How was your work selected to be the cover illustration of "Tales from the 7,000 Isles"?
I was surprised to get an email from ABC-CLIO Publishing House stating that Ms. Dianne de las Casas chose an artwork I had posted somewhere. I forgot where but she said it was from Multiply (which I know not of). You can just imagine how this social media works. It really surprised me!
What was your inspiration for the illustration? Can you describe the process of creating it?
I have lived in the province for around twelve years and I am often amazed at how the people here use the jeepney. Aside from making artworks on paper, my husband and I ventured into doing artworks on coconut shells. I started painting the top-loaded jeepney motif on these coconut shells. I tell you, it was not easy doing the jeepney in that angle and with a husband who is meticulous about cars, trucks and such. (It was very tough satisfying his standards. Haha!) So I made around five coconut shells with jeepneys loaded with people. Practice makes perfect (so they say) and those sold, so I kept doing them. Then I ventured into doing jeepneys on canvas with people in them. One time, I said to myself, what the heck... I'm going for animals to really make the trip wacky. The cover for "Tales from the 7,000 Isles" is one of the first of this series and was immediately sold to someone in Singapore (I haven't seen nor met her although I was told she's a Singaporean lola [grandmother] and gifted the artwork to her grandchildren!)
I really do not know! I just do it. Although, I can see there are popular styles usually preferred and even copied for their whimsiness but I think I am more in the realistic mode or style. (But not really.) My mother-in-law commented that my forte is in showing expressive faces.
Do you have expectations upon receiving a story to illustrate?
I really do not have expectations (haha!). I am quite blest to be given stories that I really like to illustrate! They give me enough elbow room to contribute in enhancing the message of the story! And positive values are very important for me.