New York, New York

New York

A visit to New York City the Winter of 2012

Oh, New York! I’ve been there a couple of times but this time I fell completely in love with the city.

While there, I attended SCBWI NY Conference. It was good and had a few personal highlights. Listening to Sophie Blackall on Friday was definitely one of them. Her presentation was moving, inspiring, personal and so very humbling. And thanks to my traveling and illustration buddy, Debra Pehrson Haun, I got to shake Sophie’s hand and tell her how much I love her work. Wee!


Evolutions, Dissolutions and Resolutions

Evolutions, Dissolutions and Resolutions

This is the 2011-2012 recap post. I have divided it into 3 parts so it is easier to write and read because (reader be warned) it is long. Dissolutions and Evolutions go over what I have learned from the 365 days of 2011. Resolutions is a short list of what I hope to achieve during the 366 days of 2012. I hope you enjoy it!

1 Evolutions –
We are always learning and changing. What I got this past year may be too simple of steps for some people or maybe steps ahead for others. Either way, the most important thing is to learn something from the year that just ended. Here is my list of 2011 lessons:



Lucecita - Iguana Magazine - November/December 2011

Lucecita - Iguana Magazine - November/December 2011

I got the assignment to illustrate the story of “Lucecita” in late November. It was a super-rush (aka less than a week between sketches and finals) but as you are all already guessing, I took the project. The artwork was published on the November/December 2011 issue of Iguana Magazine and since my copies arrived in late December, I decided to post later. Holidays are a busy time for all of us!


Mary Talks

Mary Talks to Baby Jesus - The Little Lutheran/The Litte Christian - December 2011

Mary Talks to Baby Jesus - The Little Lutheran/The Litte Christian - December 2011

Christmas has come and gone and I still have this sorta-Christmassy post to go before I can get to my “Welcome 2012” one. So let’s post it really quick to clear my desk, ok? Great!


Happy Holidays!


As I sit on this Christmas Eve with a sleeping home, I don’t want to pass the opportunity to wish each and everyone one of you the happiest and warmest of Holidays. All the best for this Holiday Season!

Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel

Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel - Iguana Magazine - September/October 2011

Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel - Iguana Magazine - September/October 2011

This week I got my copies of the September/October 2011 issue of Iguana Magazine. I have an illustration published for the poem of “Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel”. The poem is a short story about two friends, one pice of cake and a cat that intercedes when things are not happening the way they should.


We have a Giveaway Winner

The Mini-Interviews are over but not the Giveaways and today I have one winner to announce!

After the classic 15 minute pen-search, I got my names written down, got my 33 mini-strips of paper filled out and performed the pulling-of-a-name-out-of-a painting act successfully. We got a winner with Sofia as my witness. But I took pictures just in case.

Entries Ready

A Mini-Interview with ME

This is the fourth week of our Mini-Interview Series and that also means it’s FINALLY my week!

I’ve been the first one to post on our blog tour every week. So to take the edge off the akward monologue I thought I would have a pre-post yesterday. Did it help? Not really. I have rewritten this intro so many times, it’s starting to feel like writing a bio. Now the intro is done and over.

Let’s talk Giveaway: One lucky winner will get a 12″x12″ original, signed illustration on canvas – pic below and here. So if you like my work, check out the details on how to enter. Shall we get started? I think so! I hope you enjoy the interview! And Happy Turkey Day for the ones who celebrate it!

Juana Martinez-Neal
About Juana Martinez-Neal

Juana is a children’s illustrator, mami, wife, sun aficionado and amateur singer born in Lima, Peru and living in sunny AZ. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook, see works in progress on Instagram and visit her website at


MY WEEK of Interviews and Giveaway

If you have been following my posts the last few weeks, you know the Mini-Interviews are entering their 4th week tomorrow. If you didn’t know about them, you may want to go back and read Molly’s, Mikela’s and Laura’s posts. They are filled with great information and they are at times extremely funny.

Now, Juana, what’s the purpose of this post? Really! Getting quickly to the point: My Week is FINALLY here! Well, tomorrow but still… it’s here! Woop! Woop! So in my excitement I may double, triple or quadruple post this week. Or I may not. You shall came back and see.

I also know that MY week falls on the American Turkey Holiday week. So I thought I’d let everyone know that if you are in the US, there’s a safe place to escape from crowds, turkey and stuffing. I’ll be here as planned.

My week of Mini-Interviews come with a Giveaway. I debated for weeks: books, prints, original illustrations. It was really hard to decide so Saturday I painted something for this week. And she is right below here thinking, “Really?!”

Sofia by Juana Martinez-Neal

A Mini-Interview with Laura Jacobsen

This is the third week of our Mini-Interview Series and we are starting Laura Jacobsen‘s week.

Do you know Laura? Have you seen her work? Have you seen her books? Have you? Have you?! Her work is bold. Her illustrations are beautiful and her sketches are fantastic. As a person, Laura is also bold, beautiful and fantastic but she’s also generous and honest – two qualities I so admire from her. Laura was the first real-3D-bone-and-flesh children’s illustrator that I ever met. Ever. And I’m really glad it was her. But that’s a long story that I won’t tell you now. This week is all about her: the wonderful Laura Jacobsen.

Do we have a Giveaway this week? Heck, yeah! Laura is giving away a signed, matted original (that’s real pastel on real paper!) from the Animal Mischief book and a signed copy of the book so don’t forget to read below for how to enter. You are up for a real treat so get ready! Without further ado, the most talented Laura Jacobsen!

Laura Jacobsen
About Laura Jacobsen

Laura Jacobsen is a children’s illustrator, dog mama and baker of a mean butterscotch oatmeal cookie. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or on her website at

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