Juana received the 2018 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration for her art for La Pincesa and the Pea, a beautiful indigenous Peruvian retelling of the European folktale written by Susan M. Elya (Putnam/Penguin.)
She’s illustrated books for Candlewick Press, Roaring Brook Press, Penguin Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Disney Press and Macmillan. She paints with acrylics, colored pencils and graphite on handmade textured paper to create gorgeous textures and depth in her paintings.
No stranger to national recognition for her art, Juana won an SCBWI Illustrator Mentorship in 2011 and was the Grand Prize winner in the 2012 SCBWI LA Conference Portfolio Showcase. She was named a 2017 Society of Illustrators Original Art Featured Artist and named to the Honors List of the International Board on Books for Young People.
She also illustrates for various consumer children’s products and media including Disney, Nestle Hispanic, Babybug, and Ladybug magazines.
Last week Candlewick released her first picture book as an author-illustrator, ALMA and How She Got Her Name. (It has already picked up starred reviews in Publishers’ Weekly, ALA Booklist, and School Library Journal.) Candlewick acquired the book in a seven publisher auction and is publishing in simultaneous English and Spanish-language editions, with Stefanie Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary Agency representing.
“The essence of ALMA, which has autobiographical elements is you are everyone who came before you and uniquely yourself,” Juana writes.
Order your signed copies of Alma and How She Got Her Name from the Changing Hands indie bookstore in Phoenix, AZ.
Here’s Juana’s illustration prompt for the April 26 illustration workshop with her:
“Based on the ideas of Alma, what is the story of your name? I would like to see a double page spread about the story of one of your names. Maybe add a line with something like ‘I’m Juana. I was named after my dad’s mom, Juana. She loved…’ ”
You’ll find examples of such spreads in her own book, ALMA and How She Got Her Name that was released last Thursday. Discover it and where to purchase copies of this and Juana’s other beautiful books on her website.
Register for the Drawing Children series for details on how to participate in Juana’s live, online April 26 class. You’ll also receive video replays and class notes from all the previous sessions.
Juana will select 10 pieces from the class to speak to as part of her lesson. She’s our final guest instructor for the 2018 Drawing Children for Children’s Book Illustrations workshop series. Previous instructors have been illustrators Cindy Wider, Shirley Ng-Benitez, Patrice Barton, Tracy Nishimura Bishop and children’s book agent Christy Tugeau Ewers.