Last week we shared an interview with Judy Smith, the author of Egree’s Journey (the children’s book we recently shared). Today, we’re back in an interview with Sondra Parks, the incredibly talented artist who brought the story to life with her illustrations in the book.
Me: “So tell me…how long have you been such a creative genius? I love the drawings in this book!”
Sondra: Actually, I’ve always know how to draw and love almost all aspects of making art. I’ve been a professional artist most of my adult life and have had numerous exhibits and shows throughout California, New York, Texas, and Italy. I was department chair of the visual and performing arts at both Vista High School and Rancho Buena Vista High School, ending my teaching career instructing teachers how to teach art for the University of Phoenix.
Me: “Where did you draw your inspiration from in creating the artwork for Egree’s Journey?”
Sondra: Judy Smith had asked me if I would read and critique a little Christian book about the egret that visited St. Thomas More Church. I told her that I, too, had seen the egret and that she had visited my backyard as well. Judy asked me if I would be interested in illustrating the book, and I told her that I would submit a few illustrations of the different characters and if she liked, them we would proceed. She was thrilled and I completed all sixteen illustrations using watercolors and prisma color pencils.
Me: “What other kinds of artwork do you do?”
Sondra: I’m primarily an acrylic artist and many of the parishioners of St, Thomas More are familiar with my work. Many have purchased my paintings, including our pastor for his home. The painting I did of Pope John Paul now resides in Connecticut, and St. Gregory the Great Church has a painting of mine, done in an iconic style titled “The Trinity”. Most of my pieces are large and done in a contemporary style with realistic overtones. I see imagery in my mind’s eye and after I start working, the painting tells me what to do.
Me: “When not creating art, what do you like to do in your spare time?”
Sondra: Lately I’ve been doing interior designing with my husband David. We buy old homes and restore them to marvelous show places. Another creative venue we have is designing tablescapes for parties and weddings.