The blog's Illustrator of the Month is Ms.
Sophia Demanawa, winner of the 2017 Alcala Prize. Read on and get to know Sophia!
How did you learn about the Alcala prize?
I wasn’t aware it existed until my student org Blue Indie Komiks posted the contest details on the facebook page. Since I sent works of the same story to INK but was unsuccessful in passing, I thought I could improve on the drawings I made so I could join the contest.
What is your creative process for Dalawa Kami ni Lola?
I wanted to have a sort of sequence in my drawings. The first would show Oyen enjoying a normal afternoon drawing with their lola watching over them. The second would show the turning point in the story when Oyen realizes their lola cannot play ball with them anymore. The third would show Oyen’s growth in taking care of themself in how they finally know how to take care of their lola. I wanted to draw it to look like the sequence of a day, from afternoon, to sunset, to night, so there would be an obvious progression of what’s happening. It was important for me to make this right as well since I’ve always been mainly taken care of by my own lola when I was very young.
Who are your role models in your chosen field and discipline? Why?
I wasn’t into children’s book until two years ago when I made my own, since I never had a lot of children’s books when I was a child myself, having only two books that I don’t even remember. I finally realized the importance of these books in everyone’s formative years, the way they shaped their perception of the world, most especially the radical children’s books about our history, about LGBT issues, etc.
It was my girlfriend who introduced me to Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki, Papa’s House, Mama’s House, and were some of my favourites. Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki because it taught children, especially men, that it was okay to be feminine. And Papa’s House, Mama’s House that taught children about non-nuclear families, which is still the only children’s book in the Philippines about divorce. Both writers and artists of those books are my role models because they all have styles that are distinct.
Who is Sophia Demanawa?
My name is Sophia Demanawa, I love drawing, and only recently in my life, children’s books. I want to illustrate more things in the future, especially for literature that is radical and can help people be more open-minded. I love drawing personal stuff as well as fan-made stuff, no discrimination. I love my family for letting me do what I love and letting me have a good education. I love my girlfriend for collaborating with me on many future projects and opening my eyes to all kinds of things. me do what I love and letting me have a good education. I love my girlfriend for collaborating with me on many future projects and opening my eyes to all kinds of things.