Mercè Canals, Barcelona 1970. Illustrator of literature for children and young adults since 1992.

I love to watch the sun as it enters through the door of my balcony first thing in the morning, while I’m having my breakfast. I leave home, walk down to the metro and read five pages of a book for four stops. I arrive at my studio early, put the key in the lock and guess which of my colleagues have beaten me to it and already started, their earphones in as they work away in silence.

I like to know there’s a new project waiting on my desk, and that I’m a step away from travelling off to a new land, where I can choose the clothes the story’s characters will wear, what the trees will look like, the rivers and the bridges that decorate the landscapes they live in, what sound their language will make, what books they read before going to bed, what their friends’ names are…

I get excited when brave and original book ideas turn up, often when I least expect them, when texts from my favourite authors are in the pipeline, or if I discover words I’ve never seen before, which I can dress up in the colours that drip from my brushes. But what excites me most is the element of surprise in the final result.

Do you have a project? A story you need illustrating? That you want filling with colour? I’m already curious to hear about it… shall we begin?