Painting, Writing, Creating: An Interview with the Very Talented Judy Mastrangelo


Artist and author Judy Mastrangelo recently announced that she will be moving her art into several new and exciting projects. These new products will be developed from her artwork, which is in her new Poetry Ebooks, recently published on Kindle.

Judy has also been working on a brand new series of podcasts that have been received with warmth by her fans. You can check them out here.

This interview is with that talented artist who has turned her attention to create so many beautiful projects. Her wonderfully illustrated books have been well received, and this interview should give you a taste of her talent... Let’s begin, and learn more about the creative genius behind the books…

Why was it important for you be creative? What drove that ambition?

It’s very easy for me to be creative.  It just comes naturally.  This is not exactly an ambition, it’s just the way I’m made.  I’m creative in everything I do, including cooking, sewing, dance choreography, painting and writing.  I enjoy doing many things, and creativity works hand in hand with my love of life.

How closely does your imagination follow the work you put on paper?

I imagine a project in my “mind’s eye” first, in my initial conception of an art project.  And so my imagination is a “guiding light” which is always with me in every step of developing a work, be it a painting, an illustrated book, etc.

Do movies ever influence your work?

I admit to being a movie buff.  Movies are very influential to my art, both in imagination, settings, costumes, etc.  I often get ideas for themes from great films, because they bring great stories alive for me.  I enjoy many themes portrayed in film, but my very favorite genre is Fantasy.   I’ll mention examples of this by listing some of my favorites. These are listed chronologically, from the older movies, to the present day:

MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (1935) This has very imaginative sets and costumes, a beautiful fairy ballet to the music by Felix Mendelssohn, and great acting.  In it, Micky Rooney played the most impish and delightful Puck I ever saw.

Disney’s landmark great animation SNOW WHITE (1938) was like a beautiful old fashioned story book come to life.  It’s pure magic, with delightful music.

MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS (BABES IN TOYLAND) (1934) with beautiful music by Victor Herbert is also a wonderful coming to life of favorite beloved storybook characters and sets. It stars the lovable Laurel and Hardy, and was the first colorized moviegoer made.  It is sheer magic.

HANSEL AND GRETEL ~ an Opera Fantasy (1954) tells this tale with great imagination and artistry.  The sets and costumes, and the amazingly lifelike puppets are fantastic.  It uses the beautiful music from one of my favorite operas composed by Engelbert Humperdinck.

Some of my other favorites are the very popular MARY POPPINS and the WIZARD OF OZ.   EXCALIBUR (1981) is one of my favorite tellings of the Arthurian legend.

AMADEUS, a fictional story about the great composer Mozart, uses fabulous sets, costumes, ballet and music, all set in his splendid sumptuous era.

STAR WARS 2, The Attack of the Clones (2002) is a beautiful love story, with fantastic otherworldly backgrounds.

All the HARRY POTTER and LORD OF THE RINGS movies are amazing, of course.   And CINDERELLA (2015) is very imaginative, beautiful and elegant, following in the true classical fantasy film tradition.

What outside influences really increase your creativity?

I love to immerse myself in studying the art of great master paintings throughout the ages.  It’s so inspiring to read about their lives and to see their artwork.  I’m always excited to do this, and it spurs me on to create the best I can.

What would be your dream project?

I suppose that whatever project I am doing at the time is a dream project for me.  I just love what I do, and I have many more exciting projects to come, which are up my sleeve.  I “dream” on all these projects, and truly enjoy creating each and every one of them.  Many of them are very different from the others, but each is a thrill for me.

Can even “bad” art have merit?

Art is an amazing and inspiring thing, and it appeals to most people in one way or another.  I myself do not like every form of art and sometimes put certain things in a special classification of “bad.”  But that doesn’t mean my personal taste in that particular art is the only way I think that all people should think.  Everyone who loves art has their own tastes.  And, of course, some people might enjoy work that I don’t like at all.  That’s what is so wonderful about this field.  There is something for everyone.  I feel it would be a very bland world without any art at all.  I believe it is one of the greatest things that mankind contributes to culture.

Why did you want to move into creating books?

I’ve always enjoyed books, starting from my early childhood, so it was a natural development for me to desire to create books, since I’ve always loved stories and the artwork illustrating them.  The books I create are sometimes my own adaptations and original illustrations from classical literature.   My other books are my own stories that I’ve both written and illustrated.

What will your next book be about?

It’s in the planning stages now and is my illustrated version of a famous, delightful classical story involving fantasy and fairy characters, plus a whimsical plot.

Are publishers important, or can an indie author be creative and successful?

I’ve worked in both ways, and I feel that both of these roads have their merits.  The book publishing industry is undergoing great changes these days, with the onset of the digital age and epublishing.  I’ve had good experiences working with publishers and their book companies, plus I’ve enjoyed being an indie author and illustrator also. I feel you can be both creative and successful by publishing in both of these ways.  If you stick with your goals and high ideals, nothing will thwart your creative art and spirit.

Are you ever surprised by how many art fans there are in the world?

Yes, I am, of course.  I must admit it is very encouraging to me to see how many people all over the world enjoy my artwork.  I’ve been told that my art is very inspiring and uplifting and that it makes people happy.  This is very satisfying to me to know that I’m successfully reaching the hearts and minds of many people from many diverse backgrounds, with my messages of Love and Beauty.

Would you ever write a novel?

Well, you never know what the future may bring.  It’s a possibility.

How many books have you created?

I’ve illustrated five books of classical stories and poems, published in the trade market.  I’ve also created eleven indie books.  I have many more book projects that I am working on now.  They will be out soon.

How have reviewers treated your books?

Very well. They seem to be very complimentary and appreciative of my works. It’s very encouraging.

If you could travel back to any period of time—where would you go, and what you do?

An interesting question.  Speaking realistically, of course, going back in time to the eras that fascinate me would mean that I wouldn’t have the modern conveniences that I’m accustomed to, such as electricity, modern sanitation, and indoor plumbing.  I admit to being used to these things, and I wouldn’t want to be without them. But speaking in a fantasy-like way, here is what I’d love to experience, if I could step into a time machine:

I’d love to experience the Renaissance era and the meet the great artists who flourished in that period, such as the great Leonardo da Vinci. I’d thrill in basking in that amazing cultural atmosphere and partake in witnessing events such as seeing Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel.

Then I would love to transition into the Elizabethan period and meet the wonderful William Shakespeare and soak in his fantastic and colorful period of time.  There are so many periods of time and people to meet that I’d love to visit.  It’d be hard to choose.

You can discover some of Judy’s recent work by clicking on the covers below! You can check out the whole collection by clicking here

rock a bye cover1

the star cover1

1 comment

  1. Beautiful interview, Judy! You are really prolific and so creative. Love the whimsy and beautiful color palates of your images. Good luck in the future!