This project was inspired by my wife’s life-long desire to create and illustrate children’s books. So now, as we begin coasting into retirement, we have found the time and Divine inspiration to move forward to bring God’s message to children through engaging stories and captivating illustrations starring "Pat the Gnat".
Susana Pando-Taupier: Mom, Wife, Illustrator and Creative Director
Susy, as she is called by her friends and family, is the talent who created the adorable, big-eyed, bent antennaed, red-hatted, Pat the Gnat character we see today.
Susana has spent most of her career as a graphic artist from the hand-drawing school. She has worked in creative environments from the art departments of retailers such as Burdines of Florida and B. Altman, New York in the 1970's to exercising her skills and talents as Marketing and Gallery Director for Smithsonian-recognized artist Jonas Gerard. She brings a keenly experienced eye and most importantly a desire to educate and entertain children in God's word through engaging stories and compelling visuals.
Her passion is our Lord and her focus is her family: One son, Andre, one daughter, Alexandra...Oh, uh, and me... the husband.
Andre and his sister Alexandra:
Our two children and talented siblings who are 16 years apart. Each with an eye for detail who never hesitate to let their parents know when they are wrong. Gotta loves those kids! LOL
Their comments, suggestions, and technical and artistic assistance throughout this process have contributed to bridging generational issues.
We love you guys!
Alex Taupier-van de Water:
Christian, husband, father and catalyst.
Illustrator: Maylin Martinez-Travers
Maylin has a B.S. degree in Education and teaches art at a prestigious South Florida High School. She was graduated from Florida International University and studied art in Paris. Her passion is nature, and while she is multi-media fluent she prefers acrylics. Ms. Martinez-Travers created many of the illustrations found in both of the "Pat the Gnat" inaugural books: “Pat the Gnat & The Broken Chrysalis” and “Pat the Gnat discovers... Angels, Marigolds and Zebras: A Journey Through the Alphabet”. She loves teaching Art to her students, has two wonderful sons; Colin and Austin, two dogs, loves nature and spends her summers in the mountains of North Carolina where nature provides her inspiration.
Graphics: Ashley Llanes
Ashley is a South Florida native and was graduated from St. Brendan High School. She is currently a freshman at Florida International University pursuing a career in journalism and has been instrumental in getting our first project off the ground. She is an avid photographer and photo-shopper. You may see more of her work on her website at ashleymariephotos.tumblr.com.
To the Mavens-of-the-Mot of the SCBWI focus group for their feedback, support and merciless dedication to the written word:
Andrea, Erin, Karen, Mary Beth, Silvia, and our fearless leader, "I know you don't want to hear this, but..." Ruth.
Books and Books, Coral Gables, FL