Friday, February 18, 2022

first words


Excited to share First Words Primeras Palabras written by Rosie Pajaro, illustrated by me! It's a fun lift-a-flap book for babies and toddlers with words in English and Spanish. It's the first bilingual book I've illustrated. 

When Cottage Door Press approached me to work on this book, I had to say yes. They encouraged me to draw from my own experiences and culture. I designed the grandpa and grandma after my own parents. The grandma has a different hairstyle than my mom, but the grandpa looks just like my dad! 

If I could go back in time and tell little Erendida that she would be illustrating pan dulce in a children's book one day, she wouldn't believe me!

Another great thing I love about illustrating books is how I get to draw diversity! I try to illustrate as many different skin tones as I can. For the wheelchair, I did a little research to make sure the representation was accurate. I also love that I got to draw a street vendor! 

I really love how the colors came out and the photos aren't actually that great at capturing it, haha! Sometimes figuring out the colors for a spread can be difficult. There has to be a good balance of warm and cool colors. The story drives the choice of colors of course, and for this book all the pages are fun and vibrant. I change my mind about colors a lot as I'm working on a spread. The rug in the photo above for example, was probably pink, yellow, purple, or blue at some point. I change the colors until everything feels right and balanced. It's challenging, but when it all comes together it's a great feeling! 

I'm so happy I got to work on this book, it's one of my favorites!