in spite of all the clocks on her hat (gouache on paper).”
That’s illustrator Maja Sereda speaking up there. I’m bending the rules a bit this morning with her visit. On the first Sunday of each month, I feature student or new-to-the-field illustrators, and it’s the first Sunday of February, but Maja is not exactly new to illustrating. However, she may be new to many of us readers here in the U.S., since she is from Poland and now lives and works in South Africa.
I’ll let Maja tell you about herself, and she has some more images to share below. I thank her for visiting.
Maja: “Before I begin telling you about myself, I would like to thank Jules for having me on her fantastic blog. It is a great honour to be here, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about me and looking at my work.
different arms/hands reaching out into the sky.”
(Click to enlarge)
I am a children’s book illustrator working and living in South Africa, but my roots lie in Warsaw, Poland. When I started illustrating books in 2006, it happened more or less by accident. A friend of my sister’s asked me to illustrate her family story, which I took on as a part-time project. I didn’t realise at that time that it was going to be a career-changing decision. Once I had a few illustrations in my portfolio, I decided to take a risk and approach one of the local publishers. The editor replied immediately, and I had my first real book contract within a week. I was a little overwhelmed but, more importantly, ecstatic! It has been an intense five years of extremely hard work, but I couldn’t be happier. I’ve published over 15 books (in different African languages), and I’ve managed to scoop up four awards, one of which is an SCBWI Crystal Kite award for the Africa region.
(Click to enlarge slightly)
I work in different media — starting from gouache, acrylic, oil, watercolour to digital colouring. I like to use different media for different projects; it keeps my work interesting. Even though my latest books, such as Haasmoles (Lapa Publishers) and Sparky (Fantasi Books), have been digitally-coloured, I always draw everything by hand using pencil and paper. I love working with my hands and would love the opportunity to paint more illustrations. Recently, I’ve started working on small watercolour artworks for children’s rooms – these are really fun to do. I get to draw cute characters and paint them any way I like.
Book has been written in Afrikaans by Jaco Jacobs.”
(Click to enlarge)
In my spare time, I’m finding myself writing more and more. I have a few stories I’m working on, so hopefully these will get published within a year or two. So far, 2012 is turning out to be a year filled with many exciting opportunities, which I hope to share with you at a later date.“
on an adventure to help him fall asleep.”
(Click to enlarge)
Thanks again to Maja for visiting. I particularly like that opening image and am wondering what I can do to secure a hat just like that.
All images are used with permission of Maja Sereda. She notes, for those interested, that the e-book of Pick-a-Dream Dragon can be found on www.uTales.com.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.
Hi, dear kickers. I have a lot of work ahead of me this month with manuscript edits, so—though I hope you leave your kicks to make the day brighter, as your kicks are wont to do—I think I’ll just leave my kicks 1-7 this morning as:
My friends. My dear, kind, giving wonderful friends, who make life good. You know who you are.
Also, my daughters, who make me laugh. Here’s the six-year-old on the 100th day of kindergarten — as a 100-year-old lady. Maybe I’m easily amused, but that just cracked me right up all day Friday.
“In my day, we didn’t have iPHONES and FACETWIT and LIBERALS.”
Okay, she didn’t really say that, but I’m imagining it. She did say, however, right as I took this photo, “GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU PUNKS.”
And what are YOUR kicks this week? Do tell. Please.