“In life, if you have a vision of what you’re aiming for, then it helps you get there.” ~Tanya Zabinski
As an artist, Tanya counts Peter Schumann, the founder of the Bread & Puppet Company in New York, as one of her influences, particularly when combining images with single worlds, as well as his combining art with social justice topics. Peace, Love, Action! is a reflection of Tanya’s attraction to the subject of peaceful activism in its many forms, and is her first published book, which also reflects her love of a combination of stories and illustrations. Tanya reflects that she had always written throughout her life, writing out stories and poetry, and remarked that she has always wanted to be an author-illustrator. Writing Peace, Love, Action! was, for Tanya, a culmination of a life of reading about the lives of people who inspired her. She had originally wanted the book to be one only of illustrations, but then realized that she needed to add biographies and other information gave readers time to dwell on the picture and what that picture actually meant.
As a person, Tanya had occasionally felt that she wasn’t doing enough, that she was so involved in her own world that she didn’t do anything beyond that, and she shared a story that helped her realize that what she does everyday, in her ordinary life, is something that is worthwhile, that such activities are worth something. Tanya also shared the story of Andrew Bienkowski, whose family was sent to Siberia for two years, and whose mother and grandmother helped him look for beauty in everyday life, as well as how to be thankful for the difficult things in life. Tanya also shared her experience of feeling “not yet there” and of thinking that she would feel good about herself once she became a published author, then shared a story where she realized that she didn’t need to “be there” to reach people and become successful.
When Tanya originally submitted her book to the publisher, the latter wanted her to make the book run along the concept of going from A to Z, which the book originally wasn’t, as well as to eliminate half of the people she already had and to make it more diverse. Where advice is concerned, Tanya recommends that people to take advice based on that which they lean towards, noting that the activists in her book chose what to focus on, as “no one can do it all.” She also recommends people to follow their inner voice, and to not wait for confirmation from the outside world.
Purchase on Amazon: Peace, Love, Action! Everyday Acts of Goodness from A to Z by Tanya Zabinski
NOTE: Author Tanya Zabinski recommends people to find independent bookstores as she wants people to patronize something other than Amazon