Interview with Colleen Chesebro

Hello everyone! This week, I’m thrilled to introduce you to an award-winning illustrator and author: Judy Mastrangelo. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list.

Your book covers are works of art! What did you want to become when you were a child?

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a graphic artist.  The world was a magical and inspiring place for me then, and it still remains so now that I’m an adult. I wanted to paint the lovely faces I saw in flowers, the sparkling morning dew in the grass, and clouds reflecting the glorious colors of twilight.

Animals have always had fascinating and unique personalities to me. And within my colorful imagination, my fellow humans seemed to evolve into gods, goddesses, and any number of otherworldly spirits.  So in a few words, the World was and still is my inspiration for my imaginative fantasy artwork that I love to depict in my paintings.

Even as a youngster, I would develop my art first in my mind as a picture rather than doing preliminary sketches.  Later on, as a grownup, I came to term this method “MIND PAINTING”.

I always have an idea of what I want to create before I begin a project.  I use my method of “MIND PAINTING” in which I conceive of ideas and accompanying paintings in my mind as one total vision before I start.  It’s an exciting way to create, and I’m sure many other authors and Illustrators do the same.

Another term that can be used for this method would be “inspiration”.  I don’t really labor over trying to think of an idea.  Concepts just come to me as “Visions”, and I dearly welcome them all gratefully.

What I wanted to become when I was a girl was a “Painter of Visions and Words”, and that is still my goal.  It is my spiritual passion.

As I “daydream” about my “Visions” that I want to put on canvas, I often create words to go hand in hand with these images.  The creation of this form of “mixed media art” has been a great delight for me throughout my lifetime.  It has developed into books that I both write and illustrate, combining my love for the visual images, and the written word.

I find the mixture of words and images very exciting.

I suppose it harkens back to our experiences when we were young and the wonderful feelings we first had when visiting the Magical Land of Books.  It is similar to watching a movie that we love.  And yet reading a book is different in that we can add our own personal images and feelings to it in addition to the accompanying illustrations in a book or film.

Entering into the exciting world of literature is a wonderful escape from our everyday world.  It gives us the opportunity to experience many adventures and to identify with various characters, which we wouldn’t normally have to the opportunity to do.  This art form is very fulfilling, as is all art in general.

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