Illustrator Interview: Deborah Eve Alastra

Deborah Eve Alastra

PROFESSIONAL BIO:
Painter of many years, now also writing and illustrating children’s books, with two bilingual picture books recently published by Zebra Ginkgo Group.

1) How did you become an illustrator of children’s books or similar works?
I am a painter of 35 yrs., ten yrs. ago I began illustrating watercolor illustrations for authors and several publishers. Three years ago I began writing and illustrating my own stories. I’ve written and illustrated eight books, two are published thus far, listed above.

2) Describe your illustration style
I hand render in mixed media, still primarily watercolor and digitally edit my illustrations and book covers. My characters are described as animated and full of whimsy and emotion. I am very involved with rich color, but with an earthy feel, as in my paintings.

3) When did you realise you could make a living from your talent?
When I began illustrating children’s books I and promoted my work via SCBWI and online, I found my portfolios attracted queries from authors and several publishers. Though sporatic, the freedom to negotiate timelines gives me time needed to also work on my own painting and children’s books.

4) Who are your biggest influences in your artistic career?
Chagall, Klee, Miro, Van Gogh, Monet, Bonnard- in the children’s book arena Sendak is my favorite along with Shel Silverstein.

5) When collaborating with an author or a client, how do you ensure you are able to translate their words into art and convey the message they are trying to portray?
I work closely with the author to understand the ‘look’ and specifics they are hoping for and do my best to meet their expectations. I always offer my own ideas for the illustration if they are not clear what they want, and I send pencil proofs with a willingness to edit at the proofing stage.

6) Tell us about the proudest piece of work you have done
I’ve completed a book ‘Jupiter Doesn’t Listen’, yet to be published but very stimulating I think. In addition I’ve written and illustrated a longer story for older children, ‘There’s a Monster in the Ocean’- this environmental adventure is currently being pitched by a Director of animation to producers for a potential animated film. I am very pleased with both of these and hope they will also be published as books.

7) What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators?
Find an agent, something I’ve yet to do!!

8) Please provide a short brief of each of the pictures you have submitted

This is a sample from ‘Jupiter Doesn’t Listen’ a comical story also professionally translated into Spanish, for 5-7 yr. olds. Jupiter, a budding 6 yr. old artist, son of ‘alternative parents’ products of the 60s, whose habit of not listening to grown ups gets himself along with his brother Mars and pug dog Buddha, into some very comical mishaps in the city of Portland, culminating with a trip down to the police station.

Jupiter Doesn’t Listen

The second two samples are from ‘Purple With Stripes’, is a picture book involving a purple striped elephant Ely, who doesn’t want to begin pre-school, afraid the other kids will make fun of his unusual stripes. The other animal students in fact do mock Ely, but in the end all learn that though all different we are truly all equal and the same.

 Purple With Stripes

Purple With Stripes 2

Should you wish to know more about Deborah Eve Alastra, here are her pertinent details.

Website: Deborah Eve Alastra
Deborah’s social media connections:

 

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