Emmemm Publishing started with us - Vlada, Muthu, Eira and Emilee. Together we have created and published five collaborative books and are currently living on Mercer Island, WA.
Our daughters Eira and Emilee love storytelling and often notice different things around us. They draw inspiration from our own daily life and transform what they experience or learn into stories. At first, it was Eira who came up with different ideas and as Emilee grew, we encouraged her to join. The girls collaborated for the first time for 'toddler of arts: year 2' when Emilee was a toddler and together created captions for featured art pieces. We, their parents, listen to what they say and use different techniques to collaborate with them, noting their reactions and choosing the best way to go forward.
At first, we tried to record their story sessions. We took pictures that would form the book’s narrative. We doodled on sandy beaches and tried many other things. At the end, when working on our first collaborative book ‘The Redwood Tree and Its Friends’, it was Muthu’s idea to stretch out a large roll of paper and sketch a few panels, and eventually Eira added the characters and moved the story along.
Our books are borne out of many family conversations and the girls’ involvement does not end with composing the main storyline. They generate ideas for characters and friendly messages between them, grabbing the narrative and taking it forward in their own way. We see many learning opportunities along the way and act on them.
We collaborate with talented artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and photographers. Our girls interact with them and describe their ideas. Through such constant interaction, all parties brainstorm and help mold the final book art composition and layout. Together, we choose fonts and narrow paper choices with printers and in such way both our children are involved in the entire pipeline for producing our books.
Most important of all, Eira and Emilee learn to be patient. They always want to give a copy of the new book to their friends, but they have to wait for more than one year from the start of the publishing process to holding a hard copy in their hands.
We hope reading our books will lead to many discussions and inspire readers to personalize the narrative and experiment with different forms of art. That is why readers can be writers, artists and doers. We are excited to share more from behind the scenes with you and will use this blog to tell you more about how we work.