Drawing Angelina

Angelina Sáenz wrote a book of autobiographical poems called Edgecliff. Flowersong Press published it in 2021. You can buy it on the FlowerSong Press website. Angelina asked me to draw a cover for it and gave me a great photo to work with.

Angelina sent me a striking photo from her past. Her idea for the cover. I went through a few iterations. The first line drawing was the one she went with. It informed the style of the illustrations for the rest of the book (though at the time, we just thought I’d be doing the cover).

I feel special to be able to illustrate this image and to have drawn some other lines from her Instagram (@saenzwriter) for the book. It’s all very exciting.

Angelina liked the single-line drawing look. Even though I used many lines, I made sure that they were all connected.

Once I figured out the line weight, the single-line process, and decided on the photos, making the drawings was easier than if I had to keep making those decisions. There was still a lot to think about as far as which lines to draw in more detailed photos. Angelina liked the backgrounds included.

I met Angelina in grad school. Her presence is really captivating. I had felt so out of place starting a new school (I was a first-year when she was a second-year), and her smile, eye contact, and welcoming nods gave me time to think. I later learned she’s a teacher, and I think that may be part of it.

I started following her on Instagram. She posted images from her daily life as a mother, teacher, student, poet…, and screenshots of note-doc poems that revealed intimate, relatable, funny, momentous sentiments, observations, and memories.

She explains how our collaboration started in one of her Instagram posts:

The book just had a launch and signing in Los Angeles at Avenue 50 Studio. Pictures from that and my adventures in merch to come.

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