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  • “Masterpiece Robot and the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack” is about a little girl who takes an everyday afternoon in her backyard and turns it into an adventure as a superhero.
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    “Masterpiece Robot and the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack” is about a little girl who takes an everyday afternoon in her backyard and turns it into an adventure as a superhero.

Severna Park Resident Rebecca Evans Takes Her Paintings From Home To The Bookstore

Kerrigan Stern
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June 27, 2018

Children begin exercising their imagination at a young age — daydreaming of all the sports they’ll play when they grow up, about each and every detail of their future family, and what career they may possess once they reach adulthood. Unfortunately, many of them do not realize the career dreams they possessed when they were young. This was not the case for Rebecca Evans, however.

“I always wanted to be an artist of some sort when I was little, however, I didn’t really know what that meant,” Evans said. “I just knew I wanted to grow up and be able to draw and paint.”

Now, she’s living that dream. Evans has illustrated 15 picture books and “seven middle-grade readers.” These middle-grade readers are for “old elementary school or young middle school” children, according to Evans, as eighth-graders and above will move onto young adult novels by this age.

But this wasn’t a short and easy path for Evans. After she earned her degree, she took a long detour from her illustration career before she decided that she wanted to be on a different road.

“I actually got a Bachelor of Arts in drawing and illustration, but then I graduated college and didn’t know how to get paid doing that,” she said. “So I became a designer for a number of years until I had children and decided [that] I didn’t really like design so much.

“I told my husband … that I wanted to go back to illustration, and he kind of laughed and said, ‘Well, how are you going to do that?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, but I’m going to figure it out.’”

And figure it out she did. Soon after that discussion with her husband, Evans joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

“They help train aspiring writers and illustrators in how to do their job, how to get paid for it … so it took a number of years as a part of that organization, but that’s really how I learned how to get paid for my passion,” Evans said.

After learning how to market her work, her career as an illustrator took off. Recently, Evans illustrated the children’s book “Masterpiece Robot and the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack,” written by Frank Tra.

So the book’s really a journey into a child’s imagination,” Evans said. “[It’s about] a little girl who takes an everyday afternoon in her backyard and turns it into an adventure as a superhero. [She] imagines how she’s saving the world yet again and she includes … all the things around her and her siblings to create this fantasy world in her imagination.”

While the writing of “Masterpiece Robot” surely took a lengthy amount of time, it may come to surprise how long the illustration took.

“Illustrating a book like that typically takes me five to seven months depending on the book,” Evans said. “I think for that book, I had six months, right in the middle, to complete those illustrations.”

Although this book only became available for sale this April, Evans already has big plans for her future as an illustrator.

“I would love to do more as an author-illustrator, as well as just an illustrator,” she said. “So far, I’ve only authored and illustrated one book. I have a second book that is coming out next year [in February 2019], with the same press [as ‘Masterpiece Robot’], Tilbury House Publishers, that I’m co-authoring.”

Her published book is called “Someday I’ll Fly.” Her 2019 book is “Finding the Speed of Light: The 1676 Discovery That Dazzled the World.”

Even though it took Evans several years to make a living as a successful illustrator, it has all been worth it to her.

“It’s inspiring to know that I’m making an impact on children all over the country, and all over the world sometimes,” she said. “They may grow up someday and say, ‘Oh, that was my favorite book when I grew up and it really meant something to me.’ It’s such a privilege to be a part of a child’s life like that.”

To view Evans’ work, visit www.rebeccaevans.net.


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