Retro Childrens Book Illustrations about Bipolar Disorder & Mental Health
Hey there! I’m excited to share my journey to Manila where I was invited by the Austrian Embassy to illustrate a children’s book called “Sala La Init, Sala Sa Lamig,” (In Hot Mess or Cold Mess), written by Czyka Tumaliuan and published by her publishing house “Kwago”. This bilingual book tackles the important topic of bipolar disorder.
Conveying the Story through Color and Style: A Look at the Illustration Concept
The concept behind the illustrations for this children’s book was to create a hand-drawn feel using a basic set of colors and styles.
I chose to work in Procreate to achieve this, and used different main colors for each page or spread to convey the emotions of the scene. The text was already finished by the author, so I concentrated on the art-style and how it could best complement the story.
Bringing the Story to Life: The Sketching and Planning Phase
During the sketching and planning phase, I created a storyboard to visualize the illustrations and ensure they effectively conveyed the story. After minor corrections, the storyboard was approved by the author Czyka. This allowed me to move forward with the final illustrations with a clear understanding of how they should look and feel.
Making it Real: The Process of Creating the Final Illustrations
In the creation and finalizing stages, I worked on bringing the illustrations to life by staying true to the concept and keeping everything simple, textured and with just one or two colors on each page. There were a few changes in the number of pages, but overall we managed to maintain the mid-century art feel and vintage vibe that we wanted to achieve. By using Procreate and keeping the number of colors to a minimum, I was able to create a distinct, hand-drawn look that complemented the story and the text.
My trip to Manila was an absolute blast and I was fortunate enough to have a packed schedule of events and cultural experiences. I gave illustration workshops at the University of Santo Tomas
and the University of the Philippines, sharing my skills and knowledge with students and hopefully inspiring some future artists. I also had the pleasure of presenting “Sala La Init, Sala Sa Lamig” with Czyka at her own bookstore, Kwago.
But the real highlight of the trip for me was meeting so many amazing people and realizing that the cultural subculture is alive and thriving everywhere. I had the opportunity to engage with the local community through workshops and a book presentation and it was so much fun to draw and play with the kids at the Children’s Museum.
I also got to try some new Filipino dishes and visit the Intramuros, which was a great way to learn more about the history and culture of the Philippines.
Thanks for visiting!
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