Interview with Regina of Mae I Design & Photography

Eyes. The windows of the soul. That is what I think of when I look at this picture.

With the way Regina Wamba of Mae I Design & Photography emphasizes the eyes in her photographs, I could sit for hours just to study her artwork. I like how she plays with color and brings out the beautiful facial features of her subjects. You can check out her art for yourself at DeviantArt or on her Facebook page.

So enraptured, I asked her for an interview and to share some of her work.

Rita: Do you have a different way of looking at the world since you started creating your artwork?
Regina: Oh absolutely! I see, and hear everything differently. Every word, song, thought, person, picture can spark some sort of imagery for me.. then I write them all down and get to them when I can. It's funny, I'll be driving in the car and I'll see something and have to text myself or email myself just to save the idea.. inspiration can come in a flash.

Rita: What kind of YA books do you want to do the covers for?
Regina: Oh well any really. I love paranormal, romance, teen love, anything that is different, passionate and magical. A fresh breath from reality.. THAT is what I want to portray in a cover.. something that will spark your interest in the book... and in the story behind the cover.

Rita: Who are your favorite authors?
Regina: Well there are so many!! I love Stephanie Meyer, JK Rowling, Charlainne Harris, Jessica Verday, Heather DiRocco, Lauren Kate, Krystal McLaughlin, Amanda Hocking, Libba Bray.. and the list goes on..and on...

Rita: Which picture of yours is your favorite?
Regina: Oh goodness.. well I love the one I haven't titled yet (I am terrible with titles) It's of a girl kind of coming out of the shadows with red/orange eyes, it's suspicious and I feel a little intriguing. I also love the dreamy one with the girl in the clouds.. I named it "A touch of color in life" for me I wanted to portray life simply... happy.. that moment when you feel elated and blissful, that's what came to me when I had the idea for this. It came to me actually when I was putting my youngest daughter to sleep.. and thinking how beautiful she is and how life is really so beautiful that we should just appreciate it and look around and see the beauty in the little things.

Rita: Here's the picture A Touch of Color:


Rita: And here's the other picture. I think this one is my favorite.

Rita: Do you use any common themes in your artwork?
Regina: Not really, I am very sporadic.. I have always been that way though.. I guess the only real theme is kind of mystical or fantasy.. just adding a bit of magic to it.

Rita: Where do you get your backgrounds and models?
Regina: Well various places.. with permission of some models, I use DeviantArt.. it's a great community of artists sharing resources and art. Then there is, a free stock site, and of course my own photography of models and backgrounds that I have taken in the past.

Rita: Do you ever model for your own art?
Regina: Sure! I have referenced a few artworks with my own photo.. it's fun and challenging at the same time!

Rita: How long does it take you to manipulate a photograph to turn it into one of your artworks?
Regina: It depends on how complex, but I have spent 1 hour to 6, 8, 10 hours on some before..I don't notice the time until everyone is in bed and it's 3am and I just look at the clock and say "Wow.. I just had to finish it..."

Rita: Some of your pictures look more like paintings. Did you do that from a photograph or a drawing? It's absolutely beautiful.
Regina: THANK YOU!! Yes, the images started off as photographs, and then I manipulate them to look like a painting. That style typically takes longer because of the details involved with making it look like a painting and not a photo. :)

Rita: What inspires your color palettes? I loved how you had one picture in green and then the same picture again with purple.
Regina: Well, I love color, so I see color in everything I do.. I think of the meanings behind the color, or how that color makes me feel.. so for blue its a more cold, quiet feeling. With oranges and pinks I feel excited and energized, when I add color it's to add a feeling. How do my pictures make you feel (based on the color or feel of the overall photo)?

Rita: Thank you so much for the interview, Regina, and for letting me share your work with everyone.


I have flown far from home.

Perched on the roof of the bell tower, I drank in the smell of salt and fish. White buildings gleamed in the golden sunlight. Blue-green mountains surrounded us, an army protecting us from the rest of the world. I could be safe. Maybe I could settle down.

I could nest among the humans again, no one hunting me. No cages. No traps or nets. No man with the ruby ring and scars scratched across his face.

A teenage boy in the streets below watched me. I preened my feathers and spread my wings for him, showing off my soft white underbelly and red tail. He called up to me, his human voice imitating a soft screech—the call a male hawk to his mate. The sound shuddered through me.

“Come and talk to me, el halcón.” He held his arm out for me to land on. I liked how the wind pushed his black hair out of his face and how his brown eyes sparkled with laughter.

I studied the streets for danger. People milled the stone-cobbled roads, blocking cars. Nothing here but locals, I decided as I opened my wings and swept down toward the boy.

He cooed softly to me in his own language. I liked the sound of his voice. I took a bit of his hair in my beak. He tasted of the sea and the wind.

“Gotcha,” a harsh voice said behind me. A net wrapped around me, and the boy’s face filled with horror as someone snatched me away.

I screeched and wriggled, trying to spread my wings, clawing and pecking at the hand with the ruby ring.

“You can’t get away this time, witch.”

The boy grabbed me. “Fly away, el halcón.”

I wouldn’t run any longer. My claws ripped at the man’s face. He pushed me away, protecting his face. Punching, he hit my wing. My bones snapped, and with a screech of pain, I stumbled.

“You brought this on yourself.” The man advanced on me. Blood poured from the wounds on his face, but he smeared them away with the back of his hand as if it were merely sweat.

Fly. But my body wouldn’t listen.

But I had legs. I could run.

Closing my eyes, I called my other self, the teenage girl I had once been. I had buried her inside me long ago when I had fled. My feathers tingled; my wings stretched into limbs—the bones knitting, changing, the broken one healing.

And then I stood in my doe-skin dress, cobbled stones smooth and cool against my bare feet. Before me, the man’s face twisted with hatred, but then, eyes blank, he fell to the ground. Dead? I hoped so, but if not, I would fight back again.

The boy stood behind him, a rock in his hand. “My name is Javier.”

“I’m Feather.”

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't think of a series that has dug itself so deeply into my mind and heart. I wish, wish, wish that I was Mercedes Thompson, except I don't know if I could handle all the damage she takes. I'm not sure I could have the courage to face what she faces. I'd like to think I would though.

I never buy books because I just don't have the space for them, and I prefer to read something new rather than something old. But when I got a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble for Christmas, I decided to use it on buying the Mercedes Thompson series. I had just read the entire series for the first time in October/November, and although I had a long list of books to read, I already wanted to read them all again.

And when River Marked came out, I ordered it from Amazon that day. When it arrived two days later, TJ and I fought over who got to read it first. He won and I was miserable for another day.

So when I say this series has really gotten to me, I mean it.

In this latest installment, Mercy and Adam are on their honeymoon, and of course, Mercy has to get herself into a world of trouble--an ancient Indian monster is marking people as slaves and eating them. Mercy's connection to Coyote is the only thing that can stop it...

View all my reviews

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Researching a story, I discovered this picture. Beautiful isn't it? I'd like to live there.