Ferndale artist’s book encourages children’s imaginations

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published May 14, 2019

 Ferndale artist Espacia Fotiu is releasing her first children’s book — “Imagine, Draw, Erase, Repeat!” — which allows kids to use her art to create something new from their  own imaginations.

Ferndale artist Espacia Fotiu is releasing her first children’s book — “Imagine, Draw, Erase, Repeat!” — which allows kids to use her art to create something new from their own imaginations.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Fotiu’s book features more than 20 of her abstract paintings, which are covered with a laminated page that  can be drawn on with a  dry erase marker.

Fotiu’s book features more than 20 of her abstract paintings, which are covered with a laminated page that can be drawn on with a dry erase marker.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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FERNDALE — A Ferndale artist is using her creativity in the form of an interactive book to try and help children bring out their own.

Espacia Fotiu is releasing her first children’s book — “Imagine, Draw, Erase, Repeat!” — in which kids can use her artwork to create something new from their own imaginations.

A Ferndale High School alumna, Fotiu recounted how, while working at different art fairs, people would look at her paintings and see different things in her work. This would later give her the inspiration to create the book.

“I kind of didn’t think anything of it, but people are drawn to making an abstract piece into something,” she said. “That’s kind of what my book is. It’s allowing people to draw on top of my work and create something they want.”

The book features more than 20 of Fotiu’s abstract paintings. Each work is covered with a laminated page, and children can use a dry erase marker that comes with the book to draw something they imagined from the abstract art.

The book is geared toward children, but Fotiu said she’s discovered that anyone can get into the drawing.

“You can just take the marker and draw whatever comes to mind,” she said. “If you see a jellyfish one day, the next day you could see a giraffe or something.”

Fotiu said that, aside from the paintings in her book, her art is about impermanence and learning to accept how things don’t last.

“I think it’s kind of an interesting lesson to have the kids discover through drawing something that they like and then having to either erase it themselves or eventually it’s going to erase by itself, which I think is kind of cool,” she said.

While she mainly worked on the book herself, Fotiu said she got help from some people in her life, including her mother, Connie Fotiu, who is a graphic design artist.

“I tried not to get too involved,” Connie said. “I didn’t want to come in and take over, you know, being a designer myself. I wanted her to take the reins and do it. I told her spacing-wise or visually what’s good. … I just helped her a little bit.”

Fotiu’s mother first saw her daughter get into creating art around first grade, through painting and making crafts. Seeing her daughter release her first book, Connie said she’s a “very proud mom.”

“She’s done good,” she said. “She wants everything to be perfect, to make sure it all looks good, comes together good.”

Espacia Fotiu will be hosting a release party at The RED, Live Coal Gallery’s children’s art museum, 80 Clairmount Ave. in Detroit, from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 14. Attendees can enter to win a free book, meet the artist and experience the book themselves.

People also can purchase the book at Fotiu’s website, www.espaciafotiu.com, or at any of her upcoming art fair appearances, which can be found on her website.

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