Monthly Archives: May 2012

Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012.

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Last week we got the terrible news that Maurice Sendak passed away: he was one of the best children´s illustrators ever and it is really sad to think that we won´t have more books and characters created by him. This is my little tribute to him.

Drawing tribute illustrations always give you extreme feelings: they happen for a sad reason but you enjoy drawing them as you feel you are giving back all that artist has given to you. It is sad but makes you feel well. Weird.

I remember how impressed I got when in 2009 I visited Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia. They have an awesome collection of Sendak´s originals and it was then when I realized how good he was and how much great work he had beyond Where The Wild Things Are. You can be staring at his drawings for ages and find a new detail, a new little line that gives  the piece lots of personality. Visiting Rosenbach Collection is a must if you are in Philadelphia.

This is another illustration I did back in 2009 for the Where the Wild Things Are Week in New York, as part of the promotion of the beautiful movie directed by Spike Jonze.

Maurice Sendak was one of the biggest figures in the illustration world: there are and will be other great artists, but none of them will be like him.

Rest in peace Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012.

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How NOT to do things

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When working in any artistic field you sometimes find people who don´t respect your work or just think that an artistic creation can be used or adapted whenever they need it, no matter who actually made it or if they have the legal rights to do that. Every now and then you find one of this unpleasant situations, but this one I recently lived is one of the most unusual (and pretty annoying).

This is one of the illustrations I did for a book about autism that has just been published in Spain. It was part of a group of black and white illustrations and represents how “rigid” an autistic teen can be, when every step he has to take can be as difficult for him as he was walking inside of cubes (you can find the rest of illustrations I did in the section “MORE” at my website).

Client didn´t need a cover illustration as they already had one, so now is where we find an example of how NOT to do things: the publisher decided that my idea of the cubes was better than their cover illustration, so instead of asking me to do it in color, he decided that he could create “its own version” of it… well, this is the result:

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What do you think? Apart from the better or worse artistic side, this is simply unacceptable. When client buys an illustration, they buy THAT illustration only and not the idea if you haven´t specified that in the contract (of course, that didn´t happen).

I was quite frustrated when I got the book, and after talking with them I knew that nor me or the author was informed about this and it was a decision taken only by the publisher: everything is clear now.

My questions are: how can a professional publisher do this? How can an artist accept to do this? Was the artist informed about the details of what he or she was doing? Totally not professional and really unpleasant.

As I told you (thanks God) it doesn´t happen often, so let´s forget this and move on to more exciting things: thanks for reading!

New illustration for Instituto Cervantes New York

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Summer is coming and Summer Camp for Kids and Teens at Instituto Cervantes New York is here, too!! Join the characters from Learn Spanish Love Español to take a sun bath, play lots of games and celebrate that summer is finally here.

Thanks for reading!

Illustration Workshop in Hoboken

Illustration Workshop

Last Saturday 5 de Mayo Hola Hoboken Dual Language Charter School organized a Children´s Book Fair in Hoboken where I was invited to teach an Illustration Workshop and give a talk. I also had a table to sell my books and sign them for the new little fans:

It was a great day, full of books and kids. I taught them how to create expressive faces: a plain face is boring, a face with personality is just great. You have to play with the eyebrows, shapes, eyes, mouth… everything adds personality to a character!

Evry kid worked great, and some of them where just potential amazing artists! We worked on some exercises I brought and the faces they created were really strong and fun, check them out!

After that, I gave a talk about how important imagination and creativity are: it was a great day! Thanks to everyone at Hola Hoboken for their fantastic work!