The Author and Illustrator
Hi! My name is Rio N. Cortez, and I’m a children’s book author, illustrator, husband, father, and an aspiring farmer. Farming is probably not on my parents’ list of what I would be doing with my life, but neither is being an author, and yet here I am. I am a firm believer that whatever you set your heart and mind to believe, you will achieve.
Family time is the highlight of my day; time to recharge, get comfortable, and simply be me - how I enjoy the soothing laughter of my wife and children. The best time for me to write colorful stories and create fantastic drawings that breathe life to my characters is at this moment of divine inspiration.
The essence of my book (The Magnificent Adventures of Folotjing - The Brave and Kindhearted) and the series that will follow it hails from my own true-life experiences. My mother’s love was the hand that planted the seed of creativity in my soul that inspired this book to sprout.
May you enjoy reading my book as much as I’ve relished writing and illustrating it for you. Always be brave, listen to your heart, and believe in yourself - and your dreams will fulfill on their own.
What medium did I use for my illustrations?
I just used my ol trusty sketchbook and my regular Pop-a-Point Pencil. I would draw while helping my son with his homework, while watching TV with my family, at the table while having dinner, and while lying down on the bed (wife was not too happy with the last two). When the drawing is done I scan it using my old HP Envy printer/scanner. Once I have the scanned image, I enhance it in Photoshop; I try not to change anything on the original drawing, but sometimes if I feel like resizing an object in the illustration, that’s when I’d retouch it. For example on my original drawing below, I felt like Folotjing’s size was a little too big when he’s hugging the wolf, so I decided to make him smaller. I also thought the original wolf’s eye was a little too kind, too tamed for my taste, so I made the eye a little fierce looking to bring out the beast in the wolf using Photoshop.
The last part is changing the color of the illustration to sepia to give it a little pop and then blend the drawing with the paper background using the magic of Photoshop. See the difference with the side by side comparison below.
Below is a fine example of the Front Cover Page's evolution from the concept sketch to the final front cover illustration. Go ahead, play the game of spot the difference on Folotjing, I bet you'll have fun pointing them out.
I know, I know - the bird is cute right? But why is it missing from the final illustration?
Can you guess why I decided not to include the bird on the final drawing?
Please read the book and send me a message from the Contact Us page, and I promise I'll respond if you're right or wrong.
View our Author's Biography at
Please visit my old Gallery for more of my artworks
If you wish to view some of my old artworks, please click on the link below. It will take you to my old Deviantart page, although I have not updated it in years it is still a good representation of some of my creations.