Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Canadian Illustrator and Animator Derek Desierto. I have it on great authority (Derek) that he is a Vancouver-based illustrator, designer, and overall nice guy from a nice family. His animation work has been recognized by the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the National Cartoonist Society, and 9 Story Media Group. Currently, he is living the dream as a freelance artist for animated TV shows, magazines and picture books. His ultimate goal in life is to meet Oprah and become one of her Favorite Things.
Derek, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
What was the inspiration for Oddbird, your newest release? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
Visually, I took a lot of inspiration from Matisse. I love his cut out work for its graphic quality. As for the story, Oddbird was inspired a lot by my own life. Growing up, I was always very different. You don’t meet a lot of five year old boys who love Sound of Music!
What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out [newest release/spotlighted release]? How did you overcome that challenge?
It was my first time to write a book so that was a challenge in itself. Having a great editor helps a lot to refine your ideas and edit your work. For children’s books, each word is so important so I really focused in choosing the perfect ones.
What do you consider the most challenging part of the book process? And how do you overcome that?
Honestly, I love the whole thing! Of course, there are “challenging” things about it but there are challenges that I welcome! It’s like a puzzle that my brain really loves to solve.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other creatives?
Don’t wait until you’re “ready”. You’re ready now. Often times as creatives, we are perfectionists and are very protective with our work. Our work is meant to be seen and shared! You will figure it out along the way and the more work you do, the better you will get.
Derek, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Good luck with your first book, Oddbirds.