Back to News

Astounding Career Highlights with Teresa Martinez Nov 3 2021

Published on 11/11/2021

This November, we sit down with the ASTOUNDing Teresa Martinez and catch up with the latest in her illustration journey and learn more about her artistic process…

Hi Teresa! After such a successful year, our readers would love to hear about how your career began. What was the first book you ever illustrated?

At the beginning I’ve worked with publishing agencies for a few years and then a friend invited me to do a few vignettes for a Richmond (Mexico) preschool book, around 2004.

From a few vignettes to full picture books, what a great journey! How have you grown as an illustrator since that first project?

I’ve polished my style and technique. Having worked in many books throughout the years I’ve learned to adapt my style depending on the story. Color theory is something I developed too, I’ve learned from many books and from studying the masters of the impressionism, now I can go from a subdued palette to a vibrant one if required. Each book has its own personality.

We love this about your work, being adaptable while retaining your personal brand and style is such an important skill as an illustrator! Looking back over your past illustrated books and projects, which book holds a special place in your heart?

I feel a soft spot for the first picture book I was commissioned, it was Fabulas Mexicanas (Mexican Fables) published by Edebe in 2009, it was also a special project due to the importance of the historical text. I feel proud for the book Mario and the Hole in the Sky, about the magnificent work and research of Dr Mario Molina, since I always feel it is vital to make science easily accesible to children. It’s Not a Bed it’s a Time Machine is also on my list because I really enjoyed working on all its funny details, it’s about a boy dreaming about dinosaurs, it was crazy!

I’d love to know about your experience working on ‘Sing with Me: The Story of Selena Quintanilla’. What was it like illustrating a book about such a famous Latina icon?

I felt very proud, she was a huge icon in my hometown, and influenced many girls from my generation, her music was everywhere and made everyone happy. I felt proud to participate in this book, to me it was like a tribute for all those happy days of our childhood.

What is your favorite part of working on a new project? How does the process usually work for you?

I think that what I like the most is when images start to form in my head, like a movie, when reading the text. If that doesn’t happen then it means that it is probably not a book for me. After that I do little rough sketches at the border of the paper, like taking notes. Then I work on a storyboard and place it on my wall so I can analyze the sequence. I move on to do detailed sketches and send them to the editors. After the revisions I visualize a color palette and start painting it, which is a whole other process in itself… But that is mostly how I work.

Wow, such an imaginative process! We’ve loved working with you and getting this behind-the-scenes glance into your life. Could you let our readers know how long you have been represented by Astound, and what your most rewarding experience has been with us so far?

I feel deeply blessed after working with Astound for 4 years. My career has grown thanks to them in a way that it couldn’t been able due to the circumstances in which my country lives. I have had the opportunity to imagine and work on fantastic stories with great people who are so professional and interested in doing beautiful books of a top notch quality.

Have you won any awards during your time as an illustrator?

Yes! This year Mario and the Hole in the Sky won the AAAS/SUBARU prize for the Best Children’s Science Picture Book, that made me really happy.

Congratulations! Is there any advice you could give to aspiring illustrators, from your own personal experience?

To draw a lot, every day and make sure your work is visible, you never know who might be looking.

Great tips, keep creating and keep posting! Thanks so much Teresa!

Keep your eyes peeled for exciting announcement on new releases from Teresa by following Astound on FacebookInstagram, TwitterTikTok and LinkedIn!

Other News

Locations to Include in Your Portfolio Part 1

Images by Advocate Art illustrators Claire Mcelfatrick (left) and Jenny Wren (right) Locations to Include in Your Portfolio Part 1 Teacher: ITSme Society  Oh, the places you’ll go, in your illustrations that is. Your artwork can take you anywhere. The more travel in your work, the more exciting your portfolio will be. Try thinking of…

Collaborate Design Manager Wins The BookTrust Story Time Prize

The BookTrust shortlisted 6 wonderful children’s books for ages 0-5. Families and children attended special events at their local libraries to vote for their favourites. On April 26th ‘Can You Tickle a Tiger?’ was announced the winner for 2023. Collaborate’s Design Manager, Carrie, is absolutely over the moon to receive this award as illustrator and…

Comic Book and Sci-fi Posts Illustrated by Illo Agency Artist!

Illo Agency’s all-inspiring artist Cheyne Gallarde recently worked for HUMAN Security which is one of the biggest cyber security brands in the world and celebrated how far they’ve come through their first-ever comic book adaptation. The company was born in a sci-fi bookstore in Brooklyn, so it seemed appropriate to create a Comic where the…

Astound Illustrator Shortlisted for The Academy of British Cover Design!

Exciting news for Astound illustrator, Carles Ballesteros! ‘Mike Falls Up’ has been shortlisted for The Academy of British Cover Design Awards in the Children’s 6-12 category! A joyous story celebrating the power of unexpected friendships by award-winning author Candy Gourlay, beautifully brought to life with stunning illustrations by Carles Ballesteros. Mike and his dog Bowow…

Yeon Agency Illustrator, Mai Ngo, Featured at AFCC 2023

The 14th Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) is set to be held in Singapore from 25th to 28th May 2023. Organised by the Singapore Book Council, the festival will be in-person and will feature various renowned artists and illustrators. One of the exciting young illustrators to showcase her work is Yeon Agency Illustrator Mai…

Illo Agency Artist and The Harry Potter Almanac

This October (2023) whisk yourself away into Harry Potter’s wizarding world with this beautiful illustration collection of spells, fantastic beasts & magical wonders in The Harry Potter Almanac. The book was joyfully illustrated by 7 artists, one of them being Illo Agency illustrator, Pham Quang Phuc! The Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac features an astonishing level…