Illustrator Ruben de Jesus dies

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Illustrator Ruben de Jesus dies

REST IN PEACE. Illustrator Ruben de Jesus passes away.

Adarna House's Facebook

Ruben is remembered for his award-winning work on children's books, and teaching generations of young artists

MANILA, Philippines – Award-winning illustrator Ruben de Jesus, known for his work on children’s books, has died.

Publishing company Adarna House posted news of his passing on Facebook on Friday, May 12, describing him as “huwaran ng kabutihan at balon ng karunungan, isang haligi ng Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (a role model for kindness and a wellspring of knowledge, a pillar of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan).”

Ruben built a career as a children’s book illustrator and graphic designer.

In 2000, he won the Noma Concours Encouragement Prize for Children’s Picture Book Illustrations for his art in Ang Mahiyaing Manok, written by Rebecca T. Añonuevo. The same book won the runner-up prize at the New York Showcase Exhibition of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

He won another Noma Concours Encouragement Prize in 2002 for his work in Mga Anak ng Araw.

Ruben was a founding member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), an association of artists creating illustrations for children. He was a member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), and was a professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Fine Arts.

On social media, Ruben’s former students and colleagues paid tribute to the kind and supportive mentor they fondly refer to as “Sir DJ” or “Totet.”

Jose Santos Ardivilla, a UP professor and Ruben’s former student-turned-colleague, said, “Sir DJ is very much part of the beating heart of the Visual Communication department and the reaches it has accrued.”

“The College has lost a luminary. The bigger tragedy here is that future students will not be under his wise, enthusiastic-but-steady guidance. They will have no idea how he can fish the brilliance out of them. This is such a loss for all of us,” he added. –

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