Allison's Book Bag

The Path to Being An Artist

Posted on: April 22, 2014

A noted children’s artist, Hoshino authors her first picture book, inspired by her own experiences as a mother. The growing boy Sora enjoys the ultimate daydream–to soar like a cloud!


So reads the back of Sora and the Cloud by Felicia Hoshina. I’ll review this book tomorrow. Save the date: April 23!

HoshinoFBorn and raised in California, Hoshino found that she liked to create things with her hands. In particular, Hoshino liked to draw. Paper Tigers reports that her parents were supportive of her budding dreams to become an artist, but it wasn’t until her junior year in high school that Hoshino took her first official art class. Her instructor not only was built like a football player, but also had a deep voice and dark sunglasses, which seemed to contrast with how delicate he was with his paintbrush. As such, he changed Hoshino’s perception of who she thought an artist was or should be. Hoshino went onto attend City College of San Francisco, where she enrolled in as many art classes as she could find, and to obtain her Bachelor of Fine Arts at California College of the Arts.

After graduating, still unsure of her path, Hoshino told Paper Tigers that she worked at Naganuma Design & Direction for three years, where she applied her illustration skills and learned a lot about the graphic design process. At this job, Hoshino also picked up computer skills that she could apply to her illustration work.

After taking classes specifically about illustrating children’s books, Hoshino created promotional postcards and sent them out to various publishers. It took about a year before she received her first response, which came from an imprint of Lee & Low. Her first book project, notes Paper Tigers, was the first of many enjoyable challenges. Hoshino’s prize-winning illustrations can now be seen in children’s magazines such as Cricket, Spider, and Ladybug, along with children’s books.

In addition to creating mixed-media images for children’s books and magazines, Hoshino enjoys illustrating children’s portraiture, cooking with her husband, and decorating the walls at home with art created by her son and daughter.


This wonderful flight of fancy is created in Hoshina’s evocative style of mixed media.


Hoshino’s preferred techniques are pen and ink, watercolor and collage, and she usually likes to combine them. Most of her illustrations are created on tissue paper or cold press watercolor paper.

Plus the bilingual Japanese translation highlights the empowering themes of self-discovery and cultural exchange.


The Japanese translation was done by Akiko Hisa, a native of Japan, and friend of Hoshino. According to Hoshino’s About, Hisa too studied fine arts in California. She enjoys finding ways to combine her creativity with her cultural background. When she was young, like the main character Sora, she really thought clouds were made out of cotton candy!


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