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Category Archives: Awards

Trends – New bends in the path to publication. By J.R.Poulter

Some time last year, Erica Wagner, Publisher at Allen and Unwin, was reported as having said, in relation to graphic novels, that there was a lot to be gained by submitting a  text already illustrated or mostly illustrated [Allen & Unwin publish purely commission only picture books]. Perhaps this may signal a change in direction that may even extend to those other illustrated tomes – picture books and picture book/graphic novel crossovers.

Some writers/illustrators I know have recently signed contracts for ‘print ready’ books.  This is not self-publishing, nor submission to a print-on-demand house but submission to a traditional, royalty paying publisher of a book that is ‘ready to go’ in publishing terms.

What constitutes a ‘print ready’ book?  It is a book that has been –

  • professionally edited,
  • proofread,
  • designed to industry standards,
  • professionally designed cover and,
  • if illustrated, has all images appropriately set.

This is a great way to go for authors who are able to pay illustrators and book designers up front. Most authors are not able to do this.  This then means all creators involved in a book project agreeing to royalty share and working between paid projects to collaborate on their book.

What have I gleaned about such ‘print ready’ deals? One company, smaller and reasonably new, offered a small advance and a good contract, by industry standards, with higher than regular royalty share for creators. An offer of help with promotion was also part of the deal. Another company, medium sized and established, offered no advance but better than average royalty shares for creators and help with promotion and marketing of the book.

How does this stack up against what is generally on offer now?

  • Small and middle range publishers, in general, do not offer advances.
  • Larger publishers offer advances depending on the book, depending on the author, and depending on the agent involved.
  • Smaller and middle range publishers often [there are exceptions] expect the author to do it all in relation to promotion, even requiring the submission of a marketing plan.
  • Larger publishers vary greatly as to how much promotion they will give a book.
  • Generally, publishers will submit copies of their publishing output for major awards, such as the CBCA, and to a selection of leading review outlets.

What’s the down side for author, illustrator, book designer, [often the illustrator], to go down the  ‘print ready’ publishing path?

  • It IS a lot of extra work for all creators involved to ensure the book is ‘professional’ standard even before it is submitted.
  • There is no money upfront.

Are the rewards worth the effort?

  • If you love collaborative work, it is a big plus.
  • Creators have much more project control to create the book they have collaboratively envisaged.
  • A quality product, ‘print ready’,  is a major bargaining point for creators/agents. ‘Print ready’ saves the publisher heaps!

The first company mentioned does small print runs, sells out their print runs, reprints and even sells out reprints and so it seems to be gradually snowballing.

It is too early to know in the second instance.  [I’ll keep you posted!]

My feeling is that, if Erica Wagner was sensing a ‘trend’ and if these companies make a success of it, we will see more such deals.  It’s something to think about!

My own news –

TOOFS!-Promo-3To be launched end of June – “Toofs!” a collaboration between J.R. and Estelle A.Poulter and illustrators Monica Rondino and Andrea Pucci.

Part III – Journey of a Book – the Launch, 13th July, 2012

The launch was wonderful, a chance to  see everything in place, admire friends’ exhibits, show it all off to friends and family and network! Sheryl Gwyther, Prue Mason of SCBWI and Michelle Richards [our wonderful Exhibition coordinator from Brisbane Square Library] organised the launch event. Jenny Stubbs, Coordinator of one of Australia’s leading children’s book festivals, “Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature”,  came down from Ipswich to open the exhibition. Jenny gave a stirring and encouraging speech to gathered authors, illustrators and friends, despite protesting she didn’t fancy herself a speaker . 🙂

Visitors included Dr. Virginia Lowe of “Create a Kid’s Book” fame and Lucia Masciullio of Blue Quoll Publishing, teachers and teacher librarians from Brisbane and Ipswich. Feedback has been excellent. It is vindicating, as an author or as an illustrator, to have people acknowledge the work that goes into a book’s creation and to have a new appreciation of the end result!

Read other reports of the Exhibition on Anil Tortop’s Blog and the SCBWI Facebook page. Better still, go along and have a squizz – Level 2, Brisbane Square Library, George Street Brisbane CBD, from 13th July to 31st August, 2012!

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Journey of a Book – Part I – children’s literature creation under the microscope

Books are created from the imagination and inspiration of authors and the insightful vision of illustrators. They are then crafted. The authorial crafting may be right brain with a touch of editing or slow and laborious left brain plotting. For an illustrator, it may be  inspiration flowing like rivers from brush or  stylus or it may be  storybook or dummy creation then rethinks, scrap some ideas, adapt others. Eventually, a book emerges that is then ‘ready for submission’. These days, that may mean  adding animation and audio to make the book a digital production for app developers like  Utales or Flying Books, or for YA, formatting it for Kindle or Nook e-publishers. It may mean self publishing on Createspace  or Lightningsource, Smashwords or Lulu.  Or it will mean the long road via submission to traditional publishers.

If the latter is chosen, the publisher will often require more editing, changes and perhaps more changes. My own book, started under contract to one publisher, was already well underway with the inimitable Sarah Davis as illustrator. We were having a ball creating our book. Then our publisher was taken over and the new publisher wanted  to  institute changes. At first, the major change – ‘get rid of the dead bird’ – seemed straight forward. Then we realised  the book needed the bird but, to keep it, we had to  make some big adjustments. An injured bird can’t just disappear in a children’s book, it has to get better and be released, which, in our picture book, meant its story  had to be woven into the fabric of the main story seamlessly. No problem, a few days and Sarah and I had nailed it! As book creators, you have to be flexible and, especially if going the traditional publisher route, you can’t be too precious about your creation.

SO! This exhibition is about the journey numbers of wonderful children’s and YA books took from creation to  bookshelf! Each book has a different creation story to reveal – something the public doesn’t see, it’s behind the scenes. Now the reader can take a peek backstage, behind the scenes to how it all came together!


Setting up was not straight forward. The spaces has to be utilised to best advantage and the  items displayed needed to be seen from as many angles as possible given I had a two shelf rectangular glass case.  I didn’t end up using everything I brought with me. It would have been too cluttered. Last minute inclusion, bulldog clips, proved life-savers! They held the  photographic prints in place.

I had never ‘hung’ a painting before at an exhibition and that proved ‘interesting. Sarah Davis sent up her wonderful original painting via kindly courier, Peter Taylor, but it was unframed. I had no time to find a frame. Fortunately, I had one around the house that was  a good match colour-wise though not quite the  perfect size.

Given my exhibit was about my close collaboration with Sarah, the items displayed needed to reflect the two minds working together to make a new creative whole – our book! Sources of inspiration, stages in text change, changes in images, cover and trivia relating to the characters, objects and places in the book, all combined to make a successful ( I hope you agree) exhibit!

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The Exhibition, Journey of a Book, has a wide range of book journeys exhibited, from YA novel, like David McRobbie’s, to real life adventure  by Prue Mason, picture books like those by Kathrine Battersby and chapter books like the one by Angela Sunde, to non fiction works on calligraphy as an illustrative art form by Peter Taylor.

How not to do a Book Launch?!

When Jenny Stubbs, Festival Coordinator Extraordinaire, told me I had a slot to launch “All in the Woods” I was ecstatic! It was my first book to be published in the UK and a launch venue at the Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature, Woodlands, was almost too good to be true. Jenny facilitated a link to Aleesah Darlison who agreed to MC. BRILLIANT! What could go wrong?

The Ipswich Festival is always an exciting event! It is held at Woodlands, a stunning, heritage listed venue set amongst rural fields, magnificent trees and rolling hills – what a setting for a launch! The lead up to the day, Tuesday, 13th September 2011, was a real buzz! Then the unthinkable happened… The weekend before, my throat started to get that irritating little scratch and that niggly cough that sometime precedes worse. Sunday night it started to hit! Laryngitis!

Friends, good friends can be the saving of such worst case scenarios. I spoke (whilst I still had a voice) to Tara Hale, who designed the promo poster, would she be Guest Artist “Pink” the possum [cousin of “Ink” the animal hero of my book]. Next I contacted  Nooroa Te Hira, he has worked as a tour guide so I knew he would ace a reading of my book. Then I rang Christian Bocquee and asked would he help with nitty grittys like directing teachers and students to seats, distributing prizes and general moral support! Bless them, they all ‘volunteered’ unstintingly!

Result? Fun, fun, fun!  We had a ball, the book launch was a total success! The author having to use copious amounts of sign language but, hey, she has 5 kids so she speaks the  lingo with hands and fingers! 🙂

You can see some of the fun in the gallery below.

And the book, which was illustrated by wonderful watercolourist Linda Gunn

? It had been a truly international effort – written by an Aussie, illustrated by an American and published by a Brit! The icing on the cake was a nomination for the OPSO Award!

Here is a recent review by Kathy Schneider!

Where can you get it? Here!

“Mending Lucille”, Radio New Zealand review by John McIntyre

Cover, "Mending Lucille"

I thought I had probably long gone received the last of the reviews for my Crichton Award winning picture book, “Mending Lucille”. WRONG! Just got the loveliest, very belated review –
Sarah Davis [my amazing collaborator, illustrator on this wonderful project] sent it to me today. It came out on 17th June this year! Better late than never!

John McIntyre gave a very thoughtful, in depth review citing the use of “Mending Lucille” by the Monash Centre for Grief Education in the training of counselors working with children experiencing grief, loss or separation from a parent. Read more of this post

Children’s Book Festival, Family Day 3rd April 2011 – State Library Victoria & Wheeler Centre

“Books Are Fun”

Children’s Book Festival 2011,  Family Day 3rd April 2011, 10.00am to 4.00pm

State Library of Victoria and the Wheeler Centre

This free programme of ‘events’ over the Sunday was hugely popular.  It was described as “the biggest celebration of children’s books that Melbourne has ever seen”. Families and children’s book lovers crammed into venues to hear a wonderful assemblage of Australia’s leading authors and illustrators. They queued for meter after meter to meet authors and illustrators and have their load of precious books signed.  They waited for hours to be able to get into workshops, storytelling and performances.

The ‘Family Day’ was the brainchild of the State Library of Victoria and the Wheeler Centre who held, coordinated and promoted  the various sessions.  Authors and illustrators were fully utilised, most doing at least two events on the programme. [http://wheelercentre.com/static/files/assets/087ddc27/CBW_Childrensbooks_A4programme-DR7.pdf ]

Some notes from the day:


John Nicholson/Roland Harvey interview with SLV staffer

John Nicholson (architect) – author and illustrator

John started writing fiction. His publisher suggested he write non-fiction.

Working with A&U –  John has an idea and approaches them with it or they have an idea and approach John. At one stage they seemed to take a turn about with this process. He now just develops ‘the ideas I want to’. He prefers to work alone now.

John agreed with Roland, in  creating an authentic “Sense of place” it was important, if at all possible, to do the research for the text and images on location.

Roland Harvey (architect)  author and illustrator

History was something that always fascinated him and which initially led him to writing and illustrating books.

Family activities have inspired  some of his books – “At the Beach” and ‘To the Top End”.  “You need to know, to “feel” the place you are writing about. To research you should “be there to be really successful”. Otherwise ther is the internet but Roland considered this sort of research “much harder” in trying to create a real sense of ‘place’.

He collaborates a lot. His latest book is a collaboration with Mem Fox which was launched at the Family Day. He doesn’t publish any more  and mainly works with Penguin and A&U. He liked the freedom he had  as publisher. He surrounded himself with experts in each area. He found his best books were done “against the advice of others”. It was risky but he LOVED the freedom to do what he was passionate about.

His next project is another picture book based on family travels. He is also avidly exploring Apps and is excited about this development in children’s books.

Terry Denton/Chris Morpeth interview with SLV staffer

Terry Denton  author/illustrator

The place where I like to write/draw:

I have a studio in my backyard. It is quiet, no distractions.

“Gasp” is my favourite of my creations.

Denton and Andy Griffith go away for a week together when working on a new joint project to ‘get it started’.

Chris Morpeth (former teacher) author

The place where I like to write:

In a café over coffee – there are no distractions. At home, I get distracted with Nintendo and Mario. I make my stories up as I go along. I think the more you do the better you get.

Terry & Chris agreed  re book writing/creation, “If it is too organised, it doesn’t work!”

Leigh Hobbs interview with SLV staffer

Leigh Hobbs (former teacher) author/interviewer

His first version of ‘Old Tom’  was rejected. This version had an angrier look and  smoked  a cigar.  The next version, accepted, was more humorous and sly. Leigh draws the pictures for his books first as he has his ‘run of ideas’. Then he ”works“ to finish the book. He felt  he wrote books of the sort he liked a a kid. He loved Enid Blyton, Treasure Island.

A lesson he learnt early, was that children  want “Mums” kept within certain parameters, e.g. Old Tom’s ‘Mum’, Angela Throgmorton.

Leigh Hobbs and Old Tom's evolution

“Mending Lucille” – A Peak Inside

Mending Lucille - cover

Mending Lucille - cover

Mending Lucille has been described as …

“…a book to be treasured by all. It is the story of a young girl and how she copes with the loss of her mother. The illustrations are both stunning and sensitive… Mending Lucille is a story which will help any child coping with the loss of a loved one. It shows that time will heal but you never have to forget. The theme of grief is dealt with in a sensitive and age appropriate manner. The little girl is never given a name. She doesn’t need one. She is every child who has ever suffered the pain of losing someone they care about.”
I loved it.      “The Reading Stack”, Issue 11, August 2008, page 12

Peak inside nowhttp://bit.ly/VQxs1

Angel Dominguez – Spain’s leading illustrator in the tradition of the Golden Age

NEWS ALERT _ This last week Angel was announced the winner of an award for THE JUNGLE BOOK  as the best illustrated book in Spain for 2010!

Interview with Spain’s leading illustrator, The Golden Age continues!

Angel Dominguez [for sketch of Captain Cleveland]

Angel Dominguez - for sketch of Captain Cleveland

Jennifer: Fans of Dulac and Rackham do not despair, they have a worthy successor. The art of Angel Dominguez has already been compared to the master illustrators of the Golden Age of book illustration. He has the vibrant colour and pattern of Dulac and both the delicate and the quirkily grotesque approach to fantasy characterisation for which Rackham was famous. Angel, I believe you formally started your career in illustration in 1971? What influenced you to choose such a career? Are there other artists in your family background?

Angel: “Curiously and curiously” as Alice says… because my master is Arthur Rackham, but you´re right,  I also love Edmund Dulac. Many people say I´m more like Dulac. In writing on the topic,“The Master illustrator of the Golden Age of book illustration”, you must write about Rackham and Dulac, both have the same quality and charm.

I had an uncle, who was a very good painter in oils. So if you ask about genetics, I think that maybe there is a link, but to be an artist it is really only necessary to love art and all that’s around us.

Captain Cleveland

Captain Cleveland

My strongest influence in choosing to illustrate children’s books was Arthur Rackham without a doubt. I remember, as a child, having a book in my hands with a little and awful reproduction of “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” from Alice in Wonderland. It was so bad, I was even unable to read the signature of the artist…but, in that moment, I knew I wanted to do that wonderful kind of art. I fell in love with that imaginative place too, the Mad Hatter and the other characters, with that cottage and background… I felt a lot of sensations, good inner reactions to that technique of painting. I WANTED to do the same! And further, visiting London, I saw a lot of books by that artist… and now I have nearly all his books on my shelves. I did Alice´s Adventures in Wonderland with Artisan of New York and I was the happiest man on Earth. I did The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with special affection, and the original was sold quickly. People even asked me to paint other ‘originals’ of that same scene.

Jennifer: Who were the artists, you feel, had the most influence on your style as a young illustrator and why?

Angel: If we talk about fantasy (also I´m wildlife artist) my strongest influential artists were:


All the amazing paintings on the walls of the caves, from Altamira, the best, I think, to all others around the world, in the deserts of Africa, America…


I love each nationality of artists in the wild, for all of the continents, but specially the Australian Aborigines, they painted wonderful art on rocks and on bark… I was so inspired, I also did some paintings in this medium.

3rd COMIC:

Alex Niño, Moebius, Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Toppi, Josep Mª Beá, Carlos Giménez… a lot of the world of comic.


Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, John Bauer, Beatrix Potter, Kay Nielsen… a lot too.


Speaking of ART… I must mention too Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele… and the masters of China and Japan, specially Hokusai, whose books on Manga were one of the most wonderful pieces of art that I ever saw.

Jennifer: What inspires you most in the creation of your art?

Mowgli and the Wolves

Mowgli and the Wolves

Angel: Animals and plants… Nature, Beauty and Love.

A beautiful lady, a nice orchid, a wonderful gorilla, an elephant… the amazing giraffe, that incredible animal which still is with us on this planet. The blue whale… the little mice, the birds… with colors and forms without end.

Aesop's Fables - The Vain Jackdaw

Aesop's Fables - The Vain Jackdaw

To save the wonderful creatures in this amazing world is in the forefront of my interest, so, painting them to show all their beauty and their interaction with their interesting human companions as they appear together in the wild, this is my goal. As Sir David Attenborough said, he likes to show nature’s wonders in order to preserve them; he never liked to do movies withdistressing messages to the innocent bystander who was at home sitting in their chair.” But it´s difficult, you cannot forget, for example, the bushmen of the Kalahari desert, who are disappearing so fast, already it is a challenge to find a family complete – and all due to the diamonds under their feet… and the powerful people don´t know that the true diamonds are these very same tribes folk?

Celtic inspiration - detal

Celtic inspiration - detail

The variation in art inspires me… I see a wonderful book on Celtic art and I WANT to do Celtic art… I see an interesting carved wood or stone… and I would like to do the same. In fact, I saw a picture by Arthur Rackham and that was the start in my career as illustrator, I wanted to do images like that.

Jennifer: Every body is different some can only paint when inspired, some have a daily routine. How do you approach your work?

Angel: Setting down to work is a daily ‘routine’, constantly having in mind the sketch book for each work in which roughs are done when I´m inspired, so, the results come together in the right way. Routine is a word that artists must categorise as ‘forbidden’. In fact, I hate schedules, or… I´m unable to use them, so, let me see… I think that I don´t use schedules nor “daily routine” per se! This, speaking of my work in the fantasy genre only, because I also work on wildlife art, which is the easiest for me, and in this case, routine isn’t a trouble to me. The truly ‘work’ of art is the fantasy world. The inevitable is to work hard.

Jennifer: Does your native region of Basque Country, its geography, history and legends play a part in who you are as an artist and has it influenced your style? I know you travel in Europe and the United Kingdom and Celtic influences are obvious in your love of delicate, interwoven patterns and symbols. How have they come to be part of what is your signature style?

Basque influence - Mari, Queen of the Basque

Basque influence - Mari, Queen of the Basque

Angel: As a Basque, I think that the woods of this country inspired me as much as the wild life of England near where Rackham lived at Arundel, inspired him; he loved trees, me too. The mountains and nature of Basque Country are a magnificent source of inspiration to me, and have been from my childhood. Also the Basque Myths are interesting to me, and our books are feature plenty of faery characters of all kinds, … perfect for my fantasy.

Of course, every time I do a trip, I take a lot of sketches and photographs, I want to carry with me every wonder that I find. I like the Pubs of London a lot, I have photographs of almost every one of them, and I wanted to do a book only on pubs… well, I did some pictures and two of them were printed in my book Diary of a Victorian Mouse. One of these Pubs, The Porcupine, did a set of postcards of my drawing in this book, and they were sold in that Pub. To drink a pint of good beer looking at these postcards was a nice moment.

Also, I knew in England the wonderful Celtic art in the Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels, what a collection of striking calligraphy and patterns and borders… I love all of these wonderful books.

Jennifer: You have an obvious love for storytelling, your pictures talk to the viewer, do you deliberately put layers of story into your works or is this a right brain thing that happens as part of the creative process?

Arabian Nights - Mediterranean, Moroccan and Basque influences

Arabian Nights - Mediterranean, Moroccan and Basque influences

Angel: Both, I think. We the illustrators, well, the artists in general, we put in our creations our acquired culture throughout our lives, spontaneously, and those details which aren´t spontaneous, with hard work. So, the viewer can admire our culture and enjoy our hard work.

Jennifer: You have a very keen eye for detail, especially in your drawings of wildlife. But your animals are more than just good anatomical representations, they leap from the page! Do you carry a sketchbook with you, a camera or do you rely on memory or zoological sources?

Angel: Again, both, every tool helps me. My sketchbook, my camera, my memory… AND… my loved books, movies, stamps and cards. Memory is the less important. Having talked about memory’s role in our work with my artists friends, all agree in this, and more… I know a gag:

-“I heard that memory is the intelligence of fools”… said a man to a friend…

-“Yes, and so it is because I forget everything”.

Always I carry a little sketchbook with me, and when a good idea comes, I draw it… and after, I put it in larger sketchbooks, which often have better drawings than in the same published books!

Jennifer: Can you share with me and the readers some of your earliest experiences with art?

Angel: The very first, as a baby… was an “O” filled with a pencil… I needed to fill that blank room. Well, this book, of my father, is still with me, and I have no better drawings with me from my childhood, which was awful. Due to the work of my father, we were doing trips up and down to many places, and all my drawings from school and that which I did at home were lost… a pity… and they were a lot indeed. This happened to Hokusai too, but worse; all the first pictures, from a wonderful stage in his life, disappeared in a fire that burned his house… and, further, he never was able in to do them again, although he did try to recreate them.



Further, as a youngster, I did comics, and I won two first prizes, with my creation Fedra, a woman of the future as heroine… and I´m thinking of following up with further work on her some day, not too much later on. I have some good ideas for her, but in the form of a book not as a comic.

Jennifer: You have done some outstanding work illustrating new editions of such all time classics as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Wind in the Willows”. This must have presented some unique challenges.

How do you approach a project such as “Alice in Wonderland” which has already had many well know illustrators put their stamp on it?

Alice and the Duchess from Alice in Wonderland

Alice and the Duchess from Alice in Wonderland

Angel: Easy for me, I love Alice in Wonderland very much… I approached this story WITH EMOTION, which is THE GOAL OF ART, as another artist said, Goyo Dominguez –not a relative. I love this special world created by Carroll so much, that not only do I love the story but each of the characters, of course, the writer, the illustrated editions… England, in a word. I wanted to go to England to feel the origin of the book, the mood… to visit a lot of bookshops, to buy a lot of old books, not only of Alice, but of the Victorian times. Each part of my book is full of plenty of messages.

And, if you look closely at many Victorian times (Carroll’s time), The Great Exhibition was held in the Crystal Palace… The objects on display came from all parts of the world, including India and the countries with recent white settlements, such as Australia and New Zealand, that constituted the new empire.

So, I took advantage of this event which, at that time, had the effect of familiarizing English society with foreign wildlife, to paint the wonderful animals that you have there in Australia into the illustrations.


If you ask to me about the very first approach to this book I must say that I had two pencil drawings from many years ago… and my wife said me:

“Angel, you must finish that pair of drawings and send them to a publisher”. I did it… and the answer, from Artisan (WORKMAN, of New York):

-“Please do you be so kind to paint another six watercolors”… and I did it… and the contract arrived fast.

And about other ‘meaning’… I approached the story having in mind a lot of things, not only the many illustrators, and Disney´s wonderful characters, but thinking to do a VERY good work… and I think that I did it, because the edition of 25.000 items were sold.

Also I´m thinking of doing a book on this book… with a lot of interesting things from Carroll´s world, the jokes, characters and details that I included.

[Rabbit sends in a little Bill – Alice in Wonderland]

There Goes Bill

Some details are hidden… as my own wife said, I work a lot on each plate… so much of that spontaneously included ‘meaning’ is lost.

[There goes Bill – Alice and Wonderland]

Mr. Mole - Wind in the Willows

Mr. Mole - Wind in the Willows

As yet I haven’t illustrated The Wind in the Willows… I only drew a pair of watercolors… and already they have been sold in England. They have yet to see the light in the form of a book… who knows, may be that will be my last book to illustrate, as Rackham himself did.

Jennifer: What stories and books hold fondest and earliest memories for you? Do they play, do you think, a part in your choice of projects?

Angel: Of course, Alice is one of them. I read it many years ago, many times… and, as I think that half my soul is English, I understood it very well, and I enjoyed it… specially in thinking to illustrate it.

Other good books to me are:

THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Ratty and Mole - The Wind in the Willows

Ratty and Mole - The Wind in the Willows

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame

PETER PAN by James Barrie

THE UGLY DUCK, the best tale I think.

CINDERELLA, another strong story.

UNDINE by Baron de la Motte-Fouqué, another of the greatest.

PINOCCHIO by C.Collodi.

GRIMM´S Fairy Tales

Marquis of Carabas [Puss in Boots]

Marquis of Carabas - Puss in Boots


A lot of books and stories… difficult to remember all of them and not wanting to bore people. And of course these stories are part of my life and my love for my profession.

Jennifer: Where are you hoping to take your art to next? What projects are coming up?

Angel: As I learned from my English friends, it is often preferable not talk about them. This is done with a number of intentions… it prevents the risk of  ideas being copied. To chose a book to do already is an idea, specially when a classic. And to the readers, if the project doesn’t go ahead, that is disappointing news… and if appears as a surprise, it´s good news, something interesting.

Layering and Symbolism - Mowgli and his wolf Mother

Layering and Symbolism - Mowgli and his wolf Mother

I can say that I´m currently working on The Jungle Book by Kipling.  I must get that finished this very month. Also I´m proud to said that I´m working on books with friends from JacketFlap. I´ll find free time to paint good watercolors for good stories that suit my style a lot. I must say that, at JacketFlap, I have found very good friends, not only Tracy and Eric, but others as wonderful models for my pictures. Artists are always searching for good models, and here I found a lot, who were happy to let me draw them. I have a lot of friends as models, not only in Spain, but in the States and in England. It´s funny when I gift some book to them… some have been very touched. One lovely lady cried with joyous surprise when she saw herself portrayed in a color plate in a book on pirates.

Jennifer: Have you ever thought of designing film sets or dabbling in animation? Tim Burton has brought some darker legends to life in an animated film noire for older children. Have you ever thought of doing something like this?

Angel: By the way, there´re a possibility that I can work with Tim in the movie of Alice which he is working on right now!. I´ll keep you posted if this goes ahead.

The Arabian Nights - Silhouette

The Arabian Nights - Silhouette

I have some part of my brain that thinks along the same lines as Burton, but not specially in relation to the dark side of those stories, but the fantasy element. For example, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow also is one of my favourite books, also illustrated by Rackham. Not all are dark, if you see Corpse Bride, you’ll agree that it’s a tender love story. And the main character of The Nightmare Before Christmas is tender too, with the sad or smiling face, long legs, walking and dancing and singing all the time.

Yes, always I loved animated films, specially Disney´s, and movies are part of our lives. And it´s a matter of luck to find someone to work with. For example, also I have a friend who can introduce me to James Cameron´s movies, and the last movie, AVATAR was suitable for me to paint the creatures, but I arrived late to this project and the Blue Lady, the main character I think, is very different than the one I could create… mine would be without tail. I knew the thriller version of this movie due to my American friend, and I envy that wonderful life in other world. Si-Fi is one of my preferences in books and movies. I love the books by Ray Bradbury, I have all of them. And I think that Arthur C. Clarke is good indeed, but I prefer the poet Bradbury, I feel his world as if it were mine. I´m pretty sure that Bradbury is the best writer in the world. I would like to illustrate each of his books or to do all of them in movies.

When I was very young I liked animation a lot, to work in this world was a dream, but right now I like more doing good illustrations to books, or backgrounds and creating characters to the movies.

Anaconda- Front Cover art

Anaconda- Front Cover art

Jennifer: Lastly, Angel, is there a question you would like to answer, something I have not covered? Now is your chance to cover it!


Being a book illustrator, I have been fortunate to find a lot of wonderful friends and have had many  unique life experiences. I have fans in England, USA and Australia right now… I traveled to many interesting places, but the most fascinating of them was Jordania, where I met  Queen Rania and I collaborated on  a book with her! Also I´m working in four projects with friends I have met through Jacketflap.

Also I want to express  how grateful I am to the publishers of all the world, without them, we, the illustrators cannot apply our art:


-ARTISAN of New York.

-JUVENTUD of Barcelona.

-IBAIZABAL AND ELKAR of Basque Country.


Lastly, I wish PEACE in the world… all of us must take advantage of every opportunity to tell how important is to save the world from a sooner end. This interview is such an opportunity.

One of the wisest men in the world, Jose Luis Sampedro, a Spanish writer and a very old and peaceful man, said yesterday on TV in Spain that the end of the world is in the hands of the powerful people but crisis doesn’t damage them, so, they don´t want to look for a solution.

And I add from sayings by the native Americans, the Indians, one of their best sayings, “money can’t be eaten, and that when water is scarce and air becomes unbreathable, there will be no money to fix it.”

Angel is holding two exhibitions in Britain. The link to the  first is below.

At Salisbury Museum, you can see the exhibition of Angel’s originals of Alice in Wonderfland, together with his illustrations for Narnia and Tales by Hans Christian Andersen.  The items are for sale.

Alice in Wonderland

Down the Rabbit Hole - on sale at "The Wonder of Illustration" Exhibition, Salisbury Museum

Down the Rabbit Hole - on sale at "The Wonder of Illustration" Exhibition, Salisbury Museum

T-Shirts featuring designs based on Angel’s paintings are now available [including of the white rabbit painting to right]. Price: 20 euros.
Quality: Fruit of the Loom, High quality.

The shirts can be purchased by contacting Angel or Carmen Dominguez:



A number of signed prints are also available for purchase. See below:

Mad Hatter's Tea Party, signed print for sale.

Alice dreams... signed print for sale

Down the rabbit hole... signed print for sale

Example of Alice in Wonderland T-Shirts

Angel's Alice in Wonderland now available on t-shirts

Nature study - Butterfly

Nature study - Butterfly