Interview with Veruschka Guerra
Interview with Veruschka Guerra

Interview with Veruschka Guerra

Author: Administrator Account/Monday, August 01, 2016/Categories: Coloring Books for Adults

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Our Lady’s Garden is one of Pauline Books & Media’s first coloring books for adults. It was created by a talented Brazilian artist named Veruschka Guerra, who was kind enough to spend some time chatting with marketing writer Jeannette de Beauvoir about the process of creating the book and her thoughts and feelings behind it. 

Jeannette: First of all, thank you for doing this book: Our Lady’s Garden is exceptionally beautiful. What inspires your art?           

Veruschka: Everything! Nature, children’s smiles, and life’s exciting and profound experiences. 

Jeannette: You make great use in your work in general of bright and beautiful color, and now you’ve created a coloring book. What does color mean to you? 

Veruschka: I love to paint with many colors, they connect directly to the intensity of emotions. The visual language of the color is the element, for me, that best reflects the meaning of the image. 

Jeannette: How is your work grounded in where you live and work? How does it relate to the place itself? 

Veruschka: I live in João Pessoa, a city of amazing beaches in Brazil, a country of vibrant colors, exuberant landscapes, and a very creative and expressive people. I feel that this is related to my necessity, in addition to color, of drawing exuberant, detailed and expressive forms. 

Jeannette: When did you do your first painting? Have you always seen yourself as an artist? 

Veruschka: I started to draw and paint when I was three years old. My parents, to my delight, encouraged me a lot. When I was 10 years old I started going to drawing courses, and then after that to study painting in the Museum of Art and Art Education at the university. I specialize in illustration of children's books in Italy at Fondazione Mostra Internazionale di Illustrazione per l'infanzia Stepan Zavrel, and this year I had the great joy of having my first book, The Dream of Karim, nominated for Brazil's most important literary prize, the Jabuti Award. 

I never wondered whether I was an artist or not. I simply love to illustrate, so the work happened naturally. 

Jeannette: You do a lot of projects for children. How is it different designing something for adults? 

Veruschka: In the case of this coloring book, I didn’t see any differences, because my focus was on the theme, Our Lady’s Garden, not on the age of the people who would buy it. Although the book is for adults, when it was released in Brazil I saw many children asking their parents to buy them book! It works the other way, too: when I paint for children, many adults want the books for themselves. 

Jeannette: It must be very different doing a coloring book and knowing that the people who color in it won’t necessarily make the same choices you would make. Is it difficult to let go of that control? 

Veruschka: That makes me smile… No, it was not difficult. When I fall in love with a project, there aren’t any problems, only a search for the means to make the project happen. As the proposal was precisely to encourage people in the serenity and introspection that comes from the artwork, I’ve quite liked seeing the diversity of how each person painted.   

 Jeannette: How did you come to do this project? 

Veruschka: When I saw this positive wave of coloring books all over the world, bringing a serenity so necessary in difficult times, I was happy for because of both the art and the serenity I saw in them. I see art as having a role as a peacemaker. In the same week, I received thousands of messages asking me why I did not make a book like this. I thought it was funny, but after a few days they did not stop! So I listened, because when a lot of people tell you the same thing, it’s good to stop and listen...  So I decided to create a book that would bring the good that I have seen spread all over the place—not a book just for beauty, but something that touched my heart. So I thought, also would touch other hearts.           

Jeannette: Can you talk a little about your own spirituality? 

Veruschka: It is about faith in God and in the examples of his love. I have great devotion to Mary and that was how the idea of the book came to me… bringing together prayers and messages from her apparitions. Contemplation is part of my life: in my everyday life, and when I travel, I always try to go to places with lots of natural landscapes, because for me, seeing all that is like being in an immense cathedral. Following this principle, I see this book as a "visual prayer." Where people can color and, for example, write your requests to Our Lady for themselves, their families and the planet. 

I remembered the Letter to Artists that Pope John Paul II wrote in 1999: "...Beauty is key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savor life and to dream the future." 

So maybe people can calm their hearts and dream of the future again, savoring simple moments like coloring a book, sowing seeds and watching them grow in your life, being a flower, a tree, a gentleness, a true affection, love for themselves and for others around them... 

This book, for me, is an invitation for peace in our day-to-day lives. 

Jeannette: Thank you so much, Veruschka Guerra, both for your wonderful book, and for sharing your thoughts about it with us today. God bless you!

http://store.pauline.org/english/books/our-ladys-garden

 

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