On The 50 Road Interview: Artist Ilu Ros
On The 50 Road Interview and Book Review: Hey Sky, I'm On My Way: A Book About Influential Women by Ilu Ros
Interview by Cristina Saura
Just before launching into space on the Voltok 6, the first astronaut woman, Russian Valentina Tereshkova proclaimed: “Hey sky, take off your hat. I'm on my way!” This phrase would inspire the title of the first book by Spanish illustrator Ilu Ros: Hey Sky, I'm On My Way A Book About Influential Women.
I discovered Ilu by chance while searching online for a portrait of Alma Guillermoprieto. Ilu's illustration of Guillermoprieto was better than any photo I could find for the article. I asked Ilu to loan it to On the 50 Road for my post about the rebel dancer who became one of the most reputable reporters in Latin America. Ilu answered yes and delivered the illustration. Her enthusiasm for what I told her about On the 50 Road surprised me. I knew she felt strongly about the lives of women who opened paths for other women in life.
Ilu Ros is an illustrator from Murcia Spain who has lived in London since 2011. After studying Fine Arts and Audiovisual Communication in Spain she moved to London, England. "At first it was hard, I spent a few years not drawing, but eventually I started illustrating again. I made a website and profiles on Instagram and Facebook." Now Ilu combines her work as a freelance illustrator with a job in a cafe that helps her pay bills. The story of so many young people who have left Spain to discover life.
Her effort payed off. "Lit Riot Press contacted and told me they liked my art. They asked for a book proposal and gave me the freedom to do what I wanted. I wanted to make an illustrated book about influential women throughout history. They loved the idea, and I got down to work."
Choosing the women for the book was difficult for Ilu. "The more I read about women throughout history, the more my list grew, and the more I wanted to investigate more women. I made a personal selection. I chose the women were the most striking, their legacies were interesting, and influenced me."
Featured Art from Hey Sky, I'm On My Way: A Book About Influential Women
Hey Sky, I'm On My Way includes the first woman to travel to space, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo; the activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner from Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai; the pioneer American aviator Amelia Earhart; the first Japanese novelist, Murasaki Shikibu; the courageous civil rights activist Rosa Parks; the actress Marilyn Monroe; La Gaitana the indigenous heroine of the sixteenth century; the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci; the British singer Amy Winehouse; the African-American activist Angela Davis; the Kenyan ecologist and activist Wangari Maathai; the American anthropologist and poet Margaret Mead; Loïe Fuller, forerunner of the most avant-garde contemporary dance; the Spanish writer and feminist María Lejárraga; and even the mythical girl created by the cartoonist Quino, Mafalda. 27 brave and breakthrough women from different countries and times that make up this illustrated book by Ilu Ros. 130 pages that inspire and move us to action, all these women changed the world!
ISBN: 978-0999294383 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-0999294338 (hardcover)