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Introducing the creatives behind our next book: Damián / Xaneri and Monturqueza!

Since we published our debut story, Lillian The Tiriki Girl, in November 2020, we've been thinking (and you've been asking), when's the next story coming out? Today we're so excited to share with you that we're working on not just one, but TWO new picture books, in partnership with talented makers from around the world. 

Today we want to introduce you to the author and illustrator behind one of these stories, with more details on the next soon to come. Please meet the wonderful, talented and extraordinary Damián / Xaneri and Monturqueza! 


Our newest writer:
Damián / Xaneri (he/she/they)

Damián is a Muxhe, a backstrap loom artisan working in honour of LGBTQIA+ identities, a descendant of Mixtec and Zapotec heritage, a proud advocate for equality and human rights - and our newest author! Going by both Damián and Xaneri (her Muxhe name) we asked her a few questions about what keeps her busy and what she hopes for her book. 


Damián / Xaneri as a child (left) and now.

Then and now: Damián / Xaneri 

What is your name? 

Gerardo Merino Damián but I prefer to be called Damián or Xaneri. 

Where is home for you?

I was born in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca and currently live in San Pedro Jicayán, Oaxaca, México.

What keeps you busy?

I keep myself busy by creating textiles on a backstrap loom (pictured below). 

Damián / Xaneri working at her backstrap loom (left) and modelling a piece she created (right).

Damián / Xaneri working on their backstrap loom and modelling one of their pieces

What brings you joy?

Music from Oaxaca!

What was your favourite game as a child? 

My favourite game was elastics.

What hopes do you have for your story?

I would like it to achieve empathy and awareness amongst adults, so that they let their children grow up being themselves. For the children reading, I want the book to generate freedom and joy in knowing that there are others that share their feelings.

You can find more of Damián / Xaneri's work and support them on Instagram


Our newest illustrator:
Monturqueza (she/her)

Monturqueza is a mother, illustrator, a businesswoman, a creator, a poet, a fierce advocate for all women, in all their ways, and the artist behind this upcoming story! You'll soon see Monturqueza is as talented with words as she is with drawing in this short Q&A we put together. 


Monturqueza as a child (left) and now (right)

Then and now: Monturqueza

What's your name? 

Montserrat Solano

Where do you call home? 

I was born in the city of Oaxaca and I continue to live here, very happy and fulfilled.

What keeps you busy?

My two daughters (8 years and 5 months old) absorb all my love and my work, just as illustration absorbs my energy.

What brings you joy?

A little kiss on the cheek, “una mirada encontrada” (a moment of locking eyes with another), my daughters’ smiles, a whispered I love you, a slice of fruit cake, a lemon tea boiled on charcoal, a wave that drags the sand, wavy hair...

One of Monturqueza's beautiful digital illustrations.

 One of Monturqueza's beautiful digital illustrations.

What was your favourite game as a child? 

Jump rope and roller skating.

What hopes do you have for your story?

Stories exist as small treasures that we can share without envy or fear. When they come into the lives of others, it is certain that a change will take place. I want to achieve love and magic in whoever reads it.

You can find more of Monturqueza's work and support her on Instagram

We are so excited to share more details of Damián / Xaneri and Monturqueza's story with you as it progresses! We usually share updates here, on our blog, as well as via our newsletter and on social media.

Stay tuned for more details about the second book we're working on this year, which will be announced in the coming weeks!


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