We had the good fortune of connecting with Adua Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adua, how do you think about risk?
Risk is something natural for me, something we have to deal with whether we want it or not, and in most of our daily lives, we face small risks, and we know the outcome depending on our choices. Once in a while, we have these big risk choices, and, when I’ve felt scared about a decision, I ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I do it?” or “What would I lose if I don’t take the leap?” Most of the time, the answer to the first question is “nothing” or “something I could recover from.” Regarding the second question, the usual thought is, “I’d stay in the same place” (geographically, financially, or emotionally), and that thought terrifies me. I always choose to move forward. I am from Venezuela, and I think one of my best decisions has been exploring new horizons beyond my home country. I have found a welcoming community. I have advanced in my career, improved my personal growth, and found love!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart from others is the use of color and creative, heartwarming scenes. I’m very passionate about what I do, so I always try to illustrate a scene where I can sense and feel what’s happening, even without words. I use the color palette to help me convey that message.

I think part of what got me here was my daily practice. I draw around 5 sketches or at least 1 final artwork per day, and even in my free time I’m always doodling and thinking about new ideas. When I watch a show or a movie, I try to take mental pictures of my favorite frames. Daily practice helps me memorize and achieve better gestures for my characters.

It wasn’t easy. Being an illustrator is challenging because you’re often seeing other people’s work and thinking “WOW that’s good,” and then comes the comparison. If you don’t really enjoy what you do, it’s very easy to get discouraged and stop. Sometimes I feel like I might not be enough, but then I remember, “Give it a shot and let other people decide.” It’s been working so far.

It would be great if a big opportunity came knocking at your door, but most of the time it doesn’t happen like that. You have to show your work and let people know what you’re capable of, so the opportunities can find you.

I learned how to be patient and kind with myself, how to look at the bright side, and how to find something beautiful about any subject.

I am from Venezuela, and living there wasn’t always easy. I have had to face challenges that I hope most people don’t have to deal with it, and what kept me going was reading books and watching animated movies. It made a safe space where I could escape and express myself, and that’s how I knew I wanted to illustrate books and, hopefully, be involved with larger projects, like animated films.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Easy! Bishop Art District! I love going to the Revelers Hall. Their live jazz music is great, the atmosphere is like a movie, and this place is surrounded by cool stores.

The murals around Dallas and Fort Worth are breathtaking and perfect spots for your Instagram selfies.

Dallas arboretum is my personal favorite, and there’s always a beautiful exhibition, but if you want to feel like you’re traveling around the world, then Fort Worth botanical gardens are for you, and their Japanese gardens are especially amazing.

The Henry restaurant is a great experience, and I can personally recommend their Korean barbecue.
Since we’re talking about barbecue, that’s a must-do for the state of Texas, I love this place: Blu’s barbecue. My other personal favorite is Lockhart barbecue in Bishop Art District.

I love going to the Walking bridge over the trinity river. It’s a beautiful walk and you can take great pictures with the Dallas skyline in the background.

Lastly, the Meddlesome Moth is another favorite restaurant for its amazing grilled oysters with parmesan and nduja!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out Melanin Origins and their CEO, Louie McClain, who allowed me to illustrate their books; he was the first person who trusted in my abilities. In addition, I want to shout out all the authors who have trusted me with their vision, especially Dr. Lynda Mubarak, the Maxine’s series author, and Cherlyn Jernigan, the Lunchbox Louie’s creator. I also want to thank my boyfriend, Neil James, for all of his support; every time I feel overwhelmed or like I can’t do it, he’s always there to remind me I can do this and inspires me to push myself forward.

Website: www.aduahernandez.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aduahc/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adua-hernandez-28a266b0/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adua_hc?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aduahc

Image Credits
Photography by: Neil James Princess Nylah Author: Susan B. Small Maxine Hill Series author: Dr. Lynda Mubarak Interview in radio with: Dr. Mary Payton Artwork created by: Adua Hernandez

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.