Behind the Scenes of Local Illustrator 

That’s Lily Alves reading the new childrens’ book, “Lilly Bristol, Dinosaur Wrangler and the Town a Tyrannosaurus Wreks”.

She’s also the inspiration behind the main character.

“We feel like kind of on the timeline of our lives together right now this Lily Bristol book is a big moment,” says Amy Alves.

Local author and illustrator Josh Alves has launched his first book, and we came out to see where it all happens.

“This is my studio, also known as the drawing closet,” Alves says.

Josh’s wife Amy doesn’t help much on the drawing side…

“It’s creative at something that I actually can’t do at all. I draw stick figures and I probably always will,” she said.

But she’s been critical to getting the book out.

“I am the deadline queen I guess. He calls me his project manager and so I try to do my best with that,” she said.
“I’m an idea person and so I’m constantly thinking up things and she helps bring me back down to earth and be like actually let’s go in this direction let’s do this,” Alves said.

Josh has free-lanced for years. He’s drawn for apps, comics, chapter books, and international publications. He says his ideas come from everywhere– like one he has for a Christmas song-themed comic book.

“There’s a line in there that says, “and see a hippo-hero standing there” and so I’m thinking this girl gets a super hero hippo for Christmas, how awesome is that, and so heropottomus was born out of that,” said Alves.

After spending several hours drawing inside his artist’s closet, Josh is also a home school teacher changing diapers and of course just being dad.

“There’s that challenge of leaving your work you know cause he’s constantly thinking about the book and sometimes I have to say, okay enough with Lily Bristol for tonight,” Amy said.

But having work so close to home is sometimes a good thing.

“It’s great, I love it that what I do provides a lot of flexibility so I can come in here, I draw, but if it’s a nice day and the kids want to go down to the stream, we take a break and go down to the stream,” Alves said.

The kids help him develop new ideas.

“Some of the things they come up with is really creative and really fun and so they, we bounce off each other really well.”