John Parra is an award winning illustrator, fine artist, designer, and educator, best known for his art illustrated Latino themed children’s books such as Gracias / Thanks and Waiting for the Biblioburro. For his books he has received many awards and honors including: The Golden Kite Award from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, The Pura Belpré Honor’s Award from The American Library Association / REFORMA, The International Latino Book Award: Best Interior Children's Book Art from Latino Literary Now, and The Christopher’s Award from The Christopher’s Organization. His illustration clients have included: United Airlines, Boston Children’s Hospital, Jeep/Daimler Chrysler, National Geographic, PBS, El Museo del Barrio NY, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Random House, Chronicle Books, Lee and Low Books, Sleeping Bear Press, Luna Rising Publishing, SCBWI, Virgin Records, The L.A. Weekly, and Mpls/St.Paul Magazine. Parra’s original artwork has also been showcased and displayed in numerous gallery shows and museum exhibitions in New York, California, and throughout the United States and abroad. Many of his fine art paintings now reside with private collectors. He has taught art at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, CA and regularly speaks at primary schools, college universities and literary conferences across the country advocating art and reading education.
John’s artistic path began while growing up in Santa Barbara, CA. He spent his days exploring and drawing landscapes, wildlife, city, and family. His Hispanic roots and heritage provided a rich cultural palette of inspiring imagery and customs. Mexican mural artists, folk style paintings, pop art, surrealism, outsider art, regional cuisine, music and dance costumes are all visual influences seen in his work. As his artist journey progressed, John went on to graduate from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Now living in Queens, NY, with his wife Maria, John continues working in his studio, passionately creating art through his imagination and creativity. His newest children's book, Round Is a Tortilla, was released this April. He recently completed a poster for the NYC’s Latin museum, El Museo del Barrio, 37th Annual, Three Kings Day Parade, as well as preparing for his largest showing of original children’s book art at Chemers Gallery in Tustin, CA in Dec.
*My Photo Album