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.

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).

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.

Original idea

I found back the thumbnails of the original idea for ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’ after many years, when I was studying the MA Children’s Book Illustration. We’d just started the Sequential Image module, led by the incredibly talented @pamsmyillustrator (who also happens to be a very good teacher). After months of drawing from observation we we’re finally ‘allowed’ to draw from imagination. In my proposal I wrote: “I want my sequential images to be about consolation, comfort and emotions” and I asked “Can I make a sequence that gives the viewer the feeling of being consoled and hugged?”.⠀⠀Do you know any books which achieve that? Do you have an idea of why that is? I’d love to know and might start a weekly review at some point of ‘sad’, cathartic and comforting books. Would anyone be interested in that?⠀⠀The image is from the title page from ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’ (@AndersenPress, out on January 3d). Pre-order link in bio.⠀ Look out for all the co-editions as well, of which I will share more later.
Read the original post on Instagram.

I found back the thumbnails of the original idea for ‘When Sadness Comes to Call’ after many years, when I was studying the MA Children’s Book Illustration. We’d just started the Sequential Image module, led by the incredibly talented @pamsmyillustrator (who also happens to be a very good teacher). After months of drawing from observation we were finally ‘allowed’ to draw from imagination. In my proposal I wrote: “I want my sequential images to be about consolation, comfort and emotions” and I asked “Can I make a sequence that gives the viewer the feeling of being consoled and hugged?”.⠀

Do you know any books which achieve that? Do you have an idea of why that is?

‘Serious’ play

I had only half an hour to do some risography colour tests so I just threw some old bits and bobs on the machine and printed it on old prints from another project. I look forward to te day I can allow myself some time for some ‘serious’ play - and see what emerges from it. Not quite the colours I need right now... #playandexperiment #randomcollage #random #shapesandtextures #linedrawing #risograph #risography #flatgold #tealgreen #neonpink #orange #sorrythebook #sosorry

I had only half an hour to do some risography colour tests so I just threw some old bits and bobs on the machine and printed it on old prints from another project. I look forward to the day I can allow myself some time for some ‘serious’ play – and see what emerges from it. Not quite the colours I need right now…
For more risograph collages, check the original post on Instagram.