Columbus Day Music



I was born and raised different because my dad is different. I’m glad.

My father was part of a small group of Peruvians who actually loved the folk dances and traditional dresses that women and men wore throughout Peru. Everywhere but in the “civilized” Lima you would be able to see them with no special trips. Just get out to the plaza and you’d see them. But Lima being the capital and all had to be cautious of “these” dangerous, folk activities in the big city. Stadiums and places would only be rented for those type of festivals on Sundays – when no “decent” events would take place.

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“The Messy One” Giveaway – Results



Two weeks ago, I posted about “The Messy One” (Picture Window Books/Capstone Publishers 2012) and included a giveaway for a copy of the book.

I would like to thank everyone who read the post and especially all those who entered the giveaway. And now to the results of my First Giveaway ever:

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A Day Like This



A Day Like This
10 years ago Chris Neal and I almost burnt a church down in Manhattan Beach with Peruvian hand-made candles. By 7pm that same day, my last name got longer and I would officially no longer have to go to the grocery store ever again.

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What I learned from Dan Santat’s Workshop



Things take time for me to sink in so it makes sense that after a month of attending Dan Santat’s workshop here in Phoenix I finally can sort out what I’ve learned from it. So here is my recap of what I got out of the experience.
Warning: Results may vary depending on locations and illustrators.

1 Know Who You Admire In Order to Understand What You Need To Do As An Artist
Dan asked us to find a piece that we love. So as diligent as I am, I immediately created a Dropbox folder and dragged and dropped pieces that I felt were gorgeous for one reason or another. It didn’t take long until I realized I had over 30 jpeg files. So I had to narrow it down over and over again. Until I was left with 1 piece. The process confirmed my love for Rebecca Dautremer‘s work. In the process I clearly outlined what I love about her work and I know what I need to achieve on my work: her use of light, her portray of different cultures, and her incredible compositions. Now I have a clear direction.

2 Learn From The “Masters”
Part of the assignment was to copy the 1 piece that you loved. So I did my copy. What did I learn? My eyes see colors a lot brighter than they need to be. Rebecca’s work has all these colors yet when I was copying her piece I had to force myself to mute my palette – a lot. I also learned how to use gouache by looking at her illustration. So next time that you love a piece even if you are too busy, I dare you to copy it. You have no idea all that you can learn.

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Draw Me An Elephant or How to Hire An Illustrator



Draw me an Elephant

I often receive emails from writers who are interested in hiring me as an illustrator for their picture books. I tend to reply with the same questions and answers. I decided to create this post so it’s easily accessible for future interested people.

DO I NEED ILLUSTRATIONS TO SUBMIT MY MANUSCRIPT TO A PUBLISHER?
No, you do not need illustrations to submit your manuscript. Manuscripts are submitted to the publishing houses. Once your manuscript is acquired, the publisher will pick a professional children’s illustrator for the book.

HOW DO I SUBMIT MY MANUSCRIPT?
Submit your work to well-known and respected publishers. Do your homework by researching the publishing houses and their previous publications.

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Summer Break Coloring Pages



Summer Break Coloring Pages by Juana
Yes, it’s that time of the year! The much anticipated SUMMER BREAK.
(Jaws’ theme song playing – loudly)

Starting Monday, May 30th I’ll have a weekly coloring page for you to print out and hand to your little ones. This will last through Monday, September 5th.

Neither rain, nor shine, nor holiday, nor tantrum, nor conference will stop the 9am PST weekly delivery. That’s a total of 15 coloring pages to keep your most precious and shortest loved ones temporarily busy.

Why am I doing this? This household has not one but two little ones constantly (and I mean constantly) requesting drawings of different things/animals/situations so they can paint while I work. I thought this summer I would share it with the world and give other hard-working moms and dads a few minutes to focus on bills, work, laundry or just to lift their feet up, savor that iced tea and read that magazine that has been waiting for you. Now you can!

It sounds good, doesn’t it? So sign-up and get your Weekly Coloring Pages delivered to your inbox or subscribe to my blog and get those few minutes to yourself. We know you deserve them!

Would you like to make a subject request? Just post yours on the comments! Requests are on a first-come first-serve basis. I’ll try my best to honor most requests.

Other than that, see you next Monday!

COLORING PAGES ALREADY DELIVERED

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New Books, Blogs and Giveaway



It’s been a hectic busy couple of months so here’s a post to update you on everything that’s going on:


NEW BOOK “THE NIGHT BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY BOOK”


I’m currently working on a multicultural picture book written by Joni Rubinstein. Dummy is all done and I’m painting the spreads at the moment. Release will be Spring 2011. I’ll post more about the book soon. Here’s a sneak peek.

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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

————
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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New Directions – AKA Transportation



These last couple of months I’ve found a new direction to my work. I have looked back to my culture and ethnicity. With this I hope to bring a more meaningful body of work. There will be exploration, successes and failures. It’s how it should be and I’ll share as I explore.

Now, this week’s Illustration Friday coincides with a piece I just finished – Llama Ride. I painted this personal piece for the Call to Hispanic/Latinos Multicultural PB Artists I posted yesterday.

Hope you enjoy the piece :D

Llama Ride

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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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