Alejandro Echavez is the illustrator for several books including Saylor which is fresh on the market. and he's going to tell us his POV on writing illo notes :>)
Thanks so much, Alejandro. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in New York City where I lived until age four. I then moved to Bogotá, Colombia, South America with my mom and brother.
At the age of six, I started to paint different cartoon characters and created my own stories. I also did Commission work like posters, greeting cards, signs for friends and business’s.
I had my first published work when I was 18 years old. It was called El Dia de Elecciones The Day of the Elections, a small ink illustrated voters’ guide.
I moved back to New York, at the age of 18. I learned English, took cartooning and 2D animation classes at the school of Visual Arts (SVA). I also took some Animation classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Currently, I am an administrative assistant at a hospital in NYC. In the evenings, I change hats to work on the illustrations that I love doing so much.
I live in Long Island with my wonderful wife, beautiful daughters and a very smart Golden Retriever.
Your illustrations are so fun and vibrant! How long have you been doing this?
I started when I was a kid, so I could say I have been doing illustrations, for quite some time. I didn't really get into the picture book industry, until last year, and I can say I love it!
When you illustrate, do you correspond with the author? And do you prefer or not prefer authors to give illustration notes? This is big talk with us writers…to add or not to add suggestions. We don’t want to tick anyone off :>)
I prefer to correspond with the authors if possible, and go over any notes they may have.
It is important for me to get an idea of what they have envisioned so I can bring their story to life.
Tell us your process for illustrating. How do you decide what the pictures should look like?
First I read the script, making notes for myself as I go. I usually start to get an idea of what the book's world looks like.
Then I use the author's notes and my own to create sketches of each page, including backgrounds and characters as described in the text. I do this with pencil on paper.
I send the sketches to the author for feedback, make any requested
changes, and resend for review.
Then I start working on the approved pages.
What other books are you working on for future publication?
I am currently working on three books: Beastronauts by D. A . Jolley and another one titled Real Giraffes Wear High Heels by Maria Ashworth. Both release dates will be sometime in August 2017. There is a Monster in My Closet, written and illustrated by me, will be released October 31, 2017 just in time for Halloween.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know?
I participate in several Art shows a year with different art groups.
I do commissioned work Acrylic on canvas
Alejandro, do you have any book signings coming up? We’d love to join in.
Yes I do I have a couple ones coming up in Barnes & Noble Union Square, and other Barnes and Noble in the NYC area
I would like to thank you for the interview and also thank everyone that has purchased Saylor and help him fly far.
Let me add color to your dreams
Thank you , Alejandro. I can see you are a rising star!
You can find Alejandro @: alejoartworks Instagram
Take a peek at Alejandro's art!