Students put heads together to illustrate mental health awareness for children
University of Wolverhampton students put their heads together recently to create an illustrated story that addresses the subject of children’s mental health.
Logan Peters, studying for a degree in Illustration in the Wolverhampton School of Art, and Jessica Davies, studying for a degree in Creative and Professional Writing in the School of Humanities, collaborated on the creative work which talks about mental health in children in an accessible and sensitive way.
‘Panic Monster’ was written by Jessica and illustrated by Logan.
The project was designed to develop working relationships between students and encourage collaborative practice between the University’s creative courses. During Children’s Mental Health Week earlier this year, Logan and Jessica successfully shared their project in a seminar between the two courses.
Jessica said: “My Panic Monster idea was originally the result of my own lockdown motivation slump and was an attempt to give a name to the various methods I have been using to cope during the difficult times.
“It quickly grew into a story idea in which I could share this process and hopefully help normalise the stress and panic faced by all of us, adults and children alike. Writing a piece that rhymed throughout was tricky, but I am over the moon with the outcome and really pleased with the story I have managed to create.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the illustration process and seeing how someone visualised my words and turned my ideas into gorgeous illustrations. Not having one singular representation of the Panic Monster was something very important to me as the idea is that a Panic Monster can be found in anyone and anything, so it was wonderful to be able to discuss this with Logan and work together to create the final product. Overall, this process has been an amazing experience and I’m very grateful to have my very first piece of illustrated work!”
Logan said: “I really enjoyed working on this collaboration with Jess. I was immediately drawn to this story when I was first presented with it, so I was excited to illustrate it. Designing the character of the Panic Monster was one of my favourite parts of this project, and overall, I enjoyed bringing the words of the story to life. I think that a story like the ‘Panic Monster’ is an important story to tell, especially to a young audience. I think that letting children know that it is okay to speak up about their mental health is important and frankly necessary. I think that working on this project has inspired me to look more into book illustration as a career path due to the great feedback I’ve received.”
Amy Evans, Lecturer in Illustration at the University, said: “I am extremely impressed by the efforts of Logan and Jess in producing this illustrated story together. They are a shining example of what can be achieved through collaboration and they chose to sensitively address a topic that is so important to young people. They have really helped create a safe space within this book for starting conversations and talking about more difficult topics with children.”
Take a look at the illustrated story here.
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