2011 Alcala Prize winner, Yasmin Doctor, graciously agreed to my request for interview. Her clean and colorful illustrations rendered Rizaldy, the 2011 Salanga Prize winning story of Eugene Evasco, a relevant read. Last I heard, Lg & M is serious at publishing the story book in time for December 2011. It would be the final month of the sesquicentennial celebration of Rizal's birth year.
Ms. Doctor's interview below is an interesting tale of a botanist enthusiast turned illsutrator. She reveals her creative process with Rizaldy as well.
Why do you draw?
No matter what I do I always end up drawing or painting. I’ve always wanted to be a botanist, I’m a frustrated forager; still, I end up drawing. It’s funny to be honest, yet it amazes me most of the time that I have this potential to make something using lines and shapes.
When did you discover that you have a talent for illustrating?
It was in college. I’m no fine arts grad, so I didn’t really know where to start back then. It was through my 4th sister who introduced me to Ang-INK (Illustrador ng Kabataan). She showed me the site and asked me whether I’d like to join. I thought, “Why not? Mukhang exciting, miske wala akong masyadong alam sa illustration!” (It looks exciting though I know nothing about illustrating for children.)
Describe your creative process
Several character studies. The faces of Mona, John Paul, and Rizaldy were based from the faces of Mona Lisa, The Pope John Paul, and Rizal (respectively). (I) Devoted a Sunday for research and had an intense walk-a-thon from Quiapo – Binondo – Fort Santiago – Luneta – Lawton and back to Quaipo. Was just walking, looking around for ideas that could help me in making the entry.
What are your dream projects?
To have many art-related projects (hehe). Siguro for now, to have an art project that can fulfill that botanist / forager fantasy of mine.
What are your favorite works by another illustrator?
Marami(Plenty). Cat Painter by Mark Salvatus, yung Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu by Serj Bumatay, Sarimanok vs. Ibong adarna by Jess Abrera, and any book illustrated by Jiri Trnka.
My idol list gets longer and longer as I grow older, but first on the list is my dad. In general, I like being with productive people. Good vibes!