ABOUT CARISSA MINA
I write books and draw stuff. As a writer and artist, I enjoy working visually with tangible tools as well as imaginatively with nothing but the 26 letters of the alphabet that make up the hundreds of thousands of words that help me build weird, wonderous, and wacky worlds in my head. To help with selecting these words, I use my Webster’s Dictionary. Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly spry, I will heave open my Compact Oxford English Dictionary. And, of course, when I am ready to put these words in the correct order, I use my Chicago Manual of Style. Just kidding, I own all of these books, but, between you and me, I rarely reference them. I do, however, take comfort in knowing that if someone were to ever break into my house, I could use one or all of these books as self-defense, or to barricade a door. When not writing or drawing stuff, I like to read. When I am not reading, I like to read some more. Sometimes I nap, as I read somewhere that naps are proven to be a good source of creative energy. When I am not writing, drawing, reading, or napping, I like to spend time joking with my husband; arguing with my son; watching movies with my daughter; walking with my two dogs; petting, hugging, kissing, and stalking my cat Skipper (named after Skippyjon Jones); and generally ignoring my son’s bearded dragon Ferdinand (named after Ferdinand the bull). I am currently recovering from an intense addiction to Twizzlers, though, I still eat them nightly. Oh, and did I mention that I own and operate a bookstore? Yeah, I do that too.
As a lifelong fan of pen-and-ink illustrations and somewhat unsetting scenes, I have tried to balance my love of the macabre with a good dose of curiosity and humor. This mashup has led to an unconventional combination of illustrative styles and stories that tend to subvert expectations—or, at least, they subvert my expectations. Sometimes my lines are messy. In fact, I love the messy line so much that, unable to perfect it using my right hand, I decided to draw with my left hand and was instantly satisfied with the shaky result. I also like to explore different mediums. Depending on what the story needs, I may use collage, markers, gouache, watercolors, acrylics, or a combination that is then polished with a little digital magic. My goal is to entertain and inspire children and the adults who read to them, while letting them know that it’s okay to be who they are, even if that isn’t what everyone else expects.