It’s kicks #313 on the 13th in 2013.
Surely that means something?
Ah well. I am declaring it means only good things.
Today at 7-Imp I welcome a debut author/illustrator, named Angela Dominguez (pictured left with Hugo), who is originally from Mexico City but now lives in San Francisco, where she also teaches at the Academy of Art University. Angela’s debut picture book will be released this March from Dial Books. Let’s Go, Hugo! tells the story of a bird who prefers walking to flying. He’s not trying to be different for the sake of it; he’s actually afraid of flying. Not that Dominguez opens the book this way. “Hugo was content to live on the ground,” she writes, but we readers ease into the notion that he’s really beset by fears.
Things change when Hugo meets Lulu, the same day he’s building a model (on the ground, of course) of the Eiffel Tower. When Lulu tells him they can fly to the Eiffel Tower and see the real deal, Hugo’s got all kinds of excuses as to why he won’t go. Just when things start to feel really hopeless for Hugo (since Lulu does what she can, but nearly gives up on him) … well, I can’t give the entire story away, but if you’re interested in reading it, it’ll be on bookstore and library shelves, come Spring.
The illustration note on the copyright page indicates that Dominguez uses “Canson paper, ink, [and] tissue paper … on illustration board.” Angela’s here today to tell us a bit more about this and her work, so let’s get right to it. I thank her for visiting.
Angela: Let’s Go, Hugo! is the story of a Parisian bird, who never really takes off — that is, until he meets Lulu.
I work in a variety of materials, including cut paper, ink, pencil, marker, and gouache. I like to work with graphic shapes, expressive lines, and painterly marks.
I’m motivated by experience and look at everything, wondering how it could influence my illustrations. I find inspiration from fine art painters, animation, designers, and children’s book illustrators. A few of my favorites are Wayne Thiebaud, Alex Kanevsky, Al Hirschfeld, Mark English, Mary Blair, Hilary Knight, Edgar Degas, Shaun Tan, Ezra Jack Keats, and Evaline Ness. I also find inspiration through teaching at the Academy of Art University.
My Hugo character originated in 2003. He had humble beginnings as a wind-up chicken toy that my mother mailed me for Easter. When I’d feel particularly low, I’d wind him up and say, “You go, Hugo!” He was my little art spirit or art mascot. During Fall 2005, I began attending graduate school in San Francisco at the Academy of Art. San Francisco was chilly, and I was wearing a scarf nearly every day. In his honor, I painted a portrait of him in the city, added a scarf, and changed him from a chicken to bird.
In 2011, I revisited the character and began doing illustrations. With the suggestion of my agent, Linda Pratt, I began writing Let’s Go, Hugo! In May 2011, Dial Books acquired [it]. I absolutely adore my collaborative team, Jess and Lily at Dial.
I have two other titles coming out this year: Maria Had A Little Llama (Henry Holt), based on “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and Santiago Stays (Appleseed) at the end of the year. In addition, I’m working on new ideas. I never really thought I’d be writing as much as I do, but I love the process. When I was little, I used to write at my Mom’s office on the typewriter at the weekends and draw. I guess I’ve come full circle.
LET’S GO, HUGO! Copyright © 2013 by Angela Dominguez. Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, New York. All images reproduced by permission of Angela Dominguez.
Thanks again to Angela! I’m particularly intrigued by her upcoming titles, aren’t you?
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. New kickers are always welcome.
1) I’m very much enjoying the voice of the protagonist in this children’s novel:
2) No description needed. Just listen to the beauty:
3) Fred Armisen impersonating Ira Glass:
4) I love how generous author/illustrator Jonathan Bean was on Friday in sharing images.
6) A particularly screamy (that’s putting it mildly) and fear-filled visit, on the part of my eight-year-old, to the dentist makes me extremely grateful that she is a well child and that visits like this, involving needles, are only once in a blue moon.
7) The Nashville writing community, at least in children’s lit, is really a wonderful group of very nice, terrifically supportive people. I was reminded of this when I went to a bookstore book-release party for a local author this weekend.
What are YOUR kicks this week?