Meet the Illustrator

David Diaz

Portrait of David Diaz

David Diaz's high school art teacher urged students to submit their artwork to competitions, and that made Diaz think about art as a career. That high school art class was memorable for another reason too: Diaz met his wife, Cecelia, there. He remembers, "After a year of sarcastic banter, we became close friends. The focus of my time in art class became seeing how much I could distract her from her weavings and batiks."

Diaz and his wife moved to California, where he began getting illustration work. Over time, he racked up more than 5,000 design and art jobs, many for national publications and corporate clients. In 1992, Diaz created illustrations for his first book for young readers, Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto. His next book for young people was Smoky Night by Eve Bunting. Diaz designed and illustrated the book. For his efforts he received the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1995.

David Diaz says he is "always playing around with ideas" and different artistic techniques. He even uses a computer for some of his art. "I don't want to lose my audience," he says, "but I think that by changing techniques I add more interest to the books that I do."

Photography Credit


Other Books Illustrated by David Diaz

  • Smoky Night
    (written by Eve Bunting)
  • Going Home
    (written by Eve Bunting)
  • Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman
    (written by Kathleen Krull)
  • Just One Flick of a Finger
    (written by Marybeth Lorbiecki)
  • December
    (written by Eve Bunting)
  • The Disappearing Alphabet
    (written by Richard Wilbur)
  • Shadow Story
    (written by Nancy Willard)
  • The Wanderer
    (written by Sharon Creech)
  • Roadrunner's Dance
    (written by Rudolfo Anaya)