Meet the Cover Artist: Daniel Liévano

Colombian artist Daniel Liévano demonstrates his process in creating the inspiring cover illustration for the September-October 2018 issue of Angels on Earth magazine.

Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories

Hello, this is Daniel Liévano. I’m a freelance illustrator from Bogotá. Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. It’s a beautiful country situated in the northwest of South America. Here in the city, we don’t have the four seasons like in the Northern Hemisphere, but still we can see leaves constantly falling from trees, somehow similar to maples. And we have here ones called urapanes, or they’re called el saúco. They’re also beautiful. 

I’m talking about trees because today I’m going to speak a little bit about the process, about the process of my last assignment, which in fact involved some trees. Stephen and Kayo from Guideposts contacted me to illustrate the cover of a magazine called Angels on Earth. It’s a digest-sized publication about stories of people that somehow have had encounters with angels. 

The assignment was very clear from the start. They wanted me to depict this autumn tree with falling leaves. These falling leaves would gradually transform into angels. 

So, what I usually do as the first step is sketching sketching on my drawing board. I usually use pencils–a gamut of pencils. My drawing from this point is usually very rough, not so appealing. The thing I know is that with the correct tools I’ve learned to use with time, this ugly, rough idea or sketch will really be enhanced, and will have an appealing, professional look. 

I don’t consider myself having exceptional drawing skills. Instead of that, what I think have is the way of showing a concept. Concept, I think, is the best thing you can have as an editorial illustration. You should have, of course, drawing skills. You should know how to depict things in reality, transform them. 

But if you’re not quite as expert in that, I think there are so many tools right now that could help you realize, apply, create the idea you have in your mind. And if you happen to have a good idea, then the job is to use the correct tools, the time, so that it comes true.

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