What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up? A guest post by Rebecca Carvalho

Cover art: Inkyard Press. Art by Andressa Meissner. Art direction by Gigi Lau

When I was a kid, my mom would often ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I’d describe what I’d like to do, and she’d then tell me what job I could pursue. For example, in the nineties, UFOs somehow were always on the news. I swear every Sunday there was a special on TV about how someone had sighted a flying saucer, or taken a grainy video or photo of mysterious lights in the sky, or some terrified person would describe encounters with ET roaming around their neighborhood streets.

“I want to find out if they’re real,” I told my mom.

“So you should go to NASA and become an astronaut,” she said.

I didn’t know what NASA was. I didn’t know what astronauts did exactly. But, for a while, I’d tell everyone that’s what I’d do.

When I started first grade, I joined a new school. I was anxious and felt lost in that big building with so many and corridors, but my teachers were kind and made everything less intimidating stairs. They encouraged me to tell stories and to express my opinions, and that’s how I began to explore storytelling. Every time I drew something, I imagined what those characters’ lives were like. Soon enough, I was starting to string sentences together down on paper. They were simple stories, but they made me laugh.