How did it feel to win a spot on The Gittle List Top 10? I feel delighted to hear that No Birthday for Mara has won a spot on The Gittle List Top 10 [for 2015]. It is a great opportunity to get children, families, and colleagues learn about this great book written by Mariana Llanos. In my home country, Argentina, I have gotten some awards for my artwork and, luckily in the USA, many people like my illustrations. I am overjoyed to get this award.
What’s your earliest memory of drawing or writing? I recall myself drawing for the first time when I was about three years old. I remember I used to draw on a table in the kitchen of my parents´ house. The drawing were very basic, like circles, lines, and small people, like stick figures; and I also remember I made them talk to each other, and pretended they were talking to each other. Something one of my small daughters do now while playing with dolls and ponies.
What is your favorite children’s book? It is a difficult question to answer, but I can choose some to share with you. Aesop´s Fables were my favorite when I was a kid, but I also like books like The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, and Cuentos de la Selva (Jungle Stories) by Horacio Quiroga. In general, children´s books which contain animals illustrations are my favorite ones.
What is your favorite color? Blue is my favorite color. I always related blue to the color of the sky and the sea, and both provide a great inspiration to me.
Do you prefer to work digitally, by hand, or both? I usually start working by hand, after that I color the illustrations with pencils, markers or watercolors, and finally I add different effects using digital software. I work this way, because I feel that a direct contact with the pencil and a sheet of paper is an authentic channel of expression, and creativity. At least, it works for me, and I can get the most of an idea.
Tell us about your latest project. My latest projects are also connected to other indie writers in USA, who publish books for children and for educational purposes. Not only have my illustrations appeared on books, but also on t-shirts and other stuff.
Tell us 3 strange and wonderful things about you.
- I think one of these 3 things is my good sense of humour, I am very positive, even in very difficult situations, I always look on the bright side of things. This thing about me has helped me overcome tough situations.
- I collaborate with a non-profit organization. I try to share my artwork to sponsor their job or events.
- I am a journalist and I also enjoy writing articles, making interviews, and working on my news portal. Journalism is also a passion to me.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? I think the best piece of advice I have ever been given is something my eldest daughter told me not too long ago. She said “There are no age limits for new opportunities.” [This] is something very wise and true, and it was a surprise that a nine year old girl could come up with such a great piece of advice. She told me that when I was doubting to start working as a freelancer.
Julián Galván is a creative Argentine illustrator and cartoonist born in the city of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Besides being a passionate artist, he is also a fully accredited journalist. He has worked not only for Argentine graphic media, but also for Spain and the United States. Julián has three daughters who motivate him to draw children´s books, and create funny and expressive characters. They love stories, fantasy worlds, and enjoy watching him illustrate them. In fact, they are usually near when he draws, sitting on a small table next to him drawing, or playing.
Aviva Gittle writes and publishes children’s stories in English and Spanish. Each year, Aviva runs The Gittle List contest to support her fellow indie authors. Oh, she also loves children’s picture books and is always on the lookout for great ones. The 2016 Gittle List Contest is in full swing: submission guidelines. Follow @AvivaGittle and signup for Gittle News (look right) to be the first to know when they are posted! 😺