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Illustrator, author, textile artist

Cara Carmina became known in the world of literature for her illustrations of Frida Kahlo in Sophie Faucher's picture books. Cara is also Norma Andreu. Norma, like her mom and grandma.

“When I was an au pair in New York, there were a lot of books in the house and we always read bedtime stories. When I was 20, walking past a bookstore, I thought to myself: One day, I will have my children's book in the window."

Believe in your dreams is Cara Carmina's message. With her straight talk - in three languages, her spontaneity and her generosity. Bright, like her Mexican roots.

"I love working with children! For three years, I have been on tour in schools. Children, I call them the & quot; Wowers & quot; because they always say Wow! I like knowing that children have dreams. It’s sad to meet some who don’t have one. It was when I got close to them that I discovered that many suffered from bullying. That's how I created the series with rabbits, as an author and illustrator.”

In the beginning, there was México and art. < / p>

“My mom was divorced and couldn't afford a private college. I went to a fine arts school for a year in México City. The drawing teacher made me fail his course, so I quit because I didn't want to wait a year to resume my studies. So I left at 18 as an au pair in New York. There I attended the Parsons School of Design. I created a lot of storyboards and got a lot of no. But I kept doing what I loved."

How did you ended in Quebec in 2009?

«I followed my heart! I am very impulsive. All I knew about Canada was its great delegation to the Olympics! It wasn’t easy. I took French lessons. And I started to create dolls. They were selected by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Québec for an exhibition on surrealist women artists in 2012. It was the lucky moment of my career. I then continued to make dolls, posters, leggings. I was showing my art on markets. It was at Souk@Sat in Montreal that I met Sophie Faucher, the actress of the show Frida Kahlo Correspondance. She came to me and said, "I love what you do, I want to work with you." And it was the start for my first book as an illustrator! "

You proudly endorse your immigrant status. Is that a strength for you?

"If you've never been an immigrant, you don't know what it's like to start over.
The world of publishing in Quebec gave me the chance to create my life.

My power is to serve as a model: look, I am an immigrant, a woman, non-French speaking. I learned French, I worked hard, and I made my dream come true. We don't take enough time to learn about other people's stories; we judge too quickly. That's why I share my journey, with the good and the bad."

Meeting the other

Cara has her agenda full of great meetings to come: with children new comers classes for a mentoring project, with teenagers through improvisation workshops around her illustrations, with adults for a project on learning the French language.


And of course, with youth literature.

Ernest (le lapin qui avait la tête dans les nuages) will be published at the end of this month!


You too can meet her!
Discover Cara's work via her web site.

Cara's books at the Caribou

Frida Kahlo in Detroit

Frida Kahlo has her history with Detroit.
In 1932, she arrived in Michigan alongside Diego Rivera. The Mexican painter was coming to create his fresco on factory work at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She then embarked on a series of self-portraits that illustrated the difficult year she was going through.
DIA photo: Albert Kahn, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera. 1932

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