Villamuza, Noemí

Noemí Villamuza was born in Palencia in 1971. It was December, it was freezing outside, and she did not feel like being born. She had to be convinced with songs and with the promise of a woolly hat.

As a child she liked to draw, especially characters with more than ten fingers on each hand. This way, they could do many things at once and finish their tasks sooner. This way, there would be more time to play.

Noemí studied Fine Arts in Salamanca and has been working professionally as an illustrator for six or seven years. Illustrating is not the same as drawing: it is a special way of telling things using images.

Currently the illustrator lives and works in Barcelona. Since she began her professional career she has been able to make a living with the lines she draws and has already published many books, for which she has received praise and awards.

Noemí is still a girl who draws boys. Her boys look like they were taken from a botany guide: they are beautiful and silent beings, full of grace and mystery. She finds it amusing when people say she makes very delicate drawings, when she only fills pages with dirty lines. Her pencil is an insect of primitive appearance that incessantly munches on the paper as if it were its main food source.

The drawings in this lullaby book are in black-and-white because the original artwork were created under the influence of the night, and the night, as we all know, was invented so our eyes can have a rest from colours.

When she was a child, Noemí was afraid of the dark because many things could fit in it: even the boogie man! Now she has grown up, but she continues to be scared because the number of things that fit in the dark has also increased.

It is uncertain if her parents sung lullabies, but she does remember the stories they made up for her. On Sundays, her family went on trips to the countryside, and at night Noemí dreamed about a metal tower with a spiral staircase. It was a watchtower for the forest rangers placed in the middle of a deer reserve. In dreams she climbed up those iron steps. Going round and round the spiral would get you to the top of the tower, to the depth of the dream. From there she could see the world and beyond. Even the place where deers and children meet in secret.

Herrín Hidalgo

Self-portrait of the author