Thursday, June 19, 2014

Unfolding Through Play and Magic

I would like to introduce you to Sandra Moreano the second artist on the illustration team. 

Sandra was born in South America by a French mother and American father. She has always looked at life from many perspectives. As an adult she's lived all over the country, NY, Louisiana, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, and now the Seattle area.  She has also had several careers as a nurse, teacher of math and computers, and graphic designer. In all of these situations one thing has always remained the same, learning. Learning to adapt, grow and serve others is what makes her feel truly alive. 

You can find Sandra here:
1. Tell us about how you became an artist. Did you always like to draw?

I have been creative my entire life. Imaginary adventures, theatre, crafts and writing were part of my everyday childhood. After I was 6 years old I stopped drawing. I picked up drawing again as an adult. For some reason I didn't think I could draw. As an adult I realized that anyone can draw as it is just a skill like any other. Once I began, I couldn't stop.

2. Name two artists that inspire you.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Alfred Lesbro


3. When and how did you know you wanted to illustrate a children's book?
When I read books, I imagine the people and scenes in my head. Reading Pam’s book for the first time both time and place were vivid. And I knew right away I wanted to illustrate Madison and her adventure. I also knew I would need help, so I asked Roxane Stoner. She is the genius behind it all. I have a lot of computer skills and imagination but she really makes every picture come alive. We have fun working together.

4. Describe your illustrating style and how it has evolved.

Whenever possible I make a mess with paints, pastels and collage. Playing and learning go hand in hand. My style is always evolving. At the moment I enjoy line drawings with added computer finishes. Computers allow for a tremendous about of control. As a graphic designer, I like control. All that said, I think it is still really important to play. Play is a form of self discovery that allows for personal unfolding.

5. Tell us about the process you used to create the illustrations for this project?

Well, first it starts with an idea, then a thumbnail sketch followed by some research to make sure the anatomy, perspective and subject I draw are just right. Finally I render the drawing using the computer.

6. Books are a collaboration between the writer, illustrator, editor and formatter. What should writers understand about artists?

A writer needs to know that the illustrator gets emotionally involved with the story. They don't just draw any old character. They draw a person that has entered their heart. All team members need to add their own unique stamp. The magic happens when the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

7. What time of day is your favorite time to work?

I like to work during the first two hours of the morning, and then again in the afternoon right after walking my dog.

8. Describe your workspace.

I have a drafting table and a computer table. I also have a lot of files, books and materials organized near by. I try to keep neat and organized so that I can find whatever I need when I want it.

9. What did you find most challenging about this project?

Learning the computer graphics illustration techniques.

10. What do you hope to do in the future?

Pam’s First book in the Madison Series.

Only ten more days to enter the giveaway for the June It's NOT A Dog Blog Tour! Enter here.


  1. I am fascinated one can learn to draw as an adult. I've often felt I wanted to, but never thought it was possible. I guess anything is possible. Thanks for this post.

    1. Do it Rosi, what do you have to lose. I've never been an artist and I try and dabble with different mediums. It sometimes is just what I need to open up and relax so I can write. It's so fun, you have to try it!

  2. Beautiful work, Sandra! LOVE the giraffes. I just now found out they're endangered! :( Did you know it was World Giraffe Day?

    Thanks for the interesting interview, ladies :)

    1. How very serendipitous to post this on World Giraffe Day! Wow! Thanks for letting us know. Always wonderful to see you on the blog, writersideup!

  3. I've never gotten passed the doodling stage, but I love reading about the process artists take to create their wonderful final works. I have friends and family who are artists and I will share this post with them.

    1. I dabble. My mother and several of my siblings have the art gene as well as several of my children. Does it skip a generation? Thanks for stopping by! Always great to see you, Greg.

  4. Great interview! I've never been interviewed as an illustrator. I never let my "pencil" to rest, but have been submerged into family life and the form of art that has flourished is my writing. Though my drawing skill hasn't diminished, I've only had bits of time here and there to work on it as I prefer to write! Will get better at drawing someday--when the kids are no longer in such need of my time. We'll see!


    1. Don't get used to putting it off too long. I have a mother-in-law that always found something more important to do (kids, church service, etc.) and now she's gone and it's sad to think that she never returned to that love. Do your art with the kids, they will love you for it!! Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth.


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