I interviewed an illustrator who uses Pubcoder, this is not a report on her experience with this technology, there is however, an attempt to understand what has led her to devote her dedication to this digital project. I believe that beyond the tools that a software provides, there is tenacity and joy of those who use them. This is the contagious part I wish to convey to you. It will probably not help those who need technical answers but I hope it will be an inspiration and encouragement.
The illustrator Milena Jahier discovered Pubcoder at the Bologna Children's Book Fair four years ago. I asked her few questions about her experience in using Pubcoder for cretaing her app Let's Go Lex!, her own editorial project from beginning to end, including the publication. Milena immediately gave me the impression of being able to deal with everything. With calm and tenacity of certain solar and timid people - did you ever meet them? - she seems to be able to circumvent any difficulties, from technological bottlenecks to tough life issues. This is exactly what I loved about her when we were chatting through Skype.
Born in Argentina, as a young girl she lived for a long time in Mexico, then in England; when she realised that there was a world made of signs and drawings, she enrolled at IED in Milan. In her professional life she has always been in touch with music, art, dance, and her piano. Among others, a collaboration with an overseas company that makes candles, she tried out and experiment her creativity... I was mesmerised by her stories.
When she found Pubcoder, she realised instantly that she had found something she did not know to look for, it was like an intuition, she understood that the features proposed by the software were her chance to tell her story in a new and different way. Different, in what way? In a way that on the paper is not possible. She knew that she would have never, ever gave up the narrative for the logics of gaming, a choice that betrays the mood and narrative rhythm.
And so it began. Milena had a character in her drawer, she adapted it and after carefully restyling it, she released the app Bobo / Lex / Pipo (you can call it in Italian / English / Spanish, the story is in three languages!), the interactive adventure of a hippo and her frogs friends on a river. She did not care to be quick, she wanted to figure out how to work the tool to find out how to best adapt ideas of animations or interactions that flared up in her head. When she was realising she could not follow a certain road, before giving up the chosen interactivity, she kept trying other paths to achieve the same result. Only those who have tried to play around with this software knows how much can be exhausting but ultimately fun. She never gave up, learned to treat her two-dimensional images in different levels, as more advanced frames, to give the best performance possible to her bookapp. In the end, she managed to give shape to a new language, the language of words, illustrations and interactivity.
She obviously found support and help in video tutorials and by sharing her doubts with the community of users on PubCoder facebook training group, but most of all with patience and lucidity, she created this nice book, with original and funny interactions, measured, precise and functional to the story. She experimented and worked intermittently and tried out new tricks. Creativity is all in there and her expertise with the software has evolved.
She deserves our applause and many compliments: discover this colorful story with unusual ideas ... flies that come and go, a bubble in the nose, the clever solution of the final page, a wonderful trick!