It sucks to have big, frizzy hair and a decidedly average body... when you really want to have model good looks and a cool boyfriend. That’s why Lily’s on a mission to get beautified, or at least get a red-hot makeover.
And the attention of her crush.
An illustrated novel for Ages 8+
'Beautiful: A girl's trip through the looking glass' is about a young teen girl who's the victim of a bully. It seems Lily's never quite good enough for this brute: not pretty enough, not cool enough, not the right mix of skinny and shapely... you name it. So why not just ignore this unwanted visitor, or maybe deliver a swift kick to the shins?
As it turns out, the real problem is, the bully's inside Lily's own head.
Some frequently asked questions
How did you come up with the idea for Beautiful?
The character, Lily, started coming to me some years ago, along with fragments of scenes, and inner dialogue – things she was saying about herself and the world. I didn't have a story yet. That would take time, a lot of input (that I learned to take or leave), and many revisions.
What inspired you to write about this topic?
They say if you write about the personal, you will end up writing about the universal. I imagine there are very few people left on the planet who've not been inundated by messages about how they should measure up, whether that's your looks, intelligence, muscles... or even how to be a nice person. It all comes down to: can I really find my self-worth in physical attributes or anything else, for that matter? Am I trying to appear to the world in a way that's much better than how I actually feel inside? All that adds up to some pretty painful internal conflicts. Once I realized I was dragging around these constant messages in my own head, it was time to investigate. What is all this stuff? And are these thoughts who I really am?
HOW DID YOU CREATE THE ARTWORK?
The final drawings were done in pencil and ink wash, using water brushes filled with various Indian ink tones. I then scanned the images into Photoshop to enhance contrast, clean up, and do final inking – and so I could move them around to create each page layout. The final print-ready book was put together in InDesign.
WILL THERE BE A SEQUEL?
The first few pages of 'Beautiful'...