Monday, 4 November 2019

Women Who Dared To Dream: Interview with illustrator Saadia Kipkiss

Once Upon a Time in Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream is a fully illustrated book that tells the stories of 30 inspirational women from Birmingham, past and present. We interviewed some of the incredible women who helped make the book a reality... Saadia Hipkiss, one of the illustrators:

1. How did you get involved with this book?

The Emma press emailed me, and I remember being in bed checking my mail and the off chance I check my junk mail and I see this email asking if I want to be part of the book and illustrate inspiring women of Birmingham. I was so pleased! It felt like university had finally paid off and I was going to illustrate for a company, it was the best news ever. And on that note… always check your junk mail! I have ever since!

2. What was it like working on/being part of this book?

Such an honour! It was and still is an amazing opportunity. Being part of a book so powerful has been inspiring. I'm all about inspiration and to be part of a book revolving around inspiration, dreams and fighting for a cause you believe in, it’s just incredible. I was 7 months pregnant working on this book, so for me it's also a good memory and something I will forever look back on.

3. What kind of responses have you had from the book? 

Really positive responses, from family, friends and the public. Everybody loves the illustrations, the stories and its purpose. The exposure of the book has been great in terms of the events, the launch, book talks, and even an exhibition showing the illustrations.

Malala Yousafzai
4. What has been a highlight for you of being involved in this book? 

It has made me more positive, it has allowed me to become more confident with speaking to an audience and share my story, and the opportunity to carry out a workshop on international women's day.

5. Can you tell us about a woman who has inspired you? 

My mum, the strongest person I know. We have our ups and downs but she will always be my number one. She has taught me to be strong, and most importantly I wouldn't be the mother I am today without her guidance. She has made me the person I am today, and I'm forever grateful.

You can find out more about Once Upon a Time in Birmingham and order your copy (£14.99) here. 

Photo: Jack Spicer Adams

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