APA Month Feature: Beverly Ealdama

My, my, May is just flying by! I had no idea it was already so close to the end of the month! So many apologies for slacking a bit on the blogging and APA Month front.

I'm here to make it up to you dears in a big way! I've got some APA book-related ideas, lined up a guest post, AND we'll be doing a Day in the Life feature at Sophia's blog in the very near future.

And TODAY, I have the distinct pleasure of introducing you all to a sweet and talented gal from my hometown, Miss Beverly Ealdama! Not only is she a Harry Potter-loving, adorable dog-owning, and inspiring Asian American lady, she's also a fabulous artist/doodler!

1" bookworm pins
memories by beverly ealdama

Photo Courtesy of Beverly
1. A little about Beverly in her own words.

I am a artist/doodler/bookworm from southern California. I’ve spent the last 3 years following my creative pursuits including illustration, collage, zines, and mail art. I’m currently participating in Sketchbook Project 2012 and Sketchbook Project Limited Edition. I live for live music, my two dogs (Nacho and Wiggles), and spontaneous road trips.

2. Ah, spontaneous road trips! I need some of those in my life! I love that you have a degree in chemistry, but you're pursuing art. How did you get started on this path?

I went into the chemistry major with plans of continuing to pharmacy school. I heard it was a growing field with good pay so I went with it. I didn’t take into account what I wanted because truth be told, I had no idea. I learned that I liked art a LOT more than I liked science. I spent a lot of time doodling in my notebook during lecture and sketching portraits of my professors and classmates. I scribbled down lyrics from memory and experimented with letters. I enjoyed illustrating my assignments more than being in the laboratory. But I still finished my chemistry degree. Why? I’m still figuring it out, but I know a big part of it was fear. I was too concerned with what other people thought. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to provide for my mother later on. I was afraid I wasn’t good enough.

After I graduated, I realized that I’d rather follow my heart and see where it takes me than spend my whole life wishing I did. A few months later I enrolled in art classes at a community college. Being in the studio was a welcome transition and I was ecstatic to have the chance to focus solely on building my creative muscle. The classes gave me the confidence to start posting my drawings on Flickr and Tumblr. I received a big positive response, which I was not expecting at all. I started submitting my images to blogs and began participating in collaborative projects. Then I opened an Etsy shop to sell zines, artwork, and buttons. I’m happy to say it’s grown steadily over the last few months! I’m extremely grateful for all the support I’ve received.

3. That was a brave choice and very inspiring! Being in the wanting-to-write-books field, I can say I've had those feelings and doubts too! Heck, I still have them. What inspires your pieces?

Everyday life. Relationships with family and friends. A stranger at the supermarket. Geometry. Music. The euphoria from seeing my favorite bands in concert and singing along with them to a song that helped me through rough times.
4. So what exactly are 'zines'?

Zines are small circulation magazines or books that are self-published. They be about anything: politics, poetry, comics, photos, drawings, recipes, you name it. I started my zine A Million City Lights about two years ago. I’d never done anything like it before. It definitely was a challenge to go from an idea in my head, to choosing which drawings to use, to printing, and then to finished product. Lots of trial and error!

I draw all the elements on paper and scan them into Photoshop where I clean up the images. I print and assemble each issue then bind the pages together using embroidery thread. I think the hand-stitched element adds a special touch to my zines.

5. Self-published AND hand-bound! Since you're an artist, as well as a fellow bookworm, what are some of your favorite book covers?

The Harry Potter series as illustrated by Mary Grandpre, particularly the cover for HP and The Order of The Phoenix. I also love The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Actually all of Eric Carle’s covers are great.

6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of my favorite picture books because of the wonderful art, so I can't agree more about Eric Carle's art! Can you please recommend a book you've read recently?

Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Thought-provoking, suspenseful, slightly disturbing YA dystopian fiction.

7. The month of May is Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. As such, I'd love to know, does your heritage play a role in your art/creative pursuits?

It does. I put a lot of personal stories in my drawings so naturally my heritage is a part of that. I am a first generation Filipino American and I still struggle with my sense of identity. It’s difficult growing up with two different sets of cultural norms and values. One thing that has inspired me lately is the importance of family in the Filipino culture. My triangle drawings create a visual of this, with each shape supporting one another. The triangles range in sizes and each has an important role in creating the bigger shape.

triangles no. 4
triangles no. 4 by Beverly Ealdama / Flickr

8. Bonus fun question: Which House would the Sorting Hat put you in?

9. Zombies or Unicorns?
Zombies, hands down.

Oh boo, I'm totally Team Unicorn, but that's okay. Zombies are cool too, and in the end, we're still both Ravenclaws! ;) Thanks for the interview, Beverly!

Be sure to check out Beverly and her art on the web! You can find her at:

Beverly Ealdama on etsy
Twitter: @beverly_e

And if you have any questions for Beverly, feel free to contact her directly or leave them in the comments here! We hope you enjoyed this feature!

Q4U: What's your Harry Potter House / Zombies or Unicorns?

P.S. Check out another awesome APA feature at Sophia's: SubtleSkeptics and Kien Lam Photography


Julie Dao said...

Love the zines! So creative. Thanks for sharing your courageous story. It takes a lot of guts to pursue your dreams :)

Connie Keller said...

What a wonderful story! Kudos to Beverly for pursuing her true love of art.

Sarah said...

What a fantastic interview! I started out majoring in chemistry, so I have true admiration for Beverly's persistence despite being uncertain about her interests. And I would totally be Ravenclaw, too. Great post!

Golden Eagle said...

Great interview!

I love the pictures of the zine--it looks amazing. Drawing and stitching must take a lot of time and energy.

Ravenclaw. And unicorns, though I can see some of the attraction to zombies.

linda said...

Ooh, awesome interview! :) Yay SoCal!

You know, I totally thought I'd be Ravenclaw but the Pottermore Sorting Hat put me in Slytherin. But after I thought about it I guess that's not unreasonable.

Also, unicorns. I hate zombies.

nutschell said...

never heard of zines but I like em! Thanks for introducing us to Beverly. loved this interview:)

Sophia Chang said...

So nice to meet you Beverly!