A visual journey through the difficult times

With very little text, ‘Sparks’ aims to enable the reader to identify directly with the illustrated emotions

 

Sparks is an illustrated book that gives empathy and hope to people experiencing a difficult time in their lives.

I created it as a response to the lack of accessible resources that are available to people experiencing mental health difficulties. At the moment, the resources available to people in distress are text heavy and thus inaccessible to those who are most in need of them.

With minimal text, it was essential to include powerfully evocative visuals.

The book is beautifully designed with illustrations that bring readers on a visual journey through the thoughts and emotions of difficult times.

I worked very closely with two artists, graphic designer Oonagh Young and illustrator Una Gildea, to ensure that the images, combined with the text, created a particular effect, building from a low point to a sense of breaking through.

The absence of an identifiable character allows the book to be gender neutral while enabling the reader to identify directly with the emotions illustrated.

Its purpose is to encourage a personal interpretation. It is about the people who read it and what it means to them. We also considered carefully the size and finish of the book, to come up with something easy to carry yet robust enough to be used regularly.

Feedback about the book has been hugely positive and it is being distributed more widely. The Think Big initiative, a partnership between Headstrong and O2, provided funding for design and a small print run.

I am selling the book online in order to fund a reprint and a bigger distribution. See sparksbook.org

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.