STORY Az­lene Azlan, art direc­tor and founder of Mid­niteMoonMob, opens up about the sheer joy of cre­at­ing imag­i­na­tive books for chil­dren. By Sharmita Sum­mugam.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Life Junior -

by Az­lene Azlan

On Mid­nightMoonMob It is a cre­ative space where I write and il­lus­trate chil­dren’s books, and pro­duce games and art pieces. I had been in pub­lish­ing for 14 years and en­joyed it

thor­oughly, but some­thing was al­ways miss­ing. It was then that I be­gan get­ting ideas about writ­ing

and il­lus­trat­ing chil­dren’s books. The Mid­niteMoonMob col­lec­tion I have writ­ten and il­lus­trated five chil­dren’s books un­der the se­ries ‘Tales of the Un­tamed Me­trop­o­lis’. The fifth book will be out this June, which com­pletes the se­ries. Avail­able at www.mid­nitemoonmob.com/ our­books (Watch out for the in­ter­ac­tive ver­sion).

Be­hind the name W Wait­ing for the Gem­i­nids me­teor shower one night, I r re­call doo­dling a dreamy moon in pointil­lism and the name popped into my head. It made sense to use the sketch and Mid­niteMoonMob to rep­re­sent me.

Favourite books grow­ing up There were so many! Robin­son Cru­soe, The Wind In The Wil­lows, Peanuts, The Three Gol­li­wogs, The Tale Of Peter Rab­bit ... I could go on and on.

An­i­mal friends ‘Tales of the Un­tamed Me­trop­o­lis’ was in­spired by my re­la­tion­ships with an­i­mals. I’ve res­cued many but two stand out: My cat, Lit­tle Lion, and a wild spar­row, Luci. I had a very strong bond with them. They taught me pa­tience and un­con­di­tional love.

Char­ac­ters and chil­dren My young read­ers are in­stantly cu­ri­ous about the sto­ries of th­ese an­i­mals. They of­ten ask “Who is that?” or “Is he go­ing to be okay?” They es­pe­cially seem to ap­pre­ci­ate that the book doesn’t speak down to them, and so find it a fun, friendly ex­pe­ri­ence to will­ingly en­ter the world of the char­ac­ters.

The cre­ative process You’d think it’d be easy as the lan­guage and sto­ry­line is ba­sic but the process is com­plex. A sto­ry­book is a shared ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween an adult and a child. What fu­els me: lots of read­ing, re­search, and travel.

Un­leash the child in you A three-hour hike alone is very ther­a­peu­tic. When

was the last time you rolled down a hill? Books from the ‘Un­tamed Me­trop­o­lis’ se­ries by Az­lene Azlan Luci, a wild spar­row res­cued by Az­lene, in­spires her

Travel il­lus­tra­tions

Meow Lit­tle Lion

The Spir­ited Spar­row

Az­lene Azlan

by

Az­lene Azlan, founder of Mid­niteMoonMob

An il­lus­tra­tion of a Harper’s BAZAAR

in­spired char­ac­ter by Az­lene Azlan

The Car­rot Thief by

Az­lene Azlan

Moomba by Az­lene Azlan

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