Randall Middle School eighth grader Andre Ordonez has already accomplished one of his major career goals: becoming a published illustrator.
Using digital technology, Ordonez illustrated The Friendship Adventure, written by Carole G. Barton and published on January 26. The children’s book tells the adventure of Bruno, who finds himself in some tough situations on an adventure to make a new friend.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to practice character design and seeing the finished product from all your hard work is really rewarding,” Ordonez said.
He is grateful for his mother, who let him follow his individual passion while other children were playing sports and video games.
“As soon as I could hold a pencil I was drawing,” he said. “She has always supported me in my talents.”
His mom, Trish Perez, helps author and publish books. She knew Barton wanted to find a student to illustrate her book, and knew her son would be perfect for the job.
Online learning, due to COVID-19, allowed him more time to work on the project. “There was a big learning curve and so much he had to learn,” she said. “He’s accomplished so much in the extra time he’s had this year because of online learning.”
In addition to drawing, Ordonez is also an avid skateboarder. “In illustrating and skateboarding, practice makes perfect,” he said.
Illustrating isn’t Ordonez’s final career goal. He plans to use the money he earns illustrating to help pay for college. He wants to go to art school with the dream of one day working in animation at a big studio.
In the meantime, he will be illustrating other books in Barton’s book series, Bruno’s Friendship Adventures, and also working on his own webcomic series, A Day in the Life of a Teenage Boy. The main character is loosely based on himself.
“I need to persevere,” he said. “I have to put in the time to get better and keep working at it.”
To learn more about The Friendship Adventure, watch its trailer at https://youtu.be/deQ8SA_TeHk. The book can be purchased at Barnes & Noble or Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Friendship-Adventure-Carole-Barton-ebook/dp/B08SKXDPZD.