Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sara Palacios - One of my favorite Illustrators

Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite illustrators… Sara Palacios.  I discovered Sara and her beautiful artwork through Illustration Friday and then I found out that she was a student of my favorite instructor at AAU Angela Dominguez.  What a small world it is!  The first book I bought of Sara's is called Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match.  It's a wonderful story about a little girl who is bi-racial and loves mixing together her favorite things from both cultures of her parents.  It is a wonderful story with a great message of always being yourself, and Sara's illustrations just make it all the more memorable.  You definitely need to check it out!  The first illustration I attached below is from that book.

You can check out more of her work at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sara-Palacios-Illustrations/120124554712919?ref=br_tf

Here are a few of my favorite:)




After finding out about our mutual Professor at AAU, I contacted Sara to ask her a few questions about her artwork and her influences.  She was so kind to grant me an interview!  It was so wonderful for her to take time from her busy schedule to answer a new illustrator's questions.  I just had to share it with you all!    

Who is your favorite illustrator?
I admire many. I don't think I have one absolute favorite illustrator actually. One of the ones I admire is Miroslav Sasek. His illustrations are timeless. I like his graphic and elegant style, love his characters and city landscapes. I think if he was still illustrating books today his style wouldn't look dated and would be just as admired as it was in the 60s.

Who are your influences?
That changes a lot. As I said I admire many illustrators and I think we are all influenced but everything we see. I look up to many illustrators that inspire me and make me want to improve my work constantly. I think my style changes as I grow up and the more I learn and the more I practice. I always discover new things, that I like and that I don't about my work.

What is your process when you do a picture book, from reading the manuscript to the final illustrations
This is something you probably have already learned in Angela's class. When I get a manuscript the first thing I do is think about the characters, I try to picture them, and how their surroundings will be like, what kind of place will they live in depending on the story. I usually start by designing the characters, this is a really fun part for me. I start to look for reference, for the characters and for the story. Once I have the characters approved by the art director I move on to thumbnails. Thumbnails are all about the composition, big shapes and some values. This is when I gather more reference, the first time was mostly for inspiration and this time is more specific. When thumbs have been approved, then I do sketches. During these stages there are several rounds of revisions. Lot's of e-mails or phone calls. When I get sketches approved and we're all happy with how things are looking, it's time to do the final art. This is when things get fun again. I usually send the publisher two finished illustrations so they can see the color palette, technique etc. I do this because I want to make sure we're all on the same page. And after that, it's all about hard work and organizing time and life to meet the deadline. 

Sara shared with me that she is working on several picture book projects right now, one that will be coming out with Viking Press this October.  So please check out her site and look for her next book in October.  Plus she said she is working on another Marisol book too!  She will be posting more about all her projects on her FB.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Sara Palacios!

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