7 questions to Nuppita Pittman

Nuppita is a designer and illustrator working in the editorial world. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Escola Artediez (Madrid).
She always liked to draw dreams and she is drawn to brutal art, to things that are geometric, minimal, expressive and to colour. She seeks the essence of things and to say more with less.

Her project Nham was the winner of the 3rd edition of the SERPA International Award for Picturebooks, and has recently been published by Planeta Tangerina. To welcome Nuppita to Planeta Tangerina, we asked her some questions about herself and her work.

How did this book come to life?

I needed to make a badly behaved book which wouldn’t necessarily finish with a happy ending. That’s how this book was born. And I also wanted to treat it as an object that could be transformed into a toy and was able to awaken multiple senses: sight, hearing, touch…

It was fun creating a book that could sometimes turn into a mouth that could bite you — this sort of game helped me building the structure of the this book. I like the idea of a book becoming something else beyond itself. I love physical books. I think they’re essential objects.

We know that you submitted more than one project for the Serpa Picturebook contest. Did you think that this was the one with better chances?

Right… The truth is that I always had a special connection with this project — so I guess I did, yes.
The other two projects were completely different.
“Soñé” is the story of a cat that turns into things and characters, told through tender and well-humoured remarks. There isn’t a storyline connecting the pages.
The accordion-book “Mentira” is a self-publishing project, a game of opposites between image and text. It’s about animals and sounds (two elements that I really like) and it works really well with smaller readers.

Do you prefer books that make you hungry, books that bite, books that scare you or books that soothe you?

Clearly those that bite! There are books for every moment and stage of life and I think it’s really good to stimulate children’s imagination and play. Firstly, because games and beautiful fun images can, of course, be a great way to get children to enjoy books and reading. On another hand, I also think that part of the magic from our own childhoold books stays with us forever and turns us into more creative and empathetic adults.

Did you choose the name Nuppita Pittman because of how it sounds or is there a story behind it?

Well, actually the name chose me. When I was little, there was a tongue twister by Lupita, so it was easy to turn “Lupita” into “Nuppita”. Years later, I added my surname (Pocero = Pitman) and also liked how it sounded.

In your work as an illustrator and graphic designer, you make posters, bags, prints, objects… Do you find any difference between doing that kind of work and making a book? If so, what is different?

Each of those things have their own charm. I like to draw objects because I believe a house or any place with illustrations is joyful place. A book is something more complete in which text, pictures and illustration should fit like a puzzle and everything needs to be coherent. It’s really interesting as a challenge, I love that side of it.

Which picture book authors do you hold as a reference?

I’m a big fan of Paul Rand’s illustration work. I love his strong images and his strong, simple, clear stories. Beatrice Alemagna is also a reference — her books have beautiful stories and I really like the way she uses collage and how freely she draws. And also Hervé Tullet, for the way she understands the picturebook as a medium. Květa Pacovská’s books are authentic works of art.

What was the biggest shock you had in your whole life? Chomp!

This one’s easy! Winning the Serpa contest (and also a big joy).