From the Sketchbook:
This CBC series features illustrators sharing their creative process and providing context for their art. Featured today is Guy Porfirio, who illustrated the picture book The Worst Christmas Ever, published by Flyaway Books.
The Worst Christmas Ever is about a family moving to California as the holiday season approaches. The son, Matthew has his doubts: Palm trees? No snow? It feels all wrong.
Or does it? Surprising events on Christmas Eve just might change everything—and maybe this new place can feel like home to Matthew after all.
“Everyone needs a sister like Lucy! She’s the perfect contrast to Matthew’s character. Lucy provides some genuine comic relief throughout the story. To her, everything is an adventure. Lucy is just happy to be wherever she is at the moment. This is the final sketch before I started adding color.”
“This illustration establishes a reference point for what Matthew misses the most about Christmas when his family moves to California. It was used on the endsheet at the beginning of the book. I painted a second version of this scene for the end of the book, which highlights the less than traditional, more California-like, brand of Christmas tree.”
“This was the first illustration I painted for the project. Though it wasn’t used in the book, this piece set the tone for everything thereafter. The color, character, and mood of the book, as well as the main characters, Matthew and Jasper, were all worked out in this first piece.”
He has illustrated more than eighteen picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Grandpa’s Little One, by Billy Crystal; Papa’s Gift, by Kathleen Long Bostrom; and Jump!, which he both wrote and illustrated.