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Juana Martinez-Neal

12 Months in 60 Seconds

Give me 60 seconds. I know you have them. I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to during these last 12 months. Ready? Here we go:

1. One More Chair.

Yes, we added a high chair to our dining room, a crib to the bedroom, a bouncer to my studio and a stroller to the trunk of the car. Miss Eva came to us on February 6. We are happy to report, we are in love (Photo by Mel Bosna of Lulliloo Photography).

Miss Eva Victoria Neal

2. Portfolio Awarded.

By June, I knew we were expecting. I also knew it would be a while until I would make it to Los Angeles for the SCBWI Summer Conference. I decided to make the trip and enter the portfolio. At the Portfolio Showcase in August, the Illustrator’s Committee called the winners one by one and then at the very end called my name. I had won the Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize. I was floored. Thank you to Neal Porter, Tamar Brazis, Deb Warren, Jen Rofé and Stefanie Von Borstel who were the judges last year.

Showcase Portfolio Grand Award

3. Full Circle.

I met Stefanie on Saturday after the Portfolio Winners were announced. We kept in touch for a few months and after a while it was clear we could work well together. Now, I’m proud to announce that since mid-November Stefanie Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary is my agent. I couldn’t be any happier. Her support and encouragement have been incredible throughout these months!

New Agent - Stefanie Von Borstel

4. New Books.

A couple of new books came out within the last 12 months: “Dana’s Trip” (Kalimat, November 2012), “Poppy Aprende Algo Especial” (Nido/Nestlé, August 2012), “The Night Before My Birthday” (2012) and “The Messy One” Mini edition (Capstone, January 2012). Also, “Lena Jellie Beana – Science Matters” (January 2013).

New Books

5. Storybook Brushes.

Another highlight of the last 12 months. A few of us children’s illustrators joined forces and started Storybook Brushes. Our first mailer was a 2013 Wall Calendar. You can get a copy at my BigCartel Shop.

Storybook Brushes - 2013 Calendar

6. New Magazine Work.

A few assignments for Babybug and Ladybug came last year. All of them where fun and whimsical. You can also read an interview at Babybug‘s blog here.

Babybug and Ladybug spreads and covers

7. Back To Instagram.

I stepped back from the online world while I was pregnant. Just last week, I reopened an instagram account. I post sketches (and the occasional family picture). You can find me as @juanamartinezn

@juanamartinezn - instagram

8. Back To Work.

As of Monday, April 22nd I’m back to work after 3 months of maternity leave. I’m full of tasks to accomplish and projects to complete but you will hear more about that later.

Wool by Juana Martinez-Neal
And with that my time is up! Life is good and I am happy. Until the next post, I hope you are happy. Thanks for reading!

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Children's book author and illustrator, mami of three, wife, sun aficionado, amateur singer and Margarita lover born in Lima, Peru and living in sunny AZ.


  • May 3, 2013

    What a whirlwind year! Congratulations on all of your blessings, Juana! You heartily deserve them. I have to say I was tickled each time a magazine came to our mailbox and your art was in it. :) I love your work and am excited to see where it takes you this year!

  • May 3, 2013

    What a full and happy life. Congratulations on everything!

  • May 6, 2013

    Alissa Staples

    So much happiness and wonderful news! I couldn’t think of a more deserving individual. :) Congratulations on all your accomplishments (adorable Miss Eva in particular) from a lifelong fan! xoxo

  • May 6, 2013

    Fantastico year! It has been fun to watch and so well

  • October 30, 2013

    I’m catching up on your beautiful blog. Nice to see all your colorful achievements and your precious sweet blessing. Eva is such a doll!
    Congrats Juana!

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153 Boston Post Rd Ste 2
East Lyme, CT 06333

Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel
858-824-9269 ext. 2
Full Circle Literary