Interview with Illustrator Jose Lucio

I’m so excited to share my interview with Jose Lucio with you today. Jose is a talented illustrator who has illustrated several books I’ve had the honor of reviewing (check out my review for Heave, Ho! here and Free Rain here.). His works include incredible artwork. In Heave, Ho!, you will get to pause at the modern techniques he uses in the story. In Free Rain, the illustrations are so bright and cheerful. Jose is from Georgia and his Instagram feed is full of school visits, sneak peeks to new projects, and new places his books are going. You can find Jose by going to his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

I hope you enjoy this interview!

1. Can you share the art techniques you used in Heave, Ho! And Free Rain?

Jose: All of the artwork for my books and illustrations are done in Photoshop. I start out by creating really simple shapes for the characters and environment. Once I have the shapes all set, then I start layering up visual textures to give each element its own unique look.

2. Where do you get the inspiration for your artwork?

Jose: Inspiration for me comes from everyday life. Especially from the quirkier side of things. I suppose that’s evident in my book about a bunch of worms and a book about a coop of nervous chickens.

3. Do you have a daily ritual when working on a project?

Jose: I do a lot of freelance work, which means my schedule is always shifting to whatever project or projects are coming up on a deadline. Overall, though I wake up and go for a walk with the dogs (2 chihuahuas), then I spend a few hours at the drawing table/computer, around lunch I’ll go run some errands and walk the dogs again, after that I can usually manage another hour at the drawing table before I start teaching, most days I have 2-3 hours worth of art lessons that I teach, when I get back home I’ll play with the dogs for awhile, have dinner, then finish up the night by doing the business side of things- emails, marketing, booking, etc. Then when I find myself dozing at the computer I’ll head to bed.

4. Do you have any new books or projects in the works?

Jose: I don’t have any book projects at the moment, and that’s mainly because it takes a lot of time and effort to get the word out about a new book, so my focus right now is spreading the word about Free Rain. I will be doing small tours throughout the summer and then I’ll be on the road for September and October, so I’m also pretty engaged with that.

5. I noticed you do school visits. Can you share what you love about school visits?

Jose: School Visits are so much fun, they really are a highlight of this whole process for me. When I’m at a school we do an interactive reading and then we all do a drawing activity together. Through the drawing lesson, I share “the secret to draw anything in the whole wide world” and kids are always so amazed at the end by what they’ve created.

6. If a school wants to arrange a visit with you, how can they contact you?

Jose:  I’m always looking to visit more schools and libraries, so just send me a message at Jose@JoseLucio.com to book a visit. There are also a lot of pictures of past events and more details on my website, so feel free to swing by there and have a look around. www.JoseLucio.com

7. Any tips for budding young artists?

Jose: To all the young artists out there, of course I have to say practice, practice, practice! In addition to that, know that there are at least a zillion ways to create art and I believe there’s really no wrong way to do it- just different ways. Try as many out as you can, you’ve got the seemingly infinite world of tutorial videos on the internet- watch a few of those and you will see that everyone’s got there own unique way of doing things.

8. What was your favorite book as a child?

Jose: It’s really hard to pick a favorite book from my childhood, but there was always something about Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs that really sparked my imagination. For some reason, that book more than any other allowed me to see myself in that environment. The illustrations do more than just tell the story- they invite you in, you can smell the air, and you can feel the storm in the coming breeze. I love it!

9. What are you reading now?

Jose: Right now I’m slowly reading Consolations by David Whyte. I say slowly reading because it’s the kind of book that you read a couple of pages and then give it some time to settle in, which works well for piecing it in to my schedule. It’s an examination of language and the underlying meaning of everyday words- really unique and thought provoking.

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