Illustrating mental health

It’s around 15 days til publication day – yeay and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

But you’re not on your own with the nerves. After all, to produce a book you work with skilled editors, cover designers, proof readers and, in my case, illustrators.

My first book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes – Naming and Shaming Mental Health Stigmas features the drawings of a fabulous illustrator (and actor, and stand up comedian AND voiceover artist!) Jo Neary.

Jo NearyJo and I first started working together back in 2016 when my ACE editor at Standard Issue magazine, Sam Wonfor, brought us together to work on my mental health column, It REALLY couldn’t happen to a nicer….

With the column, we wanted to show the impact of mental illness, but that it didn’t dictate personality. That we should take it seriously but we should always see the person and not just the symptoms. That is why I put people in ‘boxes’ to show that with mental illness, you really CAN’T put people in boxes!

Somebody with anxiety might be up on the dance floor showing off their best Spice Girls routine. A commando might be overwhelmed by addiction. The laugh a minute comedian might be secretly struggling in a darkness.

So Jo’s illustrations reflected this brilliantly. Whilst we saw the illness in the background, the personality was placed in the spotlight. And this is something I think is hugely important. In fact, the great people at Time to Change often talk of the damage that the old school, stereotyped images of the ‘head clutcher’ can do.

So here’s a little gallery of Jo’s BRILLIANT work. Some from my book, some from Standard Issue. And if you can’t get enough, you can hear her voice if you download Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto audiobook, and you can see her in Johnny Vegas’ Ideal (which also features the North East’s brilliant Alfie Joey) and in My mad Fat Diary.

That’s one talented lady! Give her a follow on Twitter if you don’t already – @MsJoNeary 

If you fancy pre-ordering my book featuring Jo’s great work, you can order here for delivery in approx two weeks (publication day is fast approaching!!).

hipster

Commando

Narcissist or Self Loather

Triffid or Wallflower

 

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