Katie Fang is a 2022 graduate of Rosary Academy. She is currently attending UCLA and recently wrote and illustrated her first children’s book “The Magic Popup Shop.”
According to the Kristie O’Campo, Rosary’s executive director of advancement, Fang was a stellar student during her time at Rosary. She won Rosary’s academic
medal of achievement for visual arts and AP environment science and graduated with a certificate for the STEM pathway. Fang was also the recipient of Rosary’s General Excellence award, which is the school’s highest academic achievement award.
Fang took the time to answer questions posed by OC Catholic, about her both her inspirations and aspirations for the future. Answers may be edited for length, content or clarity.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BOOK.
“The Magic Pop-Up Shop” is a heartwarming tale of three strangers who encounter a Magic Pop-Up Shop run by a child who seemingly knows what each customer truly needs in order to seek happiness in life. Regardless of their age or past experiences, it is never too late for them to realize what makes their lives meaningful. It is a story for readers of all ages that teaches lessons of empathy, patience, and inner healing.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO WRITE IT, AND DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR/ ILLUSTRATOR?
I wrote this story as a reminder to take a moment and observe the beauty in the seemingly mundane moments of life. In our fast-paced society, it is especially easy to lose track of the things we find genuine meaning in, such as spending time with family, visiting friends, or setting aside time for oneself. The first ideas of “The Magic
Pop-Up Shop” came to mind during the summer of 2020, when I thought of a little coastal town and drew a sample magic shop. From then, I imagined the character of the storekeeper, which is an allusion to Antoine de Saint-Exúpery’s little prince in “The Little Prince,” which was also a significant inspiration for this book. I never considered creating children’s books until two years ago, but I’ve always loved the art of storytelling, and it seemed like the perfect form to fuse words and drawings together to tell a story.
HOW DID ROSARY PREPARE YOU FOR WHERE YOU ARE NOW WITH BOTH STUDYING AT UCLA AND EMBARKING ON A CAREER AS AN AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR?
At Rosary, I was able to gradually find a confident voice and cultivate a broad artistic skill set. As well as strengthening my relationship with God, Rosary prepared me with healthy academic habits, such as learning to balance my hobbies with schoolwork and developing a better sense of self-discipline. I am extremely grateful or all of the people I met at Rosary that have continuously supported my dream of creating art; without them, this book would have never come to fruition.
WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING AFTER COLLEGE?
Although I do not have a set plan for my future beyond college, I know that I want to pursue my artistic passions in storytelling, illustration, painting and design. I hope to continue creating children’s books while also crafting artworks that can be exhibited and experienced in a gallery space.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS/ILLUSTRATORS?
For aspiring writers and illustrators, it is important to not be intimidated to start a project. Once you get past the first step, it is easy to let perfectionism consume you to the point of becoming overwhelmed and unable to progress. The number of times I started over, whether it was experimenting with different illustration styles or completely altering the storefront of the magic shop, was ultimately discouraging and forced me to question my capability to create such an intricate project from scratch. While I do agree that attention to detail is an important component of any creative work, it should not significantly delay the process. Above all, have faith in your own abilities and find inspiration everywhere you go in life!
“The Magic Pop-up Shop” is available for purchase on Amazon.com