They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to children’s stories, illustrations work with the written plot to create an immersive world for young minds just beginning to explore the limits of their imagination through books. Enter the artist, whose mission it is to bring the written word to life through pictures, engaging readers by jumpstarting the visual portion of the story within a child’s, or adult’s, mind.
Eduardo Paj has built his artistic career around bringing words to life with his animated and expressive drawings. He draws during the day while spending his free time hanging out with his children and eating seafood. While Eduardo is a skilled digital artist, his favorite tool for creating depth and personality in his drawings remains the low-tech pencil.
Growing up, Eduardo’s earliest inspiration for drawing came from his mother, who was a painter herself. Eduardo’s mother encouraged his interest in art and was a large influence in choosing to pursue his passion for drawing full time.
As for his professional inspiration, Eduardo’s personal favorite artist is Milt Kahl, the long time and acclaimed Disney artist whose drawings brought to life characters such as the fairy godmother from Cinderella, the cast of Bambi and Pinocchio and many more. Eduardo found Milt’s work’s “inspiring” and “remarkable” and was particularly enamored of Milt’s portrayal of emotion through the expressions of his drawn characters. Readers with an eye towards style can definitely see Milt’s inspiration shine through Eduardo’s modern renderings.
When asked about his own personal favorites, Eduardo’s preferences naturally lean towards detailed and imaginative depictions, whether via words or images. His favorite adult story is Perfume, a horror story by German author Patrick Suskind. While a darker tale may seem out of place for someone who illustrates children’s books, it was the author’s attention to detail in both the narrative and in painting detailed pictures of the characters and settings that drew Eduardo’s interest the most.
Eduardo’s favorite children’s book selection, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, is an equally detailed and imaginative story. The illustrator in him was particularly moved by the way the childhood classic inspires the imagination with its humorous characters and far out and incredible settings.
With a host of other careers to choose from growing up, Eduardo chose art due to his love for the classic Disney animations. Eduardo is a fan of classic animation, especially the classic Disney school of illustration which focused on making fantastic characters seem lifelike and relatable to children of all ages. It only seemed natural, then, that Eduardo would build his career around his passion of putting pencil to paper and help bring characters and worlds to life for new generations. This love of drawing as an art form is on full display when we asked Eduardo what advice he’d give to up-and-coming artists. His words of wisdom? “Never stop learning.” With his gorgeous illustrations, Eduardo Paj is indeed helping to bring learning to each and every child who picks up a book graced by his art.
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