A Cuban-born artist and author, LAURA LACAMÁRA’s family moved to the U.S. when she was a baby and lived in Washington, D.C. until she was five. After moving to Puerto Rico and living there for a year, her family moved to back to the U.S., this time to California, where she grew up.
She was awarded her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting at California State University, Long Beach. She studied printmaking in East Los Angeles and then began exhibiting and selling her work. When a fellow artist suggested Laura’s images would be ideal for picture books, Laura signed up for a children’s book illustration class at Otis College of Art and Design. She instantly fell in love with both writing and illustrating for children.
She first illustrated The Runaway Piggy / El cochinito fugitivo (Piñata Books, 2010), a bilingual picture book by James Luna, which was named the winner of the 2011 – 2012 Tejas Star Book Award by receiving the most votes cast by Texas school children. Kirkus Reviews noted, “Deep opaque acrylic paintings of a colorful barrio and its residents in pursuit add the right amount of cultural flavor to this vivid Latino retelling.” Her bright illustrations of children at play and enjoying naturally sweet Mexican fruit drinks are also featured in Alicia’s Fruity Drinks / Las aguas frescas de Alicia (Piñata Books, 2012), a picture book written by Lupe Ruiz-Flores.
In addition to being an illustrator, Laura is also the award-winning author of Floating on Mama’s Song / Flotando en la canción de mama (HarperCollins, 2010), a bilingual picture book inspired by her mother, who was an opera singer in Havana. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Floating on Mama’s Song was a Junior Library Guild Selection and named a Tejas Star Book Award 2011 – 2012 finalist.
Most recently, Laura has written and illustrated her first bilingual picture book, Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Piñata Books, 2014), in which she delights children with her vibrant illustrations and a unique story about a girl’s fanciful encounters with nature. It was included in the Los Angeles Times’ Summer Books Preview in 2014 and according to School Library Journal, “Lacamára’s rich and colorful artwork beautifully complement the imaginative text.”