Deer Park artist takes advantage of the opportunity in the book

Deer Park High School student Olivia Patrico grew up on Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and other science fiction and fantasy books.

It was not only the characters and plot lines, but the illustrations on the pages.

As a child who loved to draw, she said, art lit a spark because it was such an integral part of storytelling.

Patricio, who will be a freshman at Deer Park High in the fall, officially became part of the tradition when the children’s book, “Blu Christmas,” written by Berland author Mirinda Moorhead, was published earlier this year.

Morehead, a family law attorney, wrote her book during the holiday season and wrote the story of torn families dealing with separation from a child’s point of view.

Over the course of the year-long project, the book became a personal healing experience for her illustrator, who is now 16 years old. Although the book is geared towards younger readers, it still resonates, especially as the two older siblings are.

“My parents are divorced, and we haven’t had a divorced birthday yet, but I think the book can help us in the future. I can talk about the concept and the message that you are not a child of one parent, you are two children of two parents (even after a divorce),” said Patricio. I’ve been able to put my own experience to work.”

The opportunity came about through a mutual friend of the Patricio and Morehead family, according to Olivia’s mother, Stephanie Patrico.

“She (Moorhead) wrote a book and she needed a painter,” she said. “We sent her some Olivia’s drawings and she loved her style.”

Patricio teaches art at ISD Pasadena, but her daughter never formally educated, and so there were some aspects of the project that Olivia had to adapt to.

Patricio loves to draw characters from her favorite books based on what she sees in her imagination. For Blu Christmas, she had to learn to be creative outside her artistic flair and make art from someone else’s idea. She also had to learn to accept comments and make changes if they didn’t fit the author’s vision. This was the biggest modification.

“I saw Olivia get frustrated with the editing process,” her mother said. “You draw this and you spend all that time on it, and then you are told they fantasized a little differently, so Olivia had to go back and revise. Being 14 can be frustrating.”

But for the most part, Morehead also allowed her painter some artistic freedom, which Patricio appreciated.

“She gave me the script and asked me to be artistic,” she said. “I like that there are less constraints compared to work where everything has to be very subtle because with art, something can be off limits and it can be great.”

Patricio plans to collaborate on a second book with Morehead. When Blu Christmas was published, she had at least a dozen autographs for the family, and attended her first book signing.

“It was a wonderful experience to see Olivia’s illustrations and the book come to life,” her mother said.

Patricio, who attends undergraduate courses at San Jacinto College as a double credit student, has written and illustrated her unpublished short stories, in her own words, “unpolished.” As a tall kid, Patricio knew how different other kids would feel. Its main characters are in wheelchairs, or have Down Syndrome or Vitiligo.

Her mother said, “In these short stories, children who are not your ‘normal children’ can see themselves.

Whether she decides to pursue art as a career or not, Blu Christmas, available on Amazon, even taught Patris that her creativity can be a voice.

“When I first saw my work on paper and published, it was a surreal experience,” said Patricio.

yorozco@hcnonline.com