Off the Page: Valeria Bogado

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Here’s your chance to get behind the scenes with fanartists who bring your favorite young adult books to life.

Valeria Bogado is a 29-year-old Chilean who works both as an orthodontist and a freelance artist. Her fanart features The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.

  • Tris from Veronica Roth's Divergent

What is it about the authors’ writing that inspired your art?
For Fangirl, I just felt identified. Not for the fan fiction writing, because I don’t write or read fanfics, but since I do make a lot of fanart, which is kind of similar. Almost every book I read I draw fanart. I do it to get a clear concept of the characters while I read the rest of the book. This way, if a movie adaptation comes out later, I will always have the image of the characters as they were first in my head, and how the author described them. I also felt like my younger self was a little like Cath, and the book reminded me of adolescence. So this book was not just fanarting to get a clear view of the characters for me, but a reminder of my nerdy adolescence.

With Divergent, it was more a matter of remembering the characters as they were first described to me with no alteration. The movie was imminent and the casting was not done yet when I read it. The books are quite fun and have some great scenes worth fanarting that I couldn’t resist. Since I’m a cheeseball, I like drawing the romantic stuff as well as the badass stuff. And this book had both!

For other books, well, I fanart them all!!! Harry Potter goes without saying, very fun to fanart. Perfect books. Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices, I do it for the boys. Sue me.

Well, every YA adult book I’ve read and fanarted I think deserves to be fanarted. Is that a word?

Is there any other influences you used included in your art?
No, never. In fact, when I’m reading I’d sometimes keep a notebook near to write down the features of the characters – not only physical, but also personality wise – so I get them right. I like to be pretty accurate. Sometimes I fail at that, though.

What was your favorite reaction you’ve received?
I love it when I know an author has seen my art. The Internet is a wonderful thing and some authors are very much into their own fandoms – is that possible? – and like to reblog and share and comment on fanart, especially Rainbow Rowell. I started following her on Tumblr after I read Fangirl and I noticed she always reblogs fanart (or Benedict Cumberbatch). I think that’s very nice.

I know others authors have seen my fanart of their work, and it makes me giddy. It’s a guilty pleasure.

What’s your process? What type of medium and art programs do you use or prefer?
As I read, I make a picture in my mind of situations or characters described, if I have a notebook I’d make a little sketch or take notes of things I’d like to include in my drawings later because I usually read before sleeping. Then I just go and sketch what I remember or wrote down. Sometimes I re-read the passage or pages of a situation described in the book as I draw.

If the sketch is right I would go ahead and finish the drawings in full color. Sometimes I just leave them as sketches, ‘cause sketches can show the mood needed
I do mostly digital art, I have an old computer that still runs on Windows XP and I use an old version of Photoshop (CS3). I combine that with an awesome Wacom tablet that I love (Intuos 4 medium). I sometimes use Paint Tool Sai, but I don’t fully know how it works.

Do you have any tools you like to work with?
Well the programs and mentioned before, but I also scan odd things and use them as textures for my drawings.

What is your proudest piece?
I do like a Harry Potter fanart I made some years ago that summarizes all the seven books. Otherwise, maybe there are some subjects I like to draw more that others, like drawing Four, ’cause he is yummy, or drawing Cath’s hair and hips, even though I have not drawn her very much.

Do you have anything fun that you’re working on or would like to do someday?
I would like to be a professional freelancer from time to time freelance. Oh wait… I’ve done that! I guess it is a thing. It’s a fun thing!

What kind of advice or insight would you give to other artists?
Just draw. If you think a drawing is not that awesome as you would like it to be, it does not matter, just practice, practice, practice. And share it! Oh, please, share it.

What encouraged you to share your fanart?
Fans of the books, actually. They are always so nice and supportive.

Check out more of Valerie’s work over at her Tumblr page.

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About Author

Natasha M. Heck

Natasha believes cats and words are the shiniest things in the 'verse. She has touched Stonehenge, climbed the Glastonbury Tor, walked the Philosopher's Path, and kissed her true love on the Eiffel Tower. She's a fangirl, Jedi Knight, and Gryffindor whose love of unicorns led her to live in the land of geekdom and sunshine. She has an English degree emphasis in Creative Writing, and is using it to follow her dreams.

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