A children’s book comes alive when it’s coupled with an inspiring, creative, and imaginative illustrator. The Good Book Company partnered with Catalina Echeverri to illustrate God’s Very Good Idea and it was a very good idea! It was a joy to work alongside her and her brilliant artwork, which brought my words to life. What a joy it is for me to introduce you to her today. Not only is she creative, she also loves Jesus and loves people.

 Q: Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from?

 Catalina: I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. But I left home when I was 18 to study abroad and have lived in many different cities and places since. I have loved getting to know each culture and each way of life. I think that is probably the reason why I’ve enjoyed this project so much. Because I feel like there’s a little bit of each country I’ve lived in and the people I’ve met throughout all these years.

Catalina with her church in Italy during the summer outreach events for kids

Catalina with her church in Italy during the summer outreach events for kids

When did you decide you wanted to be an illustrator? 

I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. My parents say to me that as long as I had a pencil in my hand and a piece of paper, I was a contented little girl! But somehow I ended up venturing into graphic design in my university degree and so abandoned drawing for a bit. Then when I became a Christian while studying university in Italy I got involved with summer camps and Sunday School Activities. They needed someone to do big pictures for the songs that they where going to sing in the park and so I thought, hey why not? This is a great opportunity to get back to drawing, after all, I missed it so much! And that was it. That’s when I realised drawing for children was the thing I wanted to do! So I applied for a Masters in Children’s Book Illustration and the only two courses available at the time were in Barcelona and in Cambridge. I applied for both and got admitted to Cambridge School of Arts. And well…here I am drawing for little ones : )  

Very first thumbnails of "God’s Very Good Idea".

Very first thumbnails of “God’s Very Good Idea”.

How did you decide what direction to go in God’s Very Good Idea?

When I think of diversity I think of an explosion of colours, and that is pretty much what drove the concept of this book, lots and lots of colours! Also, something that distinguishes this book from the rest of the series is the fact that it is set in the present but draws from the Biblical narrative. So representing this felt almost like a double narrative that needed to be unfolded visually. This is where the speech bubble idea came in.

 Do you have a favorite character (besides Jesus) in God’s Very Good Idea? If so, who and why?

Mmm that is a tough one! I think more than a favourite character, I have a favourite page, and that is the one where the little girl is imagining what heaven will be like. Growing up I always thought heaven would be the most boring place possible, with people in white robes floating on fluffy clouds and just playing the harp. But when I became a Christian, I learned that is not the case AT ALL. Heaven will have all the best bits of this world except with no corruption or sadness. It will be a place of utter joy and delight. AND the best bit of all is that we will finally meet Jesus and enjoy His company forever. And that is why this picture means so much to me. I look forward to it so much!

Kids invisioning heaven

What is your hope for the book?

I hope this picturebook helps children and their parents to realise that the fact that we are all different from each other both inside and out is not a bad thing but a great thing! God did not make one type of person, or one type of bird, or flower. But millions of different kinds and shapes! Unlike birds and flowers, people are the same–all made in the image of God–but we are unique.All of them are equally special and valuable to Him.  He did this because He is amazingly creative, and we should celebrate our diversity and rejoice in what He has made!

CatalinaMore about Catalina:

Hello there! My name is Catalina Echeverri and I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. I have a background in graphic design from the Accademia di Comunicazione (Milan, Italy) and an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Arts (Anglia Ruskin University).

I love to draw and all of the time, and take my little sketchbook everywhere I go. Especially when I travel! Find her at http://cataecheverri.com

 

 

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