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Behind the Scenes of Pupeye’s World With Children’s Picture Book Author & Illustrator Diana Nguyen

Inspiration can take many forms. In this case, it came in 18 tiny toes, a wet nose, and a swishy tail. Angels & Friends Founder, Author, and Illustrator Diana Nguyen has been working behind the scenes to create her newest children’s picture book publication, Pupeye’s World, featuring her adorable Pomeranian dog, Pupeye.

So today, we’re pulling back the curtain to find out from Diana how her sweet dog has inspired this new character and book. And as an added bonus, we’re giving you an exclusive sneak peek at some of the pawsome pet products that also just debuted.

Behind the Scenes of Pupeye's World with Children's Book Author & Illustrator Diana Nguyen

Interview with the Children's Picture Book Author and Illustrator

So, Diana, you’re now a published children’s book author! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I am an illustrator at heart and spent over ten years working in a caring industry with animals at its heart. Pupeye’s World is my first children’s picture book inspired by my adorable Pomeranian and people’s love for their pets. I wanted to combine my love for art with my love for animals and what better way to do that than to bring my baby Pupeye to Angels & Friends. My hope is to spread positivity, love, hope, and kindness in all I do.

I started to draw my playful characters, including angels, puppies, and other animals, along with inspirational words for each of my drawings days after the event of 9/11, as a means to use creativity to cope with a heart-broken society. At that time, my goal was to create an activity book for parents to teach children the importance of love and intentional kindness. Unfortunately, I was never able to publish my work back then, but I kept faith that one day I would be able to bring my characters to life.

In 2020, when everything was shut down because of the coronavirus, I started to draw my characters again to pass the time and bring some light and joy into an otherwise tough period. It was because of the strong enthusiasm and encouragement from friends and family that inspired me to launch the Angels & Friends brand. I wouldn’t be here without them.

That is so inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing. Ok, so now we’re ready to dig into the star of the hour! Can you tell us about the real-life inspiration behind your new character Pupeye?​

Diana Nguyen and Pupeye photos

Pupeye is a three-year-old Pomeranian dog and my constant companion. He follows me around the house and even gets to join me at work! I have a cute whimsical dog house in my office so he can take dog naps and dream of chicken while I’m busy with work projects. 

Pupeye especially loves peanut butter cookies and Greenies. And there’s no other toy that he plays with more than his plush owl. In fact, he’s got three of them!

His favorite way to play is to do a little dance with his hind legs and then roll onto his back for belly rubs! And if there are treats or his dearest toy owl nearby, he’ll jazz up the dance even more!

I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter pup and sometimes wonder if Cupid brought us together.

That’s right! Cupid was your original inspiration at the beginning of Angels & Friends about 20 years ago, right? Can you share a bit more about Cupid?

Cupid was my first Pomeranian dog years ago. I used to dress him up in adorable outfits, and he never looked cuter than when he wore his formal collared bow tie. He was with me always and first inspired my pup illustrations and the Angels & Friends brand. When he passed away, he became my special guardian angel.

Pupeye reminds me of Cupid, but he has his sweet, loving personality – so to me, Cupid is his angel brother.

I love how Pupeye has an angel brother and that they’ve both been featured in your illustrations. How has Pupeye brought you joy?

Pupeye has such a big personality for such a little dog! He loves to snuggle next to me as I’m working or doodling my drawings. 

And he loves to play games too. His favorite is to hide toys in unexpected spots. You never know where one of Pupeye’s toys might end up! It brings a smile just thinking about some of the spots I’ve found his toys. He also loves to play hide and seek under the sofa. After a long day of playing, I often find him dreaming of chicken in his favorite nook under our couch. 

How has Pupeye inspired your hand-drawn illustrations?

I love dogs and drawings so, to me, it was natural to combine the two. I would share a sweet moment with Pupeye and instantly want to grab my Copic markers to capture it. This one time, I came home from work, and he had snuck into his treats cabinet. He was busy chomping away on his favorite munchies when I spied him. This was just one of many moments that inspired me for my new illustrations. 

Pupeye is such a playful, sweet part of my life; Drawing moments that encapsulate his funny and charming personality brings joy.

Your debut title, Pupeye's World was just released. Can you give us a sneak preview of what’s inside?

Of course! I’m so excited about the release of my latest children’s picture book. While my other books can be shared with families or are written for grown-upsPupeye’s World was written just for kids! In fact, it’s a childrens book about a dog.

Pupeye’s World was inspired by the real-life adventures that I share with my Pomeranian sidekick, Pupeye. Whether we’re discovering fun at the park, floating away on a boat, or sending floating lanterns up toward the stars, Pupeye is always ready for his next adventure. With Pupeye’s World, I wanted to share those fun-loving stories with children ages preschool (three years old) through first grade (6 years old).

I heard from a little birdie that along with the children's picture book, you also just released an entire line of woof-worthy Zazzle pet products featuring Pupeye. Is that right?

The cat, err…dog’s out of the bag! It’s true; I have a whole line of inspirational gifts that I just launched in a Zazzle collection: Pupeye the Pom.

My favorite Pomeranian dog, Pupeye, is featured on some really fun products including treat bags, food bowls, kid T-shirts, drawstring backpacks, and so much more! All items are fully customizable. Names and photos can be added to each product and materials, colors, and sizes can be interchanged.

That’s fantastic! One last question for you - What is one thing you would inspire the next generation of kids to do?

Be kind to animals and be a good friend to them. I’m a big lover of animals and chose to work with them in my career. 

I love bringing my favorite pup with me every day to the office and all our other fun adventures. Pets have such an innate sense of love and loyalty. All they want is to love us.

Order Your Copy of Pupeye’s World

Pupeye’s World is ready for purchase on Amazon. Order your copy today!