The Magic Paintbrush


The Magic Paintbrush is a story written by Christine Villa. The original version of The Magic Paintbrush (online and without illustrations) won the People’s Choice Award in 2011 – #1 in the Top 7 Knowonder! stories as voted by readers. Knowonder! is a children’s publication aimed at driving literacy.

The author, “Miss Chrissi” contacted me via Upwork (formerly oDesk) to illustrate her story. She sent me a copy of the manuscript, and after reading, I nonchalantly and effortlessly fell in love with the entirety of it — the characters, the plot, the lessons it taught. In the story, “Alexa’s greatest desire is to paint all the beauty around her, but she just cannot capture it. One night, a magic paintbrush named Picasso wakes her up. He grants her three wishes each day. Her best friend, Nikki, makes her days even more fascinating as she realizes they both have the power to rule the world.”

The full set of illustrations took me about two months to complete. Miss Chrissie is a brilliant writer of fun, whimsy, and heart-warming children’s stories. Though her stories target young readers, people of every age will surely enjoy her works. I made it a point to match my illustrations with her charming style. Now, the published version of the The Magic Paintbrush has 3 chapters, 46 pages, and more than 37 rich and vibrant illustrations.

Below are photos of some of my favorite pages:

The Magic Paintbrush --- Flowers and Butterflies
“Butterflies are a wondrous sight.”
The Magic Paintbrush --- Gumdrops in the Sky
“Gumdrops! Gumdrops twinkling in the sky!”
The Magic Paintbrush --- Nikki and Alexa wants to rule the world
“Don’t you know that you can do anything, Alexa? Anything?”
The Magic Paintbrush --- The Rainbow
“A rainbow with all the colors of all things beautiful arched across the sky!”
A sweet note from the author herself --- Christine Villa
A sweet note from the author herself — Christine Villa

Miss Chrissi sent me a copy of the book via mail (along with a set of jewelries she personally made). Imagine a treat from halfway around the world! It was really nice and sweet of her. The moment my hand held the smooth glossy cover, I grinned so widely that I believed my eyes were squinting. My fingers scanned through the pages in hurry and excitement. I literally “jumping for joy” that time. My mother and two sisters, who were by my side when I opened the envelope in our living room were as ecstatic as I was. Holding the very book I gave my hard work, heart, and soul to, returned an unexplainable height of delight and I surely couldn’t be happier.

Of the few books I have illustrated, The Magic Paintbrush is closest to my heart. No, I do not have a real-world magic paintbrush named Picasso (yet), but I somewhat feel that I am a real-world Alexa.


“Just paint with your heart. Paint with a good heart. You have that, Alexa. That’s why you have me.” -Picasso



To contact the author Christine Villa

The Magic Paintbrush is available via Amazon.

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