A Mini-Interview with John Parra



A November of Mini-Interviews 2012

Today we are starting the Series of Mini-Interviews for 2012 and we are starting with a BANG! I have a very special guest in my blog, one of my favorite illustrators: the fantastic John Parra.

I met John at the SCBWI Los Angeles Conference in 2010 – the year that he won the Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration for his book “Gracias/Thanks”. I knew his work well and had already added “Gabriela” to my PB collection of Illustrators-Who-I-Admire.

While at the Conference, we both attended a Saturday Multicultural break out session for writers. During the Q&A portion, I asked one question: how to find other Multicultural Children’s Illustrators? I got some great suggestions from panelists and attendees. A little later, the session was over and the day continued its course but later that night… I got to meet John. He remembered the question and introduced himself to offer his help. Oh, how I was star-struck! I looked at his face and his badge one, two, three times while we shook hands. The darker color banner reading “Faculty” should had confirmed my doubts but I had to ask: “Are you John Parra, THE Illustrator of “Gabriela”?” He was. I could hardly believe it. He was generous and helpful. I am glad I asked the wrong question at the wrong panel.

Now a couple of years later, I’m asking him a few questions about his work and career. And, I get to share his answers and work with you. If you know his books and illustrations, enjoy! If you don’t know them yet, get ready for a treat! Now, with you the wonderful, John Parra.

John Parra
About John Parra

John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, designer, teacher, and fine art painter. He has received multiple awards and honors for his wonderfully illustrated, Latino themed, children’s books including: The Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), The Pura Belpré Honor’s Award from The American Library Association (ALA), The International Latin Award:Best Interior Children’s Book Illustrations from Latino Literary Now, and most recently The Christopher Award from The Christopher’s Inc. organization which annually salutes media (TV programming, feature films, books for adults and children) that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Parra’s original artwork has also been showcased and displayed in numerous gallery shows and museum exhibitions throughout the United States and South America. He has taught at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, CA and now regularly speaks at schools and literary conferences across the country advocating art and reading education.

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Mini-Interviews Starting Next Week



A November of Mini-Interviews 2012

It’s been an eventful weekend and even more eventful Monday. Sandy has behaved badly and deserves to be sent to the corner facing the wall. We are thinking of all our family and friends in CT, PA and NY. We hope they are all safe and warm.

With Sandy in time-out, I have to go back to our schedule and the initial, planned purpose of this post: the Mini-Interviews will start next Tuesday here!

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The November Mini-Interviews 2012



A November of Mini-Interviews 2012

We had the November Mini-Interviews last year, remember? This year we are back with more interviews, more guests, and more Q&A’s to fill your month of November.

It’s been a couple of months now that we have been working on our 2012 Series of Mini-Interviews. All behind the scenes and stuff but FINALLY we can start telling you about them. One thing I have to admit, I am excited!

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KidLitArtists’ Interview



KidLidArtists

I have officially joined KidLitArtists and have a Welcome Interview on the blog. You can read it here: Welcome Juana Martinez-Neal!

KidLitArtists the home of the SCBWI LA Illustration Portfolio Mentorship Program Winners – winners of 2009, 2010 and 2011. The blog provides helpful information and news for children’s illustrators as well as updates about past and present Mentees. We post weekly and hope you can follow the group blog!

> Stay updated: email | rss | facebook

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!

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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:

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Lucecita



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!

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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!

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Happy Holidays!



Mistletoe

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.

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