December 19, 2017

Mongoreto entrevista a... Pica Pau

I am Yan, the person behind Pica Pau.
As a child I wanted to be a draughtswoman, a explorer, 
an archaeologist, a zoologist and a vet.
As a grown up I crochet animals… 
that's the closest I got to put it all that together.

Soy Yan, la persona detrás de Pica Pau.
De niña quería ser dibujante, exploradora, arqueóloga, zoóloga y veterinaria.
De grande hago animales de crochet… lo más cercano que me salió para hacer todo eso junto.

Tell us about the moment when Yanina thought about making her first Pica Pau.
I do not remember the exact moment when I thought about making the first “Pica Pau” strictly speaking but I do remember my first attempt to crochet; I made the head of a little bear to put on a scarf I made for my eldest son, 11 years ago already.
At that time I thought it was beautiful… needless to say, I think it’s an awful deformity now but it is one of those deformities that you learn to appreciate with nostalgia.
Afterwards, when I discovered something called “amigurumi” (which is still a term that makes my ears bleed because of its terrible historical interpretation - the word is originally Japanese but neither the toys nor the technique are). I started with the classics (owl, squab, squid, cactus) to improve my skills and technique.
Later on I got bored, very bored, and I had the urge of starting to create my own designs.
After many attempts I made the first one which, if I remember correctly, was Jacques Mono.

Cuéntanos cómo fue el momento en el que se le ocurre a Yanina hacer su primer Pica Pau.
No recuerdo exactamente el momento en que se me ocurre hacer el primer “pica pau” propiamente dicho, pero si el primer intento de muñeco que tejí, la cabeza de un osito para una bufanda que le había hecho a mi hijo mayor, hace ya casi 11 años.
En su momento me pareció hermosa…obvio que ahora me parece una deformidad espantosa, pero de esas deformidades a las que les tienes cariño por nostalgia.
Después de eso, cuando descubrí que había un algo que se llamaba “amigurumi” (termino que todavía me hace chirriar los dientes por la malísima interpretación de su historia-la palabra es de origen japonés, los muñecos y la técnica no-) comencé con los clásicos (búho, pichón, pulpo, cactus) para perfeccionar el tejido y técnica.
Al poco tiempo me aburrí, mucho, y tuve la imperiosa necesidad de empezar a diseñar los míos.
Después de mucho hacer y deshacer salió el primero que, si mal no recuerdo, fue Jacques Mono.

What came first, illustration or crochet? Is one inspired by the other?
Drawing was always first.
I don’t like crochet in itself. Before anyone has a breakdown, I mean that those old pieces crocheted with super thin thread that our grannies used to carefully unfold anytime someone came home to have lunch, are delightful to see.
And many blankets, some utensils (such as containers) are really beautiful. But in general, I think that crochet stitches are quite crude to be used for clothing. That’s why, until i found out about the toys, I had never been a big fan of this technique.
In fact, it is an excuse to be able to “finish” my characters.
I love drawing and that’s what I’m really passionate about but because of how life goes and many other fears, I never dared to go for it.
Crochet allowed me to do so. Hooks and yarn became my pencil and paint.

¿Qué fue primero, la ilustración o el ganchillo? ¿Es inspiración uno del otro?
Primero siempre el dibujo.
No me gusta el ganchillo per se .O sea, antes de que alguien sufra un ataque, las viejas carpetas y puntillas tejidas con hilo finísimo que nuestras abuelas desdoblaban con cuidado cada vez que tenían visitas a comer me parecen una delicia para los ojos.
Y muchas mantas,algún que otro utilitario (contenedores, por ej) son súper bonitos. Pero, en general, siento que el ganchillo es un punto un tanto burdo para las prendas. Así que, hasta los muñecos, nunca había sido muy fan de esta técnica.
De hecho, para mi es una excusa para poder “terminar” mis personajes.
Amo dibujar y es lo que realmente me apasiona pero, por cuestiones de la vida y muchos temores, nunca me animé a meterme de lleno en esa carrera.
Y el ganchillo me permitió eso. La aguja y los hilos se convirtieron en mi lápiz y pinturas.

About your book “El Mundo de Pica Pau”, tell me something good and something bad that you took from that experience.
Pfff. Plenty of good and bad things? Haha
The good ones: the experience and the learning. I am a fanatic of all kind of books and being able to get into that world was and still is, even if it’s about something I never thought that would be part of my life (crocheting animals), one of the most incredible experiences in my life. Needless to say, I am also adding the public’s welcome.
I specifically made this book to organize all the work I’ve made throughout the years. To be able to close this first cycle with some kind of family photo album that I could share with everyone who’s been with me since I wrote my first entry in my blog.
The bad ones: what you don’t see when you buy a book. All the industry behind that sometimes can be so evil, specially when you are naive enough not to distinguish friendship from business. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way.
In any case and in the long run, you always get experience and learning from it.

De tu libro “El mundo de Pica Pau”, una buena y una mala que te dejó esa experiencia.
Puff. Muchas buenas y muchas malas? jaja
Las buenas: la experiencia y el aprendizaje. Soy fanática de los libros, de todo tipo de libros, y poder meterme en ese mundo, aunque sea desde algo que nunca pensé que iba a ser parte de mi vida (tejer animales de crochet) fue,y sigue siendo, de las experiencias más increíbles de mi vida. Y ni hablar si a eso le sumo la recepción del público.
Este libro lo hice específicamente para ordenar todo ese trabajo de años. Para poder cerrar un primer ciclo en algo así como un álbum de fotos familiar que pudiera compartir con todos los que me venían acompañando desde que escribí la primera entrada en el blog.
Las malas: eso que no se ve cuando uno compra un libro. Toda la industria que hay detrás y que a veces puede ser un tanto perversa, especialmente cuando uno es demasiado ingenuo como para diferenciar amistad de negocios. Cosa que, lamentablemente, aprendí a los porrazos y baldes de agua fría.
Pero, a la larga, siempre es experiencia y aprendizaje.

You work at home being a mother of two and a cat. How is that experience?
Very, very tiring, but it’s the only one I know and I choose it every single day.
I am not a very social person and I struggle to be myself if I am surrounded by people that I don’t feel familiar with (not even with my family I am in my element).
I worked for several years as a teacher in schools and even if I love teaching, I hated the routine: commuting, dressing up “appropriately”, dealing with absurd problems (those made up by adults out of boredom).
That does not mean that I am not a team player. I do enjoy it and in most cases, it’s stimulating… but not on a daily basis, haha.
I feel better in my world, at my place, at my pace, even if I have to go looking after my kids or feed the cat every 5 minutes.
(clarification: I am delivering this interview with a big delay and it’s been already two hours since i sat down and started writing. Guess why, haha)

Trabajas en tu casa, siendo “madre de dos criaturas y un gato” ¿cómo es esa vivencia? 
Muy, muuuuy agotadora. Pero es la única que conozco,y la elijo todos los días.
No soy una persona demasiado sociable y me cuesta muchísimo ser yo si estoy rodeada de personas que no me resultan familiares (y aún con las familiares tampoco estoy en mi salsa)
Trabajé varios años como docente en escuelas y, a pesar de que amo enseñar, odiaba la rutina del viaje, el vestirse “como corresponde”, el lidiar con problemas absurdos (de esos que parece que los adultos inventan por aburrimiento).
Lo que no quiere decir que no me guste trabajar en equipo. Lo disfruto mucho y en la mayoría de los casos es súper estimulante…pero no para todos los días, jaja.
Me siento mejor en mi mundo, en mi casa, con mis tiempos, a pesar de que cada 5 minutos me levante para atender a mis hijos o darle de comer al gato.
(aclaración: estoy entregando esta entrevista con mucho retraso y hace dos horas que me senté a escribir. A que no adivinan la razón? jajaja)

We often save some projects for “when I have the time”; is there anything you want to do just to indulge yourself?
I have a huge pile of pieces of fabric that I’ve been saving for years to do something with them. I still don’t know what, but there they are. I think of pillows, cases, needle cases, bags, etc. I did nothing yet though. Not only because I have no time but because I’d like to learn how to sew properly (I know how to sew already but not as good as I’d like).
I also have bags full of yarn to make pullovers and blankets that I never made (for me and my whole family) together with taborets, thread and embroidery needles; this year, I want to learn how to embroider, taking advantage of the fact that it's trendy and there’s so many material to be found easily.
Besides that and beyond crafting, I’d like to spend more time writing my blog, organizing it, writing every week… I miss that a lot.

Muchas veces guardamos algún proyecto para “cuando tenga tiempo”, ¿hay algo que desees hacer sólo para mimarte?
Tengo una torre enorme de retazos de tela que vengo acumulando hace años para hacer algo. No sé muy bien qué, pero están ahí. Pienso en almohadones, estuches, cartucheras para mis agujas, bolsas, etc. Pero nunca hice nada. No solo por falta de tiempo, sino porque me gustaría aprender a coser bien (me sale, pero no tan bien como me gustaría).
Obvio que también tengo bolsas de lana para pullovers y mantas que nunca tejí (para mi y toda la familia), así como bastidores, hilos y agujas para bordar, mi materia a aprender este año aprovechando que está tan de moda y hay tanto material dando vueltas.
Y, fuera de lo craft, dedicarle más tiempo al blog, ordenarlo, escribir todas las semanas…algo que extraño muchísimo.

This interview was made by Mongoreto and translated by Marina D. Bárcenas.



  1. Is there a pattern for these???

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi! Thank you for your comment. Sure, Pica Pau's patterns can be found on her books.
    Have a nice day!

  3. Very nice write-up. I really enjoyed so much. And i am also loving your wonderful creative creations. These toys are so beautiful and i like the patterns as well. Thanks

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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