Josefa contributes to the development of children’s literature in the Pacific


The feeling of seeing his illustrations published and knowing that he was helping educate the young minds of the Pacific inspired Jo to continue his journey as an illustrator.

Josefa Uluinaceva, or Jo, as he is affectionately known, has been instrumental in the development of children’s literature in the Pacific for many years, in addition to his daily work as a graphic artist in the Marketing and Communications Division. communications from the University of the South Pacific.

Many of us who attended elementary school in the Pacific in the 1990s remember reading books with Jo’s illustrations.

Some of the books he has illustrated include “Priya and Kaman’s Holiday” by Sendar Pillay; “Our New Car” by Taniela Qoroya; “Qalo” by Bessie Kingdon; “Going to the Beach” by Bessie Kingdon; “Two Stories from Tuvalu” by Maseiga Ionatana; “Fish again! by Meere Tion Tebeia; “A new broom for Tima” by Keleni Bola; “Weaving” by Rejieli Racule; “Mere and the caterpillar” by Sereima Lumelume and Neil Taylor and “An Island” by Eadinur Deiye.

He has also worked with authors like Cliff Benson, Vika Maloni, Merieisi Sekinabou Tabualevu, Sereima Raimua, Joseph Veramu, Teweiariki Teaero and many others from across the Pacific whose work has been published by the Institute of Pacific Studies of the ‘USP.

Ms. Barbara Moore sparked Jo’s interest in illustration. When Jo was just starting out as a graphic illustrator, she worked in the USP Institute of Education office on Clark Street, Domain in Suva. Ms. Moore has been dedicated to educating children and was awarded the New Zealand Literacy Association (NZRA) Merit in 1996 for her contributions to reading and New Zealand.

“This time I had just left school and started my first job and Ms. Moore asked me if I was interested in illustrating children’s books part time. I took this opportunity and since then I have met many authors from the Pacific with whom we have collaborated for their publication, ”he said.

Jo’s popularity as an illustrator increased during the time that elementary and high school teachers participated in the creation of children’s books as part of an initiative of the USP Institute of Education.

He has continuously developed his art of illustration through workshops to be developed in the field of illustration of children’s books.

“I was delighted to embark on this new journey where I could use my limited drawing skills for a good cause,” he added.

“Every job I did was a natural progression from my black ink illustration technique and I tried different styles including pencil drawing. I was only limited to black and white drawings due to the cost of producing the book.

The feeling of seeing his illustrations published and knowing that he was helping educate the young minds of the Pacific inspired Jo to continue his journey as an illustrator.

“There is a feeling of joy seeing my work published and knowing that children in Pacific countries have read the books.

“If it helped them in their reading and made them progress further, whether in their vernacular or their knowledge of the English language, then I can say it’s worth it.
“Some of these kids have grown up and are working now. I am happy to have participated in their development.

His advice to aspiring illustrators is to always look for new opportunities and be versatile in their work.

“It’s hard to make a living illustrating alone in the Pacific, but try doing other creative work like graphic design, video production, animation and other similar fields where you can still use your skills. creative skills, ”said Jo.

The various books illustrated by Jo can be found in the Pacific Collection section of the University of the South Pacific library.

Source: USP press release

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