I’m so thrilled to finally show you this very meaningful project I’ve been working on: 'My Anxiety Handbook'!
Written by psychologists Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher, and co-authored with Phoebe McEwen, the book guides young people aged 12-18 through their issues with anxiety in a warm and light-hearted way. I was so thrilled to have been asked to illustrate the book with relatable, character-based spot illustrations - especially as I have suffered from anxiety myself.
The book delves into the psychology behind anxiety, as well as promoting useful self-care steps, a journal section, and lots of really insightful personal experiences with anxiety written by a huge range of people – from young people at school, to England footballers, and, well, me!
It was incredibly nerve-wracking to fully share my experiences with anxiety or the first time, but it was therapeutic to write it all out, contained, and in such a safe and welcoming place as this book. It would definitely have been reassuring to read something like this when I was little, so I hope in sharing my experience I can help someone else.
The illustrations were lovely to draw. I’ve been doing a lot of work for school-aged children and young adults lately, and this book was a great chance to create a set of characters to reflect the fact that anxiety can affect anyone – no matter what they say, what they look like, or how they present themselves.
The spot illustrations were all created using brush and ink linework, with digital shading – keeping them simple, with a focus on relatability - presenting the text in an engaging and illuminating way! I was also asked to create hand-lettering for the journal section in the back, with titles guiding readers to note down their experiences and help unravel and identify the different strands of their anxiety!