Say hello to Sadness

Say hello to Sadness, because today is publication day of ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’!

Many thanks to the wonderful team at @andersenpress, in particular Libby @libbyhamham and Beccy @bexgarrill for their superb editing – and art directing skills. It’s an understatement when I say that I couldn’t have made this book without them.

I finished this book during my study at the @cambridge_school_of_art @csacbi and developed the blueprint of it with the help of wonderful tutors (and classmates!). Only a few of them are here on Instagram but thank you for some amazing and insightful tutorials @pamsmyillustrator @kmanolessou @davidhughesinc and friends and classmates for all the support, cakes interesting conversations.

And last but not least, thanks to my family (@welcometotheprocess @aldo_eland) and @mauri.mendes for continuing support. And Mauri in particular for making sure I’m always fed, hugged and cheered on along the way!

This is an illustration from the book. I am still surprised sometimes at how much lighter the feeling of sadness becomes, when I simply accept its presence and stop resisting it, one way or the other. This is one of the experiences I’d like to share with the reader (be it a child or an adult). Maybe sadness isn’t all that scary and overwhelming when we can face it directly, with kindness and curiosity.

How do you usually cope with feelings of sadness? Can you ‘sit’ with it sometimes and just let it be? I have to confess that it’s one of the lessons I’m still learning myself.

Read the original post on Instagram for more images.

The importance of self-care

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This year I skipped writing a long list of resolutions. Instead, I wrote down some of the things I accomplished and enjoyed in 2018. It’s so easy to forget how beautiful and special life can be when we are continually focusing on what needs to be done to move forward and trying to meet whatever expectations we have set for ourselves.

These are details from the endpapers in the back of ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’. They seem to sum up perfectly the sentiment I’m feeling lately. As I’m thinking about sadness and wellbeing quite often lately, it came to my attention just how important self-care is in this regard. Especially in those moments where you need it most, it might be difficult to be kind towards yourself.
For me having enough sleep seems to be the beginning, after which all else becomes easier… like being able to enjoy the good things in life, and not feeling stuck in a permanent state of feeling overwhelmed by everything.
What are the things you do to take care of yourself and recharge?

Who are you?

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Hello old and new followers. Who are you? How did you find me? Do we know each other? I’d love to know, if you have a minute, drop me a line below… ⠀

I’m trying to make/keep social media an interesting and meaningful place for myself and those that follow me. If there is anything you’d like me to post about, let me know…⠀

This is a drawing from a project called Creativity & me. I finished it early 2018 for my degree show at the Children’s Book Illustration course at the Cambridge School of Art. It’s about the joys and perils of the creative process. It’s one of those projects that is difficult to place, as it isn’t really a children’s book, so I put it away for the time being…⠀

Endpapers

See the original Instagram for all sketches.

These are details from the endpapers from ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’. Some of the people are based on observational drawings of strangers, others are drawn from imagination.
I felt strangely relieved to have the sad people from the front endpapers do happy things on the back endpapers, as I didn’t like the idea of sad people being stuck in the book. Swipe to see some of those original sketches as well.
I wanted to include different kinds of sadness and also adults, to show children how anyone might be feeling sad, occasionally. Also grownups.
I also played with the idea of giving each person a sadness character of their own – to emphasise how it’s a personal feeling and how we all deal with it in different ways – but eventually, I decided against it and only used the one sadness shape I had developed.
By this point I was also running out of steam I think and didn’t feel like channelling even more sadness, as I felt plenty of sadness in and around me already.

If your sadness was a character, how would it look? And what would it be doing? I will tell you, it’s very therapeutic to have a sadness character of your own, as you can let it do some nice things and even get it to smile occasionally 🙂 If you or your children decide to draw your own sadness, could you share it with me or use #drawyourownsadness if you decide to post it?

‘When Sadness Comes to Call’ (@AndersenPress, out on 3d January).

How would you draw sadness?

How would you draw sadness? Here are some early explorations of my Sadness character, when I thought that I needed to make it look more ‘original’. Hairy creatures passed the revenue. Too human figures. Too sad and dark figures. And even an elephant - until I decided a sad blob was fine. It worked and did it’s job. Better than the others could. Sometimes we just have to quiet the ego (or tutors voices ) - and just be of service of the book, I think. Does anyone here have similar experiences? Where you are kind of surprised about where your work is taking you, as if you don’t have a say in the matter yourself? ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’ (@AndersenPress, out on 3d January). Pre-order link in bio....... ........ ..#whensadnesscomestocall #evaeland #picturebook #childrensbookillustration #childrensbooks #workinprogress #creativeprocess #sketchbook #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #childrensmentalhealth #letstalkaboutsadness #smallactsofselfcare #consolationandcomfort #artastherapy

For more images, see the original Instagram post.

How would you draw sadness?

Here are some early explorations of my Sadness character, when I thought that I needed to make it look more ‘original’. Hairy creatures passed the revenue. Too human figures. Too sad and dark figures. And even an elephant – until I decided a sad blob was fine. It worked and did it’s job. Better than the others could. Sometimes we just have to quiet the ego (or tutors voices 😅) – and just be of service of the book, I think.
Does anyone here have similar experiences? Where you are kind of surprised about where your work is taking you, as if you don’t have a say in the matter yourself?

Story Builder

For more images, check out the original Instagram post.

Maybe I gave a few too many options?

The children from the Children’s Forum at @discover_story were so immersed in their stories and were so enthusiastic that most of them forgot most things we discussed before about story structure. Not very different from how my creative process starts actually… They developed their own characters and interviewed each other’s to get to know them better. After which their characters had to meet in a story. They could use the images from the Story Builder to generate ideas and create compositions.
Afterwards a few got to tell their stories and together we tried to bring them back to more cohesive stories, with a beginning, middle and an end – repeating some of the suggestions we had discussed before.
I actually already have different images in my head for this game, including more backgrounds and colour for example and bringing it visually closer to more current work from myself (a little less gloomy and dark for example), but I’ll have to let this project go for a bit. It would make more sense to develop it when I have the time to either self-publish it or find a publisher, so I know within which parameters I have to work.
But at least I have a proof of concept and a better idea of what it can become. And I still feel very passionate about it as I love to facilitate creativity and storytelling, both wonderful, empowering skills to have in this day and age I think.

In search of good storytelling

Thank you for joining me in my quest to find out what good storytelling is. I will share a little about the workshop I did with the Children’s Forum at @discover_story next, but first I want to share all the inspiring answers from you and the children here. Swipe to read them all. P.S. I’m well aware that this question makes a lot more sense when you define the audience first or what kind of story you want to tell... but perhaps their are still some universal ‘rules’ of good storytelling? #storybuilder #storytelling #storytellinggame #evaeland #storymountain

See original post on Instagram, with all the answers from everyone.

Thank you for joining me in my quest to find out what good storytelling is. I will share a little about the workshop I did with the Children’s Forum at @discover_story next, but first I want to share all the inspiring answers from you and the children here. Swipe to read them all.
P.S. I’m well aware that this question makes a lot more sense when you define the audience first or what kind of story you want to tell… but perhaps there are still some universal ‘rules’ of good storytelling?

What makes a good story?

I am doing a workshop on storytelling tomorrow with the clever children from the Children's Forum at @discover_story , using my own Story Builder game that I am developing.⠀What makes a good story? I will explore this with the children together and will ask for their input so they can discover through their own knowledge, but it helps to have a better idea myself.⠀What do you guys think are the possible key ingredients to good stories? What are some of the best stories you know, and do you have any idea why they work?⠀⠀I really like to hear your thoughts on this, as I know there is so much collective wisdom among all of us here on Instagram. ⠀⠀⠀⠀#evaeland #storytelling #storybuilder #illustratorsofinstagram⠀#archetypalimage #workinprogress #creativeprocess #writingwithimages⠀#machildrensbookillustration #cambridgeschoolofart #kidlitart #childrensbookillustration

See the original post on Instagram.

I am doing a workshop on storytelling tomorrow with the clever children from the Children’s Forum at @discover_story , using my own Story Builder game that I am developing.⠀
What makes a good story? I will explore this with the children together and will ask for their input so they can discover through their own knowledge, but it helps to have a better idea myself.⠀
What do you guys think are the possible key ingredients to good stories? What are some of the best stories you know, and do you have any idea why they work?⠀

I really like to hear your thoughts on this, as I know there is so much collective wisdom among all of us here on Instagram. ⠀

On drawing

For me, drawing and writing have both always been very important - using them both as tools to express, revise, construct, negotiate and develop thoughts and feelings. ⠀Drawing can calm me down and writing helps me to think more clearly.⠀⠀This is one of the illustrations from the book, showing some of the few suggestions of what you can do with Sadness. As the book only has 12 spreads, I could only include a few suggestions from all the ideas I had and things I found during my research. Maybe I should find a place for all those others as well.⠀⠀Do you have a creative outlet? Does it help you to deal with difficult emotions? ⠀⠀‘When Sadness Comes to Call’ (@AndersenPress, out on January 3d). Pre-order link in bio.⠀⠀#WhenSadnessComesToCall #evaeland #picturebook #childrensbookillustration #childrensbooks #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #childrensmentalhealth

Read the original post on Instagram.

For me, drawing and writing have both always been very important – using them both as tools to express, revise, construct, negotiate and develop thoughts and feelings. ⠀
Drawing can calm me down and writing helps me to think more clearly.⠀

This is one of the illustrations from the book, showing some of the few suggestions of what you can do with Sadness. As the book only has 12 spreads, I could only include a few suggestions from all the ideas I had and things I found during my research. Maybe I should find a place for all those others as well.⠀

Do you have a creative outlet? Does it help you to deal with difficult emotions? ⠀

Hibernation



Read the original post on Instagram.

Even though I’d love to go into hibernation and hide under the blanket – the world is still moving as fast as ever – and I have a book launch to prepare for! ⠀
If you happen to be in Amsterdam today (Friday 16th) feel free to drop by in the Scheltema (Rokin 9), and say hello and celebrate the launch of ‘Als Verdriet op bezoek komt’ with me. We are starting at 16.00 pm. All are welcome.⠀

This was one of the images from an earlier iteration of ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’, that didn’t make it into the book eventually.