Why can’t we tickle ourselves? How can slow touch convey more powerful emotions than fast touch? How does touch shape our perception of the world? In this short interview, Steve Haines – author of Singing Dragon’s best-selling Really Strange series– discusses the inspiration behind his new book, Touch is Really Strange.
When did you start working on the book?
The idea for a book on touch has been around since 2019, but this was definitely a lockdown project. The Really Strange series has been huge fun and continues to get heart-warming feedback. There have been suggestions for books on Depression, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Grief or Breath.
Whilst I have some experience with clients with all those topics, I realised I have far more to say about touch. I use touch everyday in normal work life and teach 2-year courses on being skilful with touch.
What inspired the topic?
In my career I have undergone a paradigm shift in how I understand touch. Continue reading →
During these troubling times, our mental health remains just as key as our physical well-being. Therefore, Singing Dragon is pleased to share the full contents of the latest book by Richy K. Chandler: What the Hell Just Happened?!– Comfort and Wisdom for When Your World Falls Apart.
This inspirational book helps readers overcome troubling times in their lives through vivid illustrations and positive affirmations. The book shows how you can face your past and embrace your future, and provides thoughtful tips to remind you of what you can be at your emotionally strongest and smartest. Continue reading →
Talking about his latest picture book, What the Hell Just Happened?!, Richy K. Chandler said the book came from “a place of needing to try to make sense of where I was in my life”, adding: “At the start of developing it, I was going through a difficult separation, with my life circumstances drastically changing, seemingly out of control. I sought the release and comfort of expressing myself through creativity.”
For National Stress Awareness Day 2018, Richy K. Chandler shares the story behind his latest picture book, What the Hell Just Happened?!. This inspirational gift book helps readers overcome troubling times in their lives, through vivid illustrations and positive affirmations.
The author provides thoughtful tips to remind us of what we can be at our emotionally strongest and smartest, showing how to face the past and embrace the future.
There are many reasons for creating a book, a comic or any work of art.
My latest book – What the Hell Just Happened?! – came from a place of needing to try to make sense of where I was in my life. At the start of developing it, I was going through a difficult separation, with my life circumstances drastically changing, seemingly out of control. I sought the release and comfort of expressing myself through creativity.
My assumption was that my anxiety and fear would come out naturally in tune. I’ve written hundreds of songs in the past and I always feel better for clarifying my feelings in verse. This time, however, that didn’t seem to be happening.
Writing a book with a co-author, warned my writer friends, is often a clash of egos and can be fraught with problems, especially if your co-author happens to be a friend! Mine was, and so I embarked on writing Forgiveness is Really Strange with a degree of trepidation over a collaboration that for no one’s fault might simply not work out.
I first met Dr Masi Noor in 2008 because of his academic research on the psychology of forgiveness in contexts of past or on-going political violence. He was interested in The Forgiveness Project, the charity that I founded in 2004 which promotes restorative narratives in order to help break cycles of conflict and vengeance. A collaboration in creating The Forgiveness Toolbox followed as we discovered our views on forgiveness were very much in sync – that it should never be pushed or prescribed, that it was complicated and easily misunderstood, but also that it was a skill that could be practised and learned in order to help liberate people from the debilitating power of victimhood.
When Are You Going to Get a Proper Job? features parent and graphic artist, Tariq, who finds himself stuck in a cycle of guilt, torn between quality time with his family and creative time in the studio.
This comic will spark the important debate about the value society places on creative careers, and will raise awareness of the pressures put upon creative professionals and how this career choice can conflict with family life and societal expectations.
Richy K. Chandler discusses the themes of the book and the process of drawing the illustrations in the video below.
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Explaining why parents decide to separate in simple, understandable language to children, this candid graphic story reassures and comforts any child whose parents are breaking up. Fully illustrated, with characters that any child can relate to, this book is a lifeline during a confusing time.
In this Q&A, T.O. Walker discusses ‘Not My Shame‘, the media’s responsibility on reporting sexual violence and how creativity can aid recovery in sexual violence survivors.
What is unique about the graphic novel format that makes it an appropriate platform for highlighting issues such as trauma and child sexual exploitation?
It felt fitting to communicate experiences from childhood using the format I would have used as a child. When we remember traumatic childhood experiences, we remember them from the perspective of a child not that of an adult, and it felt important to communicate this. Showing the reader the experience through images is also more powerful than describing it because images communicate emotions directly, and this makes it harder for the reader to distance themselves or deny what they are seeing which felt important for ‘Not My Shame’.
Graphic novels are a great medium for both showing and telling a story at the same time. I wanted to immerse people in parts of my experience and emotions, but I also wanted to have a voice and comment on the experiences I was sharing, as this encourages people to reflect on what they are seeing. A graphic novel is also an excellent medium for distorting time and perception: through the images, how they are framed and the order of the panels. Given the nature of traumatic memory, this was very useful.
Finally, I wanted to create something which would be accessible to people who wouldn’t sit down and read a text only book.
This striking graphic novel gives an insider’s view of the trauma caused by childhood sexual exploitation. It tackles complex issues, including victim-blaming, traumatic memory and dissociation, but is ultimately hopeful, showing how victims can be good parents and come to terms with their past through therapy, art and caring relationships.
To read more about the book, or to purchase a copy, please click here.
Here I am looking at my book, still holding the packaging.
It’s April 2016 here on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. The flowers are blooming, and I am looking for the first time at my new book, Embroidered Cancer Comic.
“How did I come to write a comic?” I’m glad you asked. As soon as my husband Bob Bossin was diagnosed in 2011 with prostate cancer, we started making cancer jokes. Every time we could laugh about the situation, one of us would say, “That goes in the comic”. At this stage the comic was completely imaginary. But eventually I picked up my needle and stitched and stitched until I had over sixty embroidered squares… Continue reading →