Her speech is nearly as animated as her art when children's book illustrator Susan Guevara tells an audience how she creates pictures interpreting an author's words.
Guevara is in the Imperial Valley this week speaking at schools and libraries. Lincoln Elementary School fourth-grader Diana Lara caught Guevara at the El Centro Public Library on Tuesday night.
Nine-year-old Diana said she wants to be an illustrator like Guevara when she grows up.
"I like that she followed her dream. She really likes her job," Diana said.
Guevara explained to the audience the process of illustrating a book. She begins by reading the story's manuscript and creating mental images of what she reads.
"I take a picture in my mind," Guevara said.
The pictures are limited only by her imagination.
Guevara's illustrations adorn a wide variety of children's books, set anywhere from modern-day East Los Angeles to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1895. She even illustrated the translation of an ancient Aztec chant, incorporating Aztec glyphs into her pictures and using them for inspiration.