“Poppy’s Best Day Ever” – The Post



June normally means Summer camps, 100+ degree weather and the beginning of personal pieces in preparation to SCBWI’s Los Angeles Conference. This year it meant: “Poppy’s Best Day Ever” – A Picture-book in 30 Days Challenge. From signed contract to delivered artwork in 1 month (DVD coming soon).

And I know what you are thinking: Why did you do THAT? Two reasons: 1) story was about birds and 2) it was for El Mejor Nido ®. What a great opportunity! Still, why did you do that? Well, at the beginning the project was for 6 illustrations so it sounded doable. OK, then. Did you make the deadline? Yep. Was it difficult? Yep. Would you do it again? NO. And I warn you, don’t even try to convince me to take a deadline like that again. I will hurt you!

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Jorge and Iguana Magazine



During the Spring I received a short story to illustrate for the July/August issue of “Iguana Magazine”. I immediately said yes knowing that “Iguana Magazine” is published in Spanish, it’s a children’s magazine and it aims to instill Latino pride to the children that read it. What else did I need to know? That the story was about a little boy that dreamed of Mermaids. There was no going back. Tight deadline and all, I took the project.

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Ceviche for “They Draw and Cook”



Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell started the blog “They Draw and Cook” a while back. There, illustrators submitted recipes that they felt like sharing. And although I hardly ever cook, I loved the idea of illustrating a Peruvian recipe so I picked my recipe immediately. Last week, I made time to start and finish the color illustration and type. Mainly because the deadline for submissions was October 10th.

My recipe: Peruvian Ceviche
| Click on images to enlarge the illustrations |

An interesting aspect of the project is that I tried to use Mochica iconography throughout the piece. The pre-Inca culture had one of the richest and most elaborate iconography of all of the Pre-Inca and Inca Civilizations. You may have read about the Lord of Sipan. If that’s the case, then you have seen the Mochica Civilization and the wonderful jewelry, pottery and iconography that they made. My mom’s side of the family came from Trujillo (province of La Libertad in Peru) one of the areas where the Mochicas flourished many, many years ago. Needless to say the piece has a lot of meaning to me and the research was a LOT of fun.

And don’t forget to stop by Nate & Salli’s blog to see more of the fun recipes other illustrators have created: theydrawandcook.com

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UPDATE: And something I forgot to mention is that “They Draw and Cook” will be a book. There will be 100 recipes in the printed version. I’ll post something later once the book is ready so you can buy your copies. I certainly will.

Peruvian Ceviche - They Draw and Cook

Peruvian Ceviche - They Draw and Cook | Illustration

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Call to Hispanic/Latino Multicultural PB Artists



Juana's Call to Hispanic-Latino Multicultural PB Artists

This post is an official call to other Hispanic/Latino Picture-Book Artists whose main focus of work is Multicultural Children’s Illustration.

The initial idea was to find an existing group of Hispanic/Latino Children’s Illustrators to network with. Little did I know there was no such group. I looked online with no luck. I asked at Conferences and found the same answer – there’s no such thing. So why not get something started? I can’t be the only person who wants such a group. So here I am posting my call and I hope word gets out and we can get a nice group together.

Group Objectives –

  • To create a critique group that understands our culture and so is better able to understand our multicultural illustration work from this perspective.
  • To be able to network with talented, like-minded Hispanics and Latinos in our same field of work.
  • To create a strong body of work that effectively represents the Hispanic and Latino culture with pride and respect.

People Interested in Being Part of the Group Must Be –

  • 1. Of Hispanic/Latino Heritage or with an Interest in representing Hispanic/Latino Culture
  • 2. Picture-Book Artists
  • 3. Working on Multicultural Books

How the Group Will Work –

  • Group members post to our private blog when critique is needed.
  • A reply in 24-48 hours is requested from the other members. Brief and sweet works best.
  • Projects posted will be work-in-progress PBs so nondisclosure outside of the group is expected.

If you are interested in the participating int the group, all you need to do is post a comment or email me at me@juanamartinezneal.com

What are your thoughts and ideas? What do you look for in a Critique Group like this one? I look forward to your comments.

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Claudine Hellmuth’s Workshop – Pieces



Finally I got some time to upload the 4 pieces that I worked on at the Workshop in Sedona with Claudine Hellmuth. Happy little pieces. I hope you enjoy them.
:*

Row Row Row

Giraffe

Madre e Hija

Mundo a tus Pies

Sedona’s Workshop with Claudine



So I’m taking some time away from design work and posting about Claudine’s workshop last weekend. I should have been working, though.

It was at The Barn at the Sedona Arts Center – a very old building that I thought would collapse. It didn’t. In fact, it was a very sound building!

First day was a crashed course in color theory and composition. Next 3 days was all about tricks and techniques. We even played with wax which I had never used in my pieces.

Some pics:

The sign.

The Barn at Sedona Arts Center

Is this going to work?
Is this going to work?

Debbi hard at work.
Debbi hard at work

Lori Garver – now also painting. She is a writer.
Lori Garver

Table One – Tina rubbing paper. We rubbed a lot of paper last weekend.
Table One

Lots of Rubbing that Weekend

Table One – Tina from Monterey and Kirsten from Tucson. People from lots of places attended the workshop. We even had a gal from Switzerland – although she lived in Mill Valley when she signed up.
Table One

Golden promo shot.
Golden promo shot

Table One – Tina, Kirsten, Claudine, Debbi and I.
Tina, Kirsten, Claudine, Debbi and I.

Table One got Claudine a present – “Table One Rocks!” All very much Claudine’s style.
Barn Closed

Barn Open

IF – Routine



I Fagioli Magici

Back to Illustration Friday.

Tiny Portraits was Awe-some



So the class was this past Monday. It was awesome! 15 ladies and I all having so much fun. I didn’t bring a camera but two of the girls that came took some pics. I’ll post them when I get them. Thanks, Laura and Mary. Can’t wait to get them posted!

Thanks to Mary Benton for her nice words in her blog. I’m glad you loved the workshop so much.

This is the demo piece for the workhop.

Mary Had a Little Lamb



“It made the children laugh and play;
to see a lamb at school”.

Mary Had a Little Lamb - Spread 4 - Sketch

Mary Had a Little Lamb - Spread 4 - Color

Late J



Finished piece for the ABC Chunky Book. Won’t we able to get the other people’s pages until next week.

ABC Book - Letter J - Front

ABC Book - Letter J - Back

ABC Book - Letter J - Front with J out

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