Exploring Magical Realism with Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is a Latina author and philanthropist who has written 23 bestsellers and is celebrated across the world. Isabel Allende’s stories are written in a style of fiction called “magical realism.” 

Magical realism is associated with Latin America because Latinx authors like Isabel Allende have made it the popular genre it is today. Magical realism combines a realistic setting with elements of magic, that are often unexplained to make the magic seem normal in the realistic setting. 

Today, make a piece of art using elements of magical realism and write a short story about the drawing using magical realism. 

This project is one in a series of virtual classes exploring Latinx Artists, hosted on Facebook Live at 1:30pm on Saturdays. Materials and instructions are posted here afterward. Tune into the live classes to ask questions, give suggestions, and interact with other students who are stuck at home!

If you want to watch the live video recording, check out our Facebook page or Youtube channel!


  • Something to write with
  • Something to draw with
  • A piece of paper
  • A piece of lined paper

  1. Pick a realistic setting. It could be a beach, your street, somewhere you’ve visited, or anything you come up with as long as it is real or something you would see and not think it was weird or not real. 
  2. Pick something magical, or another realistic setting or action.
  3. How can you put both of those things into the same drawing? Magical realism is a blend of magic and real life, and that is what you should do too!
  4. If you need examples or inspiration, watch the video on Facebook or Google Image “magical realism” art.
  5. Once you’ve drawn your picture, write a short story about your drawing! Again, magical realism is a blend of the real and the magic. To make the magic seem as normal as possible, it is not explained and the characters act as if it is normal.
  6. IF YOU ARE STUCK you can also write the story first and then draw the picture!

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