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.


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!


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!


We have a Giveaway Winner

The Mini-Interviews are over but not the Giveaways and today I have one winner to announce!

After the classic 15 minute pen-search, I got my names written down, got my 33 mini-strips of paper filled out and performed the pulling-of-a-name-out-of-a painting act successfully. We got a winner with Sofia as my witness. But I took pictures just in case.

Entries Ready

A Mini-Interview with ME

This is the fourth week of our Mini-Interview Series and that also means it’s FINALLY my week!

I’ve been the first one to post on our blog tour every week. So to take the edge off the akward monologue I thought I would have a pre-post yesterday. Did it help? Not really. I have rewritten this intro so many times, it’s starting to feel like writing a bio. Now the intro is done and over.

Let’s talk Giveaway: One lucky winner will get a 12″x12″ original, signed illustration on canvas – pic below and here. So if you like my work, check out the details on how to enter. Shall we get started? I think so! I hope you enjoy the interview! And Happy Turkey Day for the ones who celebrate it!

Juana Martinez-Neal
About Juana Martinez-Neal

Juana is a children’s illustrator, mami, wife, sun aficionado and amateur singer born in Lima, Peru and living in sunny AZ. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook, see works in progress on Instagram and visit her website at www.juanamartinezneal.com


A Mini-Interview with Laura Jacobsen

This is the third week of our Mini-Interview Series and we are starting Laura Jacobsen‘s week.

Do you know Laura? Have you seen her work? Have you seen her books? Have you? Have you?! Her work is bold. Her illustrations are beautiful and her sketches are fantastic. As a person, Laura is also bold, beautiful and fantastic but she’s also generous and honest – two qualities I so admire from her. Laura was the first real-3D-bone-and-flesh children’s illustrator that I ever met. Ever. And I’m really glad it was her. But that’s a long story that I won’t tell you now. This week is all about her: the wonderful Laura Jacobsen.

Do we have a Giveaway this week? Heck, yeah! Laura is giving away a signed, matted original (that’s real pastel on real paper!) from the Animal Mischief book and a signed copy of the book so don’t forget to read below for how to enter. You are up for a real treat so get ready! Without further ado, the most talented Laura Jacobsen!

Laura Jacobsen
About Laura Jacobsen

Laura Jacobsen is a children’s illustrator, dog mama and baker of a mean butterscotch oatmeal cookie. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or on her website at www.laurajacobsen.com


A Mini Interview with Mikela Prevost

This is the second week of our Mini-Interview Series and we continue with the amazing Mikela Prevost.

If you haven’t seen Mikela’s work before, reader beware! You will be blown away with her sense of design, her bold strokes and her colors. Have you seen how she handles figures? I know! It’s crazy! And because she’s such a super nice person, she’s giving away an original for this week’s Giveaway. Yes, like you read! An actual ORIGINAL so don’t forget to read below for details on how to enter.

I assume you have your coffee with you by now so read away! You are going to love her and her work by the end of question number 2. Enjoy!

Mikela Prevost
About Mikela Prevost

Mikela Prevost is a children’s book writer and illustrator who happens to be a quite adept toy picker upper to her three children and lunch maker to her graphic designer husband. You can find her on Twitter and her website www.mikelaprevost.com


A Mini-Interview with Molly Idle

Today we are starting the Series of Mini-Interviews and this week is Molly‘s week.

Miss Molly will be hopping around blogs answering our questions to make one very bubbly Molly Week. And really, how else could Molly’s week be? But there’s more! Molly is also hosting a Giveaway this week. She’ll be picking a lucky winner (and soon-to-be proud owner of) a copy of “Santa’s Workshop” and a signed Print of an illustration from the book! Giveaway details below. I hope you enjoy the interview with this bright Illustrator!

Molly Idle
About Molly Idle

Molly Idle is a children’s book author / illustrator, Mom, Mrs. and (not coincidentally) java junkie. To learn more about Molly you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website: www.idleillustration.com


A November of Mini-Interviews and Giveaways

A series of weekly Mini-Interviews are coming next month (or more precisely in 7 days). Four children’s illustrators, four blogs, four posts per week, four weeks full of questions, answers and giveaways. We close the series with a Big Giveaway with something from all of us to celebrate your Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Viva Kwanzaa all together.

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