Back to News

Interview with Astound’s Diobelle Cerna

Published on 13/12/2022

To celebrate the release of the stunning new title “I Am Okay To Feel“, Astound US Inc chatted with their illustrator Diobelle Cerna. We can’t wait to hear all about this empowering picture book that teaches young readers how to embrace their emotions and anxieties!

Diobelle Cerna, Illustrator

What did you find most enjoyable and rewarding about illustrating “I Am Okay To Feel”?

“I really enjoyed the whole process of illustrating for this book—from character designs, color palettes, experimenting with textures, lighting, and shapes! It’s wonderful to see how the book came together as well. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of this project and it’s rewarding to work on a meaningful book that talks about feelings and emotions—something that can be really helpful to us, especially for children. It is also one of the themes that I deeply care about.”

What was your favorite page to illustrate, and why?

“I enjoyed illustrating the one where Jason and Karamo are dancing at the park! It’s one of the most colorful spreads in the book. I wanted the scene to feel lively and just full of movement and joy. I also love how that page reminded me of happy childhood memories.”

How was it working with the team at Zando and all those involved in bringing this title to life?

“It was so much fun! I am so grateful to have experienced collaborating with Jason, Karamo, the Zando team (esp. Tiffany and Carol), and Christina and Aurora from Astound. They are amazing in their respective fields and I have learned a lot working with them.”

What did you find most challenging about the project?

“I think the most challenging part would be conveying the feelings of the characters through colors, textures, and shapes. I Am Okay to Feel is about embracing our emotions and that was something that I tried to capture and translate into drawings.”

Any takeaways that you’d like to share with budding illustrators or those with dreams of illustrating a children’s picture book?

“I am quite new to illustrating for children’s picture books but what has worked for me is to keep drawing, practicing, and to keep building a good portfolio. I think it is also very helpful to use references, learn from your favorite artists, and set reachable goals. There are also times when illustrating feels mundane and it’s alright to take a break—you can always come back. We all have our own pace and getting good at something takes time. Try to find out what makes drawing fun for you and enjoy the process! Also, celebrate your successes (no matter how big or small!)”

Thank you Diobelle for sharing these wonderful insights into “I Am Okay To Feel”. Grab your copy of this beautiful book today!

The ITSme Society is a collective of top creative agencies that represent award-winning talent worldwide. The ITSme Society agencies represent illustrators and writers across 7 agencies: Advocate Art, Astound US Inc, Illo Agency, Artistique, Yeon, CWLA, and Collaborate.

Other News

ITSme Learning Launch a Success at Bologna 2024!

Bologna was a great success for ITSme Learning and the ITSme Society Agencies, with over 500 people visiting the ITSme stand for portfolio reviews! Next year we plan to have a bigger stand, and more ITSme staff ready to accommodate the demand for portfolio reviews. We look forward to meeting you at the show in…

How to illustrate kids’ puzzles: from simple to complex!

How to illustrate kids’ puzzles: from simple to complex! Teacher: Bhavi Patel, Advocate Art Agent/ ITSme Learning Almost every theme and subject matter can be adapted to both kid and adult age groups; the key element that differentiates the two is the level of difficulty. This is determined by how much detail is in the…

What is a Greeting Card Range?

Greeting Card designs by Advocate Art illustrator Charlotte Pepper  What is a Greeting Card Range? Teacher: Jo Cave, artist agent at Advocate Art In the Greeting Card world, we generally plan and create designs in ‘ranges’, which are essentially a collection of designs that are aesthetically linked by style, technique, colour, or theme. Ranges can…

Design Tips: Sticker Books for Illustrators

Design Tips: Sticker Books for Illustrators Teacher: Carrie Knights, Collaborate Agency’s Design Manager Sticker activity books are fun and engaging for children. They help with the development of fine motor skills, imagination, and learning abilities. Here are some helpful tips for your sticker activity book project from Collaborate Agency’s Design Manager, Carrie Knights: The cover…

Top 3 Greeting Card Portfolio Tips

Greeting Card designs by Advocate Art illustrators Amanda Shufflebotham, Kathryn Selbert, and Victoria Nelson. Top 3 Greeting Card Portfolio Tips Teacher: Amanda Hendon, Advocate Art Global Manager Today, we are sharing Advocate Art’s Top 3 Tips for Greeting Card Illustration. These tips come directly from Advocate’s Global Manager Amanda Hendon. Amanda has been working in…

Locations to Illustrate for your Picture Book Portfolio Part 5

Illustrations by Advocate Art illustrators Facundo Aguirre and Michelle Simpson, Astound US Inc. illustrators Dahlia El Broul, Maria Diaz Perera, Chiara Fiorentino, and Marta Garatea, and Yeon Agency illustrator Nurul Ashari Locations to Illustrate for your Picture Book Portfolio Part 5 Teacher: ITSme Society  Oh the places you’ll go, in your illustrations that is. The…