Welcome, Angela! I’m so excited for our members to meet you at the Pocono Retreat. I can’t believe it’s less than a month away. I thought it would be fun to introduce you to our members on EasternPennPoints first.
Tell me, have you been to the Highlights Foundation before?
I haven’t! I’ve seen such wonderful pictures from other events. I’m psyched to finally be going.
I love your enthusiasm! I think our conference is special. What are you most excited about?
The opportunity to geek out a bit with people who are passionate about children’s books. In addition, listening to my fellow faculty present. I always learn something at an SCBWI event.
I know you’re a member and fan of SCBWI, what do you love about this organization?
SCBWI is great about connecting people. I’ve made friendships and more importantly connections with people working in the industry. My book Maria Had A Little Llama is a result of an SCBWI conference.
I was so happy you agreed to be on our faculty because I think you can help so many of our members. You’re an author and illustrator. Plus, you create books for two age groups. Which comes easier for you writing or illustrating?
Great question. Each are challenging in their own way. With illustration, I’m constantly pushing myself to make stronger work. With writing, it’s about finding the idea, but once I have it, I do find it easier in a way.
I know several of your stories were inspired by family and are very personal to you. What else inspires you creatively?
I’ve always been curious about the world around us. It’s in my nature to want to learn and explore. Let’s just say growing up, I related to Lisa Simpson. I make a conscious effort to watch documentaries, go to museums, hike outdoors, and, of course, read great books. To be a good illustrator, I believe you must fill your head with images and concepts, so you have ideas to refer to later as you work.
On a last note, I’m really looking forward to the conference. I love attending the retreat and seeing the familiar faces and making new friends, but there’s always some anxiety going into the event. Now that you’re published, can you still relate?
I can understand the anxiety. I’ve been there. I was terribly shy as a kid and I can still be on the quieter side at times. However, it’s important to fake confidence. Believe in yourself and your potential. We’re lucky, people working in publishing are awesome!
What have you found to be the most difficult aspect of being a children’s book author-illustrator?
The waiting. Waiting for either a submission on a story or waiting for feedback from an editor or art director. I like being busy, so waiting is not fun for me. But, it has gotten easier over time.
On the flip side, what’s your favorite thing about being a children’s book author-illustrator?
First, I love meeting and connecting with people at SCBWI events, book festivals or school events. Seeing people react to the books and being with my tribe fills me with joy. Second, creating the work. There are few things that compare to really being in the zone.
Wow! I love those answers and am so excited for you to meet our members. I know I’m biased but I think we have a great chapter. Before we go, tell me what you’re most looking forward to in your career.
Writing my first middle grade novel, Stella Díaz Has Something to Say, was a dream come true for me. I look forward to writing more books for this age group!
Thank you, Angela! I’m so glad we had this chance to talk. I know our members are in for a real treat in the Poconos. Until then, keep exploring, creating and connecting!
Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now resides on the east coast.
She is the author and illustrator of several books for children including Maria Had a Little Llama, which received the American Library Association Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. in 2016, she received her second Pura Belpré Honor for her illustrations in Mango, Abuela, and Me (written by Meg Medina). Her debut middle grade novel, Stella Díaz Has Something to Say, was published January 2018. When Angela is not in her studio, she teaches at the Academy of Art University, which honored her with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.
Angela is a proud member of SCBWI, PEN America, and represented by Wernick and Pratt Literary Agency. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She’s delighted to still be doing both.