Interview with Sahar Haghgoo
About the Artist:
Sahar Haghgoo is an Iranian-English illustrator living in London. Sahar is inspired by nature, people around her and the things she sees during the day and in everyday life.
Sahar’s first illustrated children’s book, Here Be Monsters, was published in 2021 as part of Pop Up Project’s ‘10 Stories to Make a Difference’ collection.
How has Pathways helped you nurture your style?
I liked the way the classes were arranged- the briefs and projects that were defined and designed over the course of two years. Before Pathways, I had also studied in the field of illustration but the focus in Pathways on the practical skills necessary to enter the children’s book market helped me a lot to work with a purpose. The step-by-step design of the course delivered by expert professionals from the field helped me to advance my skills and become a better illustrator.
What drew you to children’s literature?
Perhaps the first step that drew me was my mother’s storytelling and the jobs of my parents who were both primary school teachers. But drawing was always my first priority in my childhood and then literature. Of course, I was good at maths and science, but drawing was my companion and friend.
What drives your work and you as an illustrator?
I like to read and tell stories. I like to draw, and so do children. These are the things that I need for my work as an illustrator. And what is better than doing something that is all about my interests. Of course, it is easier said than done. The work has its own challenges and many skills are needed to become a good illustrator and for children to like your work.
Tell us about your work since the Pathways course and what you are working on currently and your future plans?
During the course, I focused on the briefs, classes, and the work were assigned, but I also tried to experience as much as I can, and raise the quality of my work. At the same time, I had some commissions and was working. Currently, I am working on a Nosy Crow project, which is a series of nine books for young children. Its name is Princess Minna.