The Magic Hummingbird
Illustrator interview with Michael Lacapa:
When did you decide that you wanted to become a children's book
I was a teacher and saw that there was a lack of literature about Indian
people, and I knew we weren't like the people in the stories.
What inspires your stories and illustrations?
I look at things
that are affecting myself and my children and community and I address
an issue or a situation. The Hopi illustrations come out of their pottery,
the Apache out of their basketry, and in Less
Than Half More Than Whole the illustrations came from everywhere.
What medium do you use to create the illustrations?
I used watercolor, but now I use watercolor, colored pencil, pen and
ink and a toothbrush.
What size are your original illustrations?
My illustrations are
32 inches X 15-17 inches and 22 inches X 15-17 inches.
How long does it take to paint the illustrations for a story?
first book it took two years to complete the illustrations. For The
Magic Hummingbird, it took three months to complete the illustrations.
What happens to the original illustrations?
There is a gallery showing of the paintings and then my wife and I select
our favorite few and the rest are sold.
This interview was conducted in the fall of 1999.
Note: Sadly, Michael Lacapa passed away in 2005. We are thankful
for the legacy he has left us in his beautiful artwork and sensitive
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