The Journey of Creating My Illustrated Book

Ex libris. A woman collapsed on a desk


Creating my book Eerie Dearies has been a journey. I have learned alot about patience.

It's been really exciting though there are times that I felt more like my illustration above. 


It was just after my solo exhibition in 2009 called Catholic Schoolgirls Rule when I was first intercepted by the publisher Simply Read. The show had sparked their interest and so they approached me about doing a book that had something to do with school girls. I felt thrilled at the opportunity of producing a book and it was a great ego boost to be invited to work with Simply Read. Here are a couple of pieces from the 2009 show, they were painted directly onto old book covers.


Two school girls floating in the air


Initially I wasn't sure what form the book would take, I tried a few different options which were rejected by the publisher until we finally settled on the format of an illustrated ABC book called AWOL: 26 Absent School Girls. The title was later changed to Eerie Dearies: 26 Ways to Miss School. 


Eerie Dearies is an unusual book that offers a carefully crafted & alphabetized selection of twenty-six beautifully illustrated excuses for being absent from school. Faded and well-used book covers serve as compelling backgrounds to each of these delicately rendered acrylic paintings, creating an atmosphere akin to an old and dusty collection of darkly humourous myths. This bizarre and astonishing ABC book contains 26 illustrations of absent school girls in ephemeral landscapes. These intriguing figures are at once pale and wan and amusingly dramatic. 


Here is a photo of me creating one of the illustrations for Eerie Dearies:

Artist creating an illustration using a brush

Here is an excerpt from an interview I did with Weekdays From Scratch last year while I was creating the work for the book.  


"Although I don't have a great deal of time for reading these days I have always been a big reader and I think that it has inspired my imagery. My work is very narrative - as in, it tells a story, I feel that it's my own way of story telling with out being a writer. My favourite types of books are works that have a surreal quality to them. I also like mysteries, I think this comes across in the images that I make. I also love the Surrealist painters- they are pretty inspiring!"

Cover of the book Eerie Dearies

Written by: rebecca chaperon
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