Book Announcement: “La Princesa and the Pea”

I’m delighted to share that I’ll be working with Susan Kochan and Cecilia Yung once again on my next picture book! LA PRINCESA AND THE PEA by Susan Middleton Elya, will be coming from Penguin in 2017!

La Princesa and the Pea announcement

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So thrilled to share a sneak peek at an illustration from my first picture book with Penguin Young Readers, LA MADRE GOOSE. The illustrations will be leaving the studio soon. I can’t wait for this book to be out in the world!

G. P. Putman & Son’s
Penguin Random House
Summer 2016
Written by Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Happy Spring!

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Middle Grade Character Studies

I was recently working on some character studies geared towards middle grade. The characters were *almost* 12 years old.

I’ve mostly worked on younger Picture Book age characters before, so there was some testing to do. In the image below, you will see my three rounds of sketches for the main character. The sketch on the right was the first one. She looks a little too old – about 16. The sketch on the left was my second attempt. She looks a little too young – about 7 years old. The one on the middle was my third attempt. She is just right – *almost* 12.


A Cover for SCBWI Bulletin


I was asked to work on the cover of SCBWI Bulletin for their September-October 2013 issue.

The only requirement was to include a kite on the illustration. I wanted to illustrate the kite as a main element in the composition instead of it just being… well, a kite.

Latest Project

SCBWI Bulletin September-October 2013


Mentee Portfolio vs. Grand Prize Winner Portfolio

Children's Illustrator Portfolio Header

Hi again! The Craft of Portfolio Making – Post #2 is here!

Last week, we worked on putting together your brand new Physical Portfolio on the post “How to Put a Children’s Illustrator Portfolio Together”. Today, I will try to expand on what we briefly touched on Image Selection and Flow & Continuity on last week’s post while sharing my 2011 and 2012 Portfolios.


Illustration Friday Farewell

Penelope Dullaghan has decided to leave Illustration Friday. It is sad to see her go but I’m excited to see what she does next! She created a fantastic community where so many of us illustrators started getting the courage to show work. I was one of them :)


Storybook Brushes Calendar Giveaway

Calendar Giveaway

Now that I got my copies of the Storybook Brushes Calendar, I can hold the GIVEAWAY! Whoop!


Storybook Brushes


A few months ago, I received an email from Maria Bogade inviting me to be part of a small group of children’s illustrators. The idea was to join forces and make quarterly mailers. Our first assignment? A fairy tale, 12-month calendar where each one of us would illustrate 3 months of the year.



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!

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