Artist brings storybook illustrations to life for Abilene Children’s Art & Literacy Festival


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The Children’s Art and Literacy Festival kicks off Thursday, but planning and preparation has been happening for a while.

Manny De Los Santos was in charge of creating a room inspired by the book Night Song by Ari Berk and illustrated by Loren Long.

With every stroke of his brush and every drop of paint, De Los Santos wanted to bring Long’s drawings from the pages of the book to the walls of the room.

He says he wanted to make them “as accurate as I can to the style that Lauren has there, which is actually kind of difficult to do. If I were to draw a bat, I wouldn’t draw it this way, but we want it to match the book,” De Los Santos said.

The process wasn’t easy, though, and he said he had to think outside the box to make it happen.

“This is a different kind of book, not a lot of super bright colors, not a lot of splashy colors on the pages, it’s a lot of darkness, and then showing the light on top. So I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a big challenge to create that same atmosphere, but in real life,'” he said.

De Los Santos took 27 panels of textured paper that looks similar to the back of the book and went to work, each piece of art bringing readers eye to eye with the story of Night Song and making De Los Santos’s dream a reality.

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