Colourful Colne artist makes charity pledge after success of children's book
A Colne artist has been finding ways to help families and children keep a smile on their faces through the pandemic by self-publishing a colouring journal and storybook.
Jay Stansfield (41) got to work creating a book full of wonky, 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.
“I’ve always been into drawing, illustration and animation and since being a young child, I used to draw all over my school books," he said.
“Being a creative person and releasing a lot of music over the years with the bands I’ve played with, gave me more of an opportunity to understand how to release a book and with some encouragement from my family, I decided to get out my pen and paper.
“The feedback has been amazing. People started sending me photos from all over the world of their children holding the book with big smiles on their faces, it filled me with so much joy to see it doing its job the way it was intended.”
The father-of-two, who recently stepped down as director of his creative media business, said he was enjoying life as a new children’s illustrator and author.
“The most natural progression from the colouring journal was to write Meet The Squibbles: Volume 1. It’s aimed at four to seven-year-olds and it’s a quirky introduction to a bunch of the characters from Squibblesville.
"It’s great fun, a real laugh and children are already enjoying the silly stories. It's been a difficult few months for me as I had to step down as a company director of my creative media business because of some personal issues, so it’s important to get my illustration skills and books out to as many families as possible.
"It’s a tentative place to be but I’m confident it can only grow from here.”
Jay is now running a campaign with Homestart In East Lancashire to try and bring a bit of colour to any families who may be struggling to afford books.
For every Meet The Squibbles book bought on Amazon, Jay will be donating a copy, plus a copy of the colouring journal Squibbles, to help a family in need via the charity.
Copies of the book can be bought on Amazon or via http://thesquibbles.com.
“Not everyone can afford to buy books and so even just a share, word of mouth or tagging people in posts on social media all helps the cause and it’s amazing how powerful these small acts can be. Let’s get as many Squibbles to those families as we can and make them smile.”
Jay is currently finalising his second colouring journal Squibbles 2, which will be released sometime later this year.