What is it about?
How did you come to write the book? I wrote the book because I couldn’t sleep. It was running through my head and when I started to write it down, I started to sleep. And by the time I was sleeping okay I found I enjoyed working on it.
How did you choose the photos that are in the book? There are 62 photos in the book by my husband Jason Fulford. I tried to pick photos that informed the text rather than illustrated it.
Sometimes I wrote text to go with the photos rather than the other way round.
Can you describe your working relationship with Jason? It’s hard to describe, but I can draw it:
Tell us a little bit about your family. We grew up wearing Salvation Army bargains and playing on the sidewalk. I have 3 brothers and a twin sister. We didn’t have bedtimes and could curse as much as we like. My parents are from the Bronx. My grandpa ran a paper company that used to be on Vandam Street. At lunch all the workers would run their sandwiches through the oven that baked the glue to the paper.
All my life we ran Shopsin’s—first as a corner store and then as a restaurant. It was and is the center of everything in my family. My parents loved what they did and where they did it. The customers were filtered by my dad’s temper and honesty, so it felt like a clubhouse and still does.
What was most difficult in writing the book? The ideas were all there, but rendering them was tough. It’s the opposite of the way I’m used to working—as an illustrator the hardest part is always finding the idea. After that it’s easy because the idea dictates how it should be rendered.
This inversion of the way I work was the hardest thing but it was also what I loved most about making the book.
What was your motivation? I used to repair printers, and in order to make sure they were fixed we would print 100 pages. I think it was kind of like that.
All photos except vintage ones by Jason Fulford. For inquiries please email.
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