Someone You Should Know: Artist grateful for opportunities in America

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 4:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A children’s book called Something About Christmas launches in the fall. It will raise money for the Children’s Home Society in South Dakota. This is the author’s 8th children’s book, and Tom Roberts usually works with a certain illustrator. That artist wasn’t available for this most recent book, so Roberts turned to Google to find another.

He ended up finding Hector Curriel. Curriel’s inspiration for his art started at 9 years old when he watched Disney movies.

"I remember back home in my room and trying to copy those characters," Curriel said. "For me, doing art is not just a business. It's just a passion. I define myself more as a communicator than just doing art for itself."

He worked many years as an architect in Lima, Peru where he’s from. The country faced severe economic problems and that’s when he was forced to pursue his art passion. He moved to the United States in 2001.

"I am very grateful also to be living in America because they gave me the opportunity to grow and to get more opportunities for my work," he said.

His latest opportunity is helping bring Something About Christmas to life.

“It’s beautiful when you see your book print, and it’s like your baby,” he said.

The author, Tom Roberts, reached out to Hector in February.

“I was able to follow some of his work online and on his Facebook and really liked his style and the way he captures expressions and things like that,” Roberts said.

It took Hector about three to four months to finish the illustrations.

"After I receive the manuscript, I went through all the story and try to come up with ideas, sketches for each page," Curriel said.

"I think people are going to like it very much; the colors, the warmth of it, the style of it and the expressions on the little boy's face," Roberts said.

The expressions he originally learned on his own as a kid from Disney movies are what he’s now creating originally as a published artist.

“And I think, like everything, it’s about being persistent, believe in your dreams and your ability, and I have support from family as well, especially my wife. She really encouraged me to get back to my art career,” Curriel said.

The book called Something About Christmas will be released in September.

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