Meet the Illustrator

José Ortega

Portrait of José; Ortega

When José Ortega was young, his family moved around a great deal. This meant that Ortega had to make new friends and get used to new schools on a regular basis. Some kids might not like a life filled with so much change, but Ortega says that it was always "exciting to be in a new town and a different apartment."

After reading a story that he has been asked to illustrate, Ortega thinks about what the story looks like to him. Then he makes pencil sketches of various scenes from different angles. He scans his art into a computer and then colors it.

José Ortega says that he "always, always drew" as a child. He took many art classes in high school, and after graduation he enrolled in art school. There, he says, "I discovered illustration, or how to get paid to draw. It was perfect for me — now I get to draw all day!"

Photography Credit


Other Books Illustrated by José Ortega

  • Fiesta!
    (written by Beatriz McConnie Zapater)
  • Agua, Agua, Agua
    (written by Pat Mora)
  • Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories
    (edited by Esmerelda Santiago and Joie Davidow)