Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ngumiti Si Andoy - Illustrator Interview

There is a saying “Do not judge the book by its cover”, do you believe that the illustrations, cover, and fa├žade of the book help make or break a purchase?

I believe that the overall design of the book helps make or break a purchase. It's not about creating the most elaborate illustrations with highly skilled techniques. Everything else depends on how the illustrator transforms the message of the story to an easy to understand, has a good space and harmony with the text, but entertaining to a reader's eye at the same time. A reader wants an illustrated book that is pleasing with the eye, something that their mind can understand and what the heart can relate and love. The most crucial moment is when a parent and child grabs a book in a store shelf and check it by flipping the pages in a matter of several seconds. The mom or kid reads the synopsis and scrutinize the   It's a plus if the illustrator has a knowledge on illustrating for certain target age range of readers.

Having said that, did you feel any pressure, particularly in drawing Andres Bonifacio, especially since the book is a celebration of his 150th birthday?

Absolutely. I rarely draw a non-fiction character and how much more he is even our beloved Supremo! The pressure drove me days of researching Andres Bonifacio statues in Baliuag and Balintawak, 19th century guns, fans, fashion and lifestyle, as well as 21st century afternoon skies and parks.

In the process of making the book, what was your biggest challenge, if any?

Creating the look of our well-loved and respectable Fathers of our country is the most challenging of all. Illustrating a non fictional character to a whimsical story is tough. I have to make sure that they will be fitting on every scenario and making sure that their prominent features are intact. I have this complicated moment of asking myself: "If I am a 9 year old kid, will I know if this is Gat Andres? Are his eyes, lips and nose okay?". It's tough but really fun. 

As an artist, what is your typical design process?

Immersion in the character and setting is my initial and most important part of the illustrating process. I have to place myself in that situation and at crucial moments, I try to experience them. After that, everything will be free-flowing in crafting the artwork.

I have asked Xi Zuq this-since in the book Andres Bonifacio came to life, if you could have a meal with any living or departed person, who would it be?

This is a good question and I am still deciding. A merienda (afternoon tea) with Pepe (Jose Rizal) will be awesome. An Inihaw na Manok meal (roasted Chicken) on banana leaves with Andoy is great as well. We both like it so it will be fun.

Any message to the readers and future Ngumiti si Andoy owners?

You may all be wondering what is special in this Andres Bonifacio story. 
The book is a fun "walk in the park" trip with one of our beloved Filipino Heroes with lesson and humor which may not be found in the usual reference materials on the subject of the Supremo.

There are also parts that will tickle your hearts coming from the story of our Andres Bonifacio.

Everyone of you are all heroes and Supremos in your own life stories. Planting trees, picking a candy wrapper in the street, helping people in need or just singing the Lupang Hinirang are ways of a hero.

Continue dreaming, pursue what you want, do what you love to do, don't let obstacles pull you down , love your country and most of all, love others.

Smile! Andoy must be very proud of you all and must be smiling.

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Ngumiti Si Andoy
Ngumiti si Andoy. Ito ang simula ng kuwento ni Andrew na nagsimula sa kanilang Heroes Park. Gusto lamang niya na iguhit ang estatwa ni Andres Bonifacio nang matuklasan niya ang ilang lihim sa buhay ng bayani.

More About The Creators: Author and Illustrator

Si Xi Zuq ay isang guro, manunulat at mambabasa mula sa Lungsod ng Heneral Santos. Kasapi siya ng Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING) at Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA). Bisitahin siya sa

Si Dominic Agsaway ay isang ilustrador ng komiks at librong pambata. Siya ay miyembro ng Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan. Nagtapos siya sa Unibersidad de Santo Tomas (UST) at madalas rin tumambay sa parke habang naghihintay ng sundo. Maaari ninyo siyang ma- email sa

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