We had the good fortune of connecting with P. Marin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi P. Marin, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” I read this quote by e.e. cummings often. It reminds me the road back to ourselves isn’t always easy, but with courage and understanding, we find our way. When I get lost, this is a reassuring thing to hear.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Growing up I had a land tortoise. Her name was Precious. She did what tortoises do, she pooped. My dad would collect the poop and lay it in the sun to dry. After the poop hardened and no longer smelled, he’d paint eyes on it. He’d glue on one feather at a time. When he was done, his turtle terd birds stood on two wire legs stuck to the base of a dried out jelly fish. No one ever walked by those birds without stopping to admire them in some way. My dad is an artist. He has this way of finding unlikely characters in unexpected places. My dad has shown me that the ordinary becomes extraordinary depending on how we look at it. Other than a fifth grade art class and a Google search for “How to Watercolor,” I’ve never had any formal training. But yet I’ve written and illustrated three Pig and Chick early reader books. I have a fourth Pig and Chick book in the works and I’m getting close to finishing my first Halloween book. I don’t think we all need to travel the same road. But I do think each of us needs someone to believe in us and to show us the way. My dad did that for me. Today, not only do I make art that draws out the best in people, I teach an after-school program for fourth and fifth graders called Oops and Doodles. Together we test the boundaries of our imaginations. We hold up our works of art and we admire them. With great reverence. The way an artist does. I am also the co-founder of Women Who Undervalue Their Talents No More. WWUTTNOMORE.com supports women to value themselves and others, and empowers us to use our daily choices to change the world. We only get one shot at life. I figure we owe it to the world to live it well.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This is going to sound odd, but if my best friend were visiting the area and I wanted to show them a good time, I’d invite them into my closet. When I was a kid, I’d take my pen and paper into my closet to draw. I’d pretend it was my art studio. I recently got rid of most of my clothes. I’m not pretending anymore. There’s no time like the present to make a dream come true. And when we pick up our pens to write or draw, we can go anywhere. If my friend and I get hungry along the way, we’ll stop at Ho Sum Bistro. We’ll order the Ho Sum chicken salad with extra dressing on the side. My husband and I discovered this gem of a restaurant over 20 years ago at The Taste of Newport. With the exception of the time Ho Sum Bistro caught fire and was being rebuilt, we’ve been loyal customers ever since. If for some reason you can’t find me in my closet or at Ho Sum Bistro, you might want to check the local libraries. I’ll be the one walking crooked because I’m carrying way too many books.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Every week in fifth grade, my teacher, Mr. Amble, would wheel in a television set. He’d turn it on and there would appear local artist Bruce McIntyre. Alongside Mr. McIntyre, we’d draw. For me, it was the highlight of elementary school. Toward the end of fifth grade, my teacher announced that Mr. McIntyre would be visiting our classroom-in person-and if we brought five dollars that day, we could buy a copy of his book. I began saving immediately. On the big day, I arrived to school early with sharp pencils and no money. I was devastated. At the end of the presentation, Mr. McIntyre walked up to me. He handed me a copy of his book and said, “Your teacher thinks you’re going to need this.” Turns out I did. I still have that book. It reminds me of Mr. Amble and of Mr. McIntyre. They are a big part of my story.
Image credit P. Marin printsmarin.com