Colne artist 'buzzing' after children's colouring book wins national acclaim
A delighted Colne man who has brightened up children's lives during the pandemic with his self-published colouring book has now found national acclaim.
Jay Stansfield (41) first created his book full of bright, fun characters called The Squibbles at the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.
He published the book on Amazon shortly afterwards, and has been overwhelmed by the feedback with copies of his work popping up across the globe.
Now, Jay said he was "buzzing" after the book was this week named as one of The Top 10 Best Colouring Book for creative kids by IndyBest in The Independent national newspaper.
"I'm buzzing about having 'the coolest colouring book ever' and never expected it to be received so well," he said.
"Having Squibbles in the IndyBest top 10 colouring books for creative kids, without any PR and doing it all myself, makes me feel proud of the hard work I've been putting in and I hope it inspires others to do the same.
"When I self-published it last March I didn't expect it to sell lots and lots of copies obviously, because I didn't have any kind of promotion or full-on marketing campaign or anything and I was a director of a creative media company so my priorities were focused on that initially."
The father-of-two stepped down as director of his creative media business to focus on his new life as a children’s illustrator and author.
He also wanted to help children and families struggling financially to access his books. For every Meet The Squibbles book bought on Amazon, Jay donated a copy, plus a copy of the colouring journal Squibbles, to help a family in need via the Homestart in East Lancashire charity.
He added: "I just wanted to put it out there to anyone thinking it's too late to start a career. I'm 41 years old. I began my illustrated colouring books for kids journey in March 2020 and it's been snowballing ever since. If you have a dream, then go for it. Keep going. Even if it feels like things aren't happening, if you work hard, then they will. Your efforts will be worth it.
"The Squibbles™ have come a long way since then and so to finally get a feature in a national publication, is pretty much a dream come true."
If people want to get a copy of Squibbles, they can find it on the website which is thesquibbles.com where they can also sign up to the mailing list and receive some free printable colouring sheets.