I love my Instagram account, @whimsicalillustration. I’m not kidding, it is my favourite app for following everything I’m interested in. It has been a lifeline to me during my struggles with chronic illness, it has… More
“If your loved ones are half as strong as you most assuredly have proven yourself to be, then they will remain so until you can return to them. For now, courage.” -Jora
We are excited to announce that the full fledged YA novels version of Charting Stars will be set for an October 1st 2019 release date! Excited to share this new version with you!
Charting Stars Synopsis:
Talia Benson would consider herself fairly ordinary. Anyone would. Diligent student, only child to a single mother, protector of three cats; nothing special ever seemed to happen to her. Life’s consistent rhythm brightened only by Talia’s obsession with the stars and her love for art, a single evening in front of a blank canvas becomes the adventure she never dreamed she wanted. Talia finds herself lost and alone in a world completely unlike her own, in a land where magic thrives, wars are born then die at the wave of a hand, and strange creatures decide the fate of those who live among the Nine Realms. The guardians of this foreign world have felt a great shift in the heavens. Something has changed. A darkness is coming. A girl thrown between worlds could be the key to saving them all.
Well, I have good news and I have bad news.
I’ll start with the bad news first because it’s always better to end things on a good note. 🙂
Three months ago, I, Micheline Ryckman, injured the shoulder of my drawing arm. The injury has turned out to be more severe than I first imagined. I am still unable to use my arm, for art and even for normal everyday life stuff. I’m headed for more tests, will hopefully see a specialist soon, but my guess is that I still have quite a recovery road ahead of me yet. Which brings me to the subject of Charting Stars. Graphic novels are labour intensive, the first book took me 9 months to complete, and this was working on it 6-8 hours per day, six days a week. I don’t know when, or if, my arm will ever be able to handle that kind of workload again. And I fear the possibility of re-injuring my arm or even permanently damaging it if I tried to work to that extent again. All this to say, there will not be another graphic novel version of Charting Stars in the the near future, BUT the story isn’t over.
Now the GOOD news, Erin Kleveland and I have decided to turn Charting Stars into a full fledged novel which will be released in 2019. (Release date is not yet set.) The novel will include some illustrations, not to the extent that a graphic novel would, but I’ll include as many as I can squeak in. In addition to Charting Stars getting this massive upgrade, I’ve decided to try and publish the YA novel I am currently working on myself, The Maiden Ship. This new book is completely unrelated to Charting Stars, but as soon as I am able to draw even a little, I’ll be so EXCITED to introduce you to the characters more visually. If you are interested, I’ve attached some excerpts and quotes from my newest creative endeavour, I hope you’ll take a peek. I promise to have more info and updates on these two projects in the New Year!
Brittany was diagnosed with TS-plus at a young age. In her words:
When I was first diagnosed with TS-plus, I felt like I was drowning. But in a way where I was the only one under the water. Only I could hear my singing and everyone else heard nothing, saw nothing wrong. I didn’t have any friends and no one really wanted to interact with me. No one understood what I was going through even my family (outside my parents and brothers) never wanted to understand what it was. An extended family member I loved told me I had to stop my tics because it wasn’t ladylike and they were gross. That’s probably what made me want to hide to the most… But overtime I learned to use my music to express myself and find courage. I still try to hide it. It’s probably something I’ll never overcome. Now even though days can be a struggle, I am more comfortable with myself and I’m thankful for everyday.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) causes tics that are sudden, intermittent, repetitive, unpredictable, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movements or sounds. Tics can be either simple or complex. The most important thing to understand about the tics associated with Tourette Syndrome is they are the result of a neuropsychiatric condition. The sounds and behaviours are involuntary and are not being done by choice.
TS can often come with package of other syndromes, people can also have OCD, anxiety, ADHD, depression etc. While some medications are available to help with the symptoms they do not completely take them away and there is no cure.
This art was inspired by a song Brittany wrote. The painting is meant to represent a feeling of what can go on inside a person with mental health struggles, the reason the individual is pictured nude is to represent the vulnerability of that struggle, the hand coming down into the water represents courage and hope. Sometimes courage can be found in unlikely places and can take many different forms. In Brittany’s case, courage comes through her music.
First Part of Song
Second part of Song
There is hope and knowledge out there for those who need it, if you have any of these health concerns please know that you are not alone and that you should reach out to the available services; doctors, counsellors and people around you. You do not have to face it by yourself.
Along with our previous awareness art this new print is now available in our shop and soon we will have bookmarks and stickers available as well. All the proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to Tourette Canada, tourette.ca . We truly believe that increased mental health awareness can drastically improve the lives of those who suffer.
‘Courage, dear heart.’ ~ C.S. Lewis This art is meant to represent a feeling of what can go on inside a person with mental health struggles, the reason the individual is pictured nude is to represent the vulnerability of that struggle, the dragon represents the illness and the shield represents HOPE. There is hope and knowledge out there for those who need it, if you have any of these health concerns please know that you are not alone and that you should reach out to the available services; doctors, counsellors and people around you. You do not have to do it alone.
My son was diagnosed with TS at the age of 8 years old, he is now 17. Tourette Syndrome (TS) causes tics that are sudden, intermittent, repetitive, unpredictable, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movements or sounds. Tics can be either simple or complex. The most important thing to understand about the tics associated with Tourette Syndrome is they are the result of a neuropsychiatric condition. The sounds and behaviours are involuntary and are not being done by choice.
TS can often come with package of other syndromes, my son also has OCD, anxiety, ADHD and low level depression. While some medications are available to help with the symptoms they do not completely take them away and there is no cure. Since early childhood his daily life has been an ongoing battle, and yet, despite this hard journey he is growing into one of the most likeable, kind, and loving human beings I have ever known. 💗
When he was 15 years old he created the original cartoon pictured here as a way to describe what life was like for him on a daily basis. A monster lurking always attacking and ready to pounce on him the minute he woke up, the shield you see pictured at the end represents his family, counsellors, friends, and doctors who try to help him through. My son and I decided that we’d like to try to raise more awareness for people who, like him, suffer with real mental health concerns. In addition to this we also wanted to try to give back to an organization that works hard to support people with TS here in Canada, tourette.ca. Thus from Hunter’s cartoon I was inspired to create this painting which I am going to be adding to my shop in the beginning of June, it will be available as a print, bookmark and a sticker and all of the profit from the sale of these items will be donated to Tourette Canada. We hope you’ll consider supporting us through this endeavour by purchasing one of the items or even just joining us by sharing this story, painting and products with others.
Hope you enjoy this little interview with Charting Stars creators Micheline Ryckman and Erin Kleveland. (Be sure to hang on until the end for the blooper reel! :D)
Our Charting Stars release party was a beautiful success. Sunshine, friends and food! We truly just had so much fun, great thanks to all those who made it out to the party – it was an honour to have you here! Also we really want to thank all of you for the incredible support you have shown to the book since the release date, we are overwhelmed with gratitude! <3
Our release date has finally arrived and Charting Stars BOOK 1 is here! You can read more and check out the details of this new book right here is our own SHOP!