( Interview inquiries through: http://adeleenersen.com/contact )

For VINCENT AND THE NIGHT -book PR in the US, you can contact my publicist Lauren Donovan at Penguin Random house in New York. E-mail: ldonovan @ penguinrandomhouse.com (all together)

__

Here's some of the original drafts, that inspired Vincent and the Night story. 

Credit: Adele Enersen - Vincent

Credit: Adele Enersen - Vincent

Credit: Adele Enersen - Vincent

Credit: Adele Enersen - Vincent

___________

Questions and answers

Q. How did Mila’s Daydreams start?

I started making the pictures in June, 2010, when Mila was just 2 weeks old. I kept on making them until she was 4 months old, when she started teething.

I think all new parents go crazy with baby photos of their first child—maybe we were just a little bit crazier! I often found myself staring at my sleeping baby instead of sleeping myself. We wanted to capture our memories in photos but we realized that we just had a lot of pictures of Mila sleeping. One night, she fell asleep on a blanket on the floor in a funny position, with her arm stretched out, and she looked like a little fencer. My husband, Lasse, and I were laughing that she was probably dreaming about exactly that, so Lasse, who’s a film composer, placed his conductors baton in her hand and we took the very first "daydream" picture.

The next day when she fell asleep, I built a little forest set with pillows and blankets over our living room rug and gently carried her to the middle of it. I quickly snapped some photos. (Contrary to popular belief, she wasn’t constantly sleeping on the floor!) After that I started to get new ideas for little scenes all about her daydreams. I uploaded the first forest picture in my gallery on Facebook and my family and friends loved it. When I started making a few new pictures per week, I decided to build a blog, so I wouldn't flood my all Facebook friends with my baby pictures.


Q. What does the creative process look like?

Usually, I got a lot of ideas from her clothes, actually. While I was dressing her in the morning, I’d start creating a scene in my mind. Sometimes I got ideas from children’s stories, my friends, movies, etc. I've used things from our home, like rugs, blankets, curtains, scarves and even my own clothes. I wanted to keep the photo hobby light and easy, so I never bought any new items for the pics. It’s more fun (and ecologically friendly!) to discover old stuff againyou can see an elephant hiding in your cardigan if you look hard enough. Sometimes my ideas would be cooking up the back of my head for a few days, and in the meantime I’d do all the stuff that mothers do … lots of tiny laundry, cooking meals for the family, cleaning our house, etc. Other time, an idea would just happen right away.

Q. How long does it take to make a daydream picture?

Only a few minutes! I’d make the background and change her clothes before she fell asleep, so that once she was a in deep sleep, I’d only need to snap a few photos, and voila.

Q. We’ve seen plenty of Mila while she’s sleeping. What’s she like when she’s awake? What's she's like nowadays?

She's an adorable child, a happy and funny little girl, with a great sense of humor. She loves slapstick! But if I could pick just one word to describe her, it would be brave. She's not afraid of anything or anybody. She still loves to pose for camera, and even though she's only two and a half years old,  she knows how to make videos of herself with my iPad and iPhone. In the videos she's always making funny faces. I bet she's going to be comedienne, a female Jim Carrey, or something like that.

Q. "When My Baby Dreams" is your first book. How is it different from the photos on your blog?

When My Baby Dreams is a picture book with short dream-like stories. Little groups of two or three photos each are strung together to form little story lines, including pictures I never published on my blog. I wanted to make a book for babies and toddlers that adults would also enjoy reading and rely on at bedtime, maybe discovering some common household items in the pictures, since kids like to point things out like that. It would be so lovely if people would read them as bedtime stories to their children so that they could have good dreams...I have a dream that babies all over the world will believe that their dreams can come true : )

Q. Do you think Mila’s going to be upset about the pictures when she’s older?

Right now she's loving her books, pointing out the baby and the items she recognizes on every page. But I guess when she’s a teenager or a young adult she might think her mom is a bit crazy.  Deep down, though, I think she'll be proud of it, and know that her crazy parents truly love her. That being said, all teenage girls hate their mother at some point, so I guess shell scream at me: "MOTHER, you’ve ruined my life!" with typical melodramatic teen angst. I can't win that fight. But I've learned that being a parent is not about expecting your kids to love you, no matter what you doit's about loving them unconditionally. Always. I'm aiming for that.


Q. What about motherhood?

Mila was my first child. I love being a mother, but I hated being pregnantI really didn't "glow" or anything like that. I was feeling sick 24/7 for the whole 9 months. Then, when Mila was born, I fell in love with her immediately and got so much energy out of it that I was bursting with joy. She was a great, sound sleeper. When I had my new baby boy, Vincent, I realized  how lucky we were with Mila’s rare sleeping skills, since he really didn't sleep for longer than 20 minutes until he was 5 months old, and then he started teething. But even though he's a bit more needy of a baby, he's very sweet and an unbelievable cute boy. I can't wait to see how his personality evolves, and I think he’s going to be an interesting little lad. He already looks so intellectual! So, I've had my share of sleep deprivation, is what I mean. My "trick" is stick to routines everyday. As a former work-a-holic I actually made an EXCEL spreadsheet for our daily schedules, when to eat, sleep, bathe and play, etc. Then, everything between those blocks is free time! It might sound like I'm a bit obsessed, but I'm quite bohemian and used to hate household chores. I can't focus and create in messy environment, though I can create a huge mess pretty easily. I discovered that chores are easier to tolerate when you control how much time you sacrifice to them, so that you can enjoy your life. I try to concentrate my ordinary household chores into just 15 minutes every day, and do them as fast as I can in that time. Try it out…you’ll be surprised!

Q. What about publicity? How do you feel about the popularity of your photographs and the fact that they’re being seen by people all over the world?

I didn't expect or pursue popularity at all. I was just amusing my friends and family on Facebook, and after that on my blog, because I didn’t want to bother my co-workers and acquaintances with endless funny baby pictures. Literally over one night, my blog was all over the world and I’d gotten a million visitors. I didn't expect the fame, but since I'd been working with social media in advertising and as a concept designer, I knew that I wouldn't be able to stop all the attention after that. I was scared and I had a lot to think about at that point. So I've made some arrangements to control publicity and picture usage. I own the legal copyrights and try to control usage as much I can. And if you think about the pictures, it's not really publicity for Mila, even though she’s my muse and model in the pictures. Visually, it could be any baby, although I believe it was absolutely important to the creative process that she was my own baby, and I think you can get a sense for our relationship through the pictures. It's genuine and people can relate to that. And I can share that with the world. Her personal life is still private, and mine too.

I'm just an ordinary mother who adores her newborn babies, maybe in a bit extraordinary or crazy way, but that’s what adoration makes you do. I guess there are a lot of parents and grandparents who can relate to that. I think it's sweet!



Q. Is photography something you would like to pursue professionally?

Never say never, but I really doubt it. I know so many good and talented photographers, I wouldn't be as good as them, not even after years of practice, with all the lenses, lighting and all that stuff. I consider myself more of a storyteller than a photographer. Pictures are just one way to illustrate ideas. But I'm looking forward to developing as a writer and an illustrator. Writing books is one thing I seriously want to do more of. It’s been my dream since I can remember, and now it's happening! Yay!

   

Portrait pictures photographer credit: Mikko Harma,

Baby photos photographer/illustrator credit: Adele Enersen