. When not illustrating, she also enjoys swimming, writing, taking photos. Maine is working on projects yet to be announced.

6 Questions With Maine Díaz

KLCN #1: LET’S DANCE covers dances from around the world. How did you research the dances and clothing for your illustrations?

MD: I researched a lot about the clothes and dances. I watched videos about each dance and also listened to each type of music. I´m not much of a dancer, but I do like music, it is very important in my life, so I connected with the book through it. 

KLCN: Connecting with the story is very important, muy importante! It is a lot of work to create a book!

LET’S DANCE art by Maine Diaz (2020)

KLCN #2: The perspectives are wonderful! Did you make many thumbnails?

MD: I usually start working on a book searching for a visual concept. In this case, it was clear that the kids had to have all attention, so I used simple backgrounds set behind them. Then between the illustrations and text, I used rhythmic and dynamic patterns.

Once I had the concept, I made thumbnails with very loose lines and a tiny storyboard to see them all in order to get the flow of the book. During that stage, I found the perspective necessary to get that dynamic feeling of movement.

Maine Diaz

KLCN # 3: What art mediums do you work in?

MD: I like to work in watercolor, gouache, and digital. I love to mix everything when I can. 

LET’S DANCE art by Maine Diaz (2020)

KLCN # 4: They are stunning. Mixing mediums are a fun way to experiment with art. What is one thing you learned after making LET’S DANCE?

MD: I definitely discovered new dances like the Kuku or Long-sleeved dance, and they are amazing. There is also this social thing that happened because this book was released when covid started and we were all in quarantine, so everything went online. Valerie invited me to participate of some online events and I’m mostly a shy person, so I had to learn to face shyness. To be honest , it was great. Valerie and I had wonderful times at those events. She’s awesome.

KLCN: It takes a lot of bravery to talk about your work and to market. I’m so glad you did it and had fun!

KLCN #5: What is one tip you would say to a new illustrator?

Love what you do and never stop learning!

Maine Diaz
LET’S DANCE art by Maine Diaz (2020)

KCLN # 6: Absolutely! I imagine as creators we are all students at heart. So final question, what is the last #kidlit book you read?

MD: That would be LOST AND FOUND by Oliver Jeffers. I love his books. It is not new and I’ve had I had it for years, but I go back to it from time to time. So far it´s my favorite one.

KLCN: That’s wonderful. I definitely have books I go back to for inspiration, too. It’s important to return to the stories we love. Thank you again for sharing your process with the #KidLitCliffsNotes readers. Gracias, Maine!

Want More? Maine Diaz can be reached at her website, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

Book Giveaway

One winner will receive a copy of their choice of one of Maine’s books!

  • Read and share this interview by 2/11 at 11:59pm EDT.
  • Leave a comment for an extra entry.
  • Winner announced with the 2/12 blog post.
  • US residents only.
Must be 18 years or older and a US resident to enter. The recipient will be selected at random. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

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