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  • Writer's pictureSiobhan Rhodes

Collecting the Diamonds - Illustrator brief

Create You Arts is seeking a visual artist to bring to life an important story about adoption. This work will be shaped by and original artist who can help us convey feelings of safety, attachment and connectedness for families who come together through adoption, fostering or special guardianship.

Project Overview

We have been awarded funding from The Mighty Creatives to create this children’s storybook to support adopted families and looked-after children affected by the pandemic. We will also be producing a digital animated version of the story to reach a broad spectrum of the adoption and fostering community. A series of hard copies of the book will be printed for families in particular need or without access to the Internet. An external graphic designer and animator will be producing the book and video, however if this is also within your practice, please let us know.

Illustration Brief

We’re looking for illustrations that are playful, curious and energetic with a therapeutic sense of safety and structure.

We want to hear from Midlands or Northern based illustrators from all backgrounds and at all stages of their careers. You don’t need to have illustrated a book before, or much experience as a commercial or professional illustrator. However we’re are looking for an artist who can work in partnership with us as a collaborator with a clear sense of their own creative voice through their particular specialism. We’re keen to hear from those who specialise in children’s books, as well as graphic novelists, fine artists and experimental illustrators.

Fee to cover:

- Storyboard of initial sketches

- Illustrations for a 32pp (28 text) book. This will take one of two formats:

o 30-40 full colour illustrations to select for pagination

o 28 full colour full bleed illustrations to cover each page

- Front and back cover

- Scanning and supplying illustrations for pagination and in a format for animation


Illustration and supply of images £3,360 (inclusive of VAT)

Scanner and materials £155

Responding to this Brief

We’d like to take a look at a relevant selection of your portfolio, which you think best describes your work.

We’d also like a short response to this brief. This can be one or a combination of:

· An artistic response (for example an illustration),

· A written response (for example describing your work, why you’re interested in this project or some ideas for how you’d like to interpret this brief)

· A video response (for example discussing and demonstrating your work)

Please send us your select portfolio and response to the brief by 5pm 26 June to Sian Booth

Narrative Overview

The story follows Nua, who arrives to live with Jordan and Kia. We join this new family through a series of challenges, which are common in adoptive children, exploring fun and engaging ways in which to support those needs.

It will focus on four typical areas:

- Meal times (hoarding, overeating, and food obsessions)

- Hygiene (bathing, hair brushing, water fears)

- Bed time (sleep disorders, co-sleeping)

- Trauma

This book will reinforce therapeutic parenting to support families who are struggling to cope with their child’s challenging behaviour, particularly while under lockdown.

Consumer Overview

Covid-19 is impacting families who come together through fostering and adoption. There has been a lot of trauma and change in these children’s lives during this period of lockdown, from change in schedules to economic difficulties in the families. A huge number of children going back to school will not be in a good place.

This book will portray the strength, courage and adaptability of children as they recover from loss and build lives with their forever family. We hope this picture book can inspire hope in all of us to change our perceptions of adoption.

This book by no means replaces or acts as a substitute for specialist therapeutic interventions but is a fun, free of charge activity that can show a positive but real adoption narrative.

Approximate Schedule

Copy handover 2 July

Storyboard Sign Off 8 July

Illustration Sign Off 10 August 2020

Graphic Design Copy and Image handover 11 August

Graphic Design First Proof 14 August

Graphic Design Second Proof 19 August

Book Sign off 25 August

Animation First Proof 3 September

Animation Second Proof 8 September

Animation Sign Off 10 September

For an informal chat about the project please contact Sian Booth at The offer of this contract will be subject to references and our safe recruitment practices.

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