Here’s a gorgeous story about a photo book made by a mother for her daughter and it highlights just how creative they both are. Proud mum Louise wanted to record her little girl Eva’s artistic output but wasn’t quite sure how until Eva’s creativity inspired her further. The result was a photo book (ironically without photos) that is now a precious family keepsake, and it might just motivate you to do something with your child’s artwork too!
Note: Louise responded to our email interview via Facebook from Paris where she’s working on a new photo book showcasing Eva’s blossoming career as an international fashion model, their combined creativity continues …What inspired you to create this photo book?
Eva always put a lot of effort into her paintings and was always keen to show them off when we came to pick her up from preschool. I’d wanted to do something special with them, to preserve them somehow, for a long time but it wasn’t until she won a poetry competition that I knew exactly what I was going to do.What age are we talking? How old was Eva when she wrote the poem?
I love this book because it actually tracks Eva’s creativity over a few years. She did the paintings when she was 2, 3 and 4 but she wrote the poem when she was 11, when her Grade 5 English teacher, Mrs Shapiro, encouraged her to enter a poetry contest at the Woollahra Library and she won the youth prize!The title of the photo book is “Freedom”, how did that come about?
That was the title of Eva’s poem, and she did a great job of expressing it in words. Ruark Lewis, a renowned sydney children’s author, presented Eva with the award and described her writing as unusual for a child. He said it made the reader believe in her imaginings, that she successfully invented “another self” through her writing…a bird-like creature…swooping…gliding…free…observing the world…proving that despite her age she had an understanding of the world outside herself and has a social conscience.
Why did you decide to combine the poem with Eva’s childhood paintings?
Her poem was so evocative it made me think of the innocence and freedom and movement in the paintings she did when she was a little girl. Lewis’ words helped me decide to create a book of her poem with her paintings as the illustrations, and his speech as the epilogue. To me it was the perfect combination and a gift she could treasure as the grew up.
Did anyone else get a copy of Eva’s special book?
She dedicated the book to Mormor, her Danish grandmother and we gave a copy to her Dutch grandfather, Opa, for Christmas. We also gave a copy to Ruark Lewis and the Woollahra Library for inspiring the book.Does Eva still have a creative streak?
Eva is an avid scrapbooker of sorts. She keeps endless lists; makes vision boards and has started a Pinterest board. It’s her way of doing research for her modelling work, that is creative in it’s own way too. We’re also working on another photo book together but this time it has photos in it! We’re creating a portfolio of Eva’s top 20 shots from the past year.