Mental Health and Tourette Awareness

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.

Charting Stars Now Available as an EBOOK!

Good morning from Canada my friends! Just wanted to let you know that Charting Stars Book 1 is now available in an ebook version! We are hopeful that this option will finally give those who live really far away from us the opportunity to enjoy this story. Please take a peek in OUR SHOP!

Charting Stars Release Party

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

 

Charting Stars Release Date!

It’s finally here! Book 1 of Charting Stars releases May 12, 2018! We are so exited to share this new graphic novel with you! The book will be available to purchase internationally through our website shop here.

Charting Stars in Inktober

On Instagram there is an event called Inktober in which you follow a list of prompts for the month of October and do one ink drawing with each prompt per day. Well of course our Charting Stars character have made it into my Inktober series and I though it would be fun to share some of those here with you. Please keep in mind that you can follow along with our progress on a more regular basis via Facebook and Instagram!

A QB Tale

A little QB comic tale for you today! 🐿💕

For new followers who haven’t yet met the main characters from our upcoming graphic novel, Bash (first frame) and Jarrett (last frame) are rivals for Talia’s affections. QB (the squirrel) is Jarrett’s long time travelling companion and friend so that’ll help you understand the end a bit more. 😊 Mid-way are Maren and Moses (always quarrelling 🙈) and a sleepy Drew. Please consider following Whimsical on Instagram for more daily posts.

Charting Stars Character Glimpses

Talia never talks this much. Actually she is often more of a listener than a talker, but for some reason when she’s with Jarrett she just really wants to share everything.
Moses takes his night watch shift very seriously.
Bash: “They are called Nether blooms. Occasionally a merchant will happen upon a magic user who is willing to sell minor spells and potions. In this case the potion applied to the flowers prolongs their bloom for nearly a lifetime. A rare find. My hope is that you’ll accept my gift as a warm welcome to the Nine Realms.”
“What do you want, Moses?” “I thought that would be obvious. Kindly honor me with a dance, Milady?” The gypsy emphasized his request with a proper bow, his gaze never leaving Maren. . “Take a walk, sir.” . “Cruel, cruel Maren. What of the benevolence between our people?” A familiar smirk began to tug at Moses’ lips as he leaned casually over the irritated woman. “Chalk it up to an act of diplomacy?” . Matching his smirk with her own, a hint of amused pride gleaming in her eyes, Maren’s voice grew hushed as she took a single step closer to punctuate her reply. “The only act of diplomacy you’ll see from me is if I deem it appropriate to land my knife in your left boot.” . Retreating with hands raised in surrender, the prince’s manner showed no signs of disappointment, respectfully dipping his head in farewell as his smirk softened with an amused chuckle. “Understood. Perhaps later then.”

 

 

Sneak Peeks and More concept Art

Summer is a crazy time of year to try writing blog posts, staying inside to work and not going to the beach instead!  😉  Ha ha!  We continue to push on though and our first graphic novel in the Charting Stars series is developing nicely.  Attached here are a few sneak peeks at the some frames from the first chapter of our novel and I’ve also attached more concept art as well.

I hope you are all having the loveliest summer. Can’t wait for you to read our first book this fall!

Read the Prologue to Our First Graphic Novel!

We are so excited (and maybe a little nervous) to share this prologue with you from the first book in our new graphic novel series, Charting Stars. This series will be a set of illustrated graphic style novels with an educational twist. One page will be in a full graphic novel format where readers can see the illustrated panels and read the word bubbles however, the corresponding pages will be printed in a regular novel format. The reader will understand the gist of the plot from the graphic section but if they want to learn more about the story, the setting or the characters they will need to read the corresponding text to delve more deeply. We are hopeful that this style of book will encourage intermediate readers to take the plunge and read more. 🙂

Scroll on down to catch your first glimpse!

0001

Hushed, but not completely silent. The heavy rush of air beating against wings broke the stillness of the early morning, the stars above being the only source of light before the dawn. The ocean below made hardly a sound save for that of the water’s soft rhythmic splash against the wall of rock lining the coast for miles in both directions.

A single figure made itself known to the swaddling darkness. A woman, taller than most men and equally strong, alighted to the edge of the cliff as she folded her prominent wings. The angelic creature glowed of her own accord, her ivory skin radiant beneath the silvery white of her cropped hair, the color shining like starlight to match the snow-white wings at her back. The light from her presence shone gentle and pure, undisturbed by any shadow as she waited for something to come to her from the dark.

0002

For a long while, nothing stirred, not even the woman as she stood like a beacon shining from the rock’s treacherous edge. Hours passed, but there, someone had come to meet her.

She did not need the use of her eyes to recognize the newcomer, her lips softly moving to smile as she let her voice go forth like the mellow ring of a cathedral bell, rich and soothing. “Welcome, Maren. You are earlier than anticipated. I expected you with the dawn. Allow me to assume this is a sign of success?”

“Indeed it is, Jora.”

Another figure joined the angelic creature on the cliff, the young woman being a good two heads shorter than the one called Jora, but matching her in a warrior’s physique. Maren pulled the edge of her crimson hood away from her face to reveal the dark and exotic features beneath, her fiery red hair secured behind her.

0003

The woman’s voice was low like Jora’s, but she spoke in tones more hushed, the mark of a warrior accustomed to keeping her presence a secret. She habitually crossed her arms as she gave her observations, a foreign accent hinting at the edge of each word. “Something is stirring. A new star has formed not but two days ago, yet no one can account for its origin. None of your kind have passed on?”

Jora’s hair swished gently around her face as she shook her head, giving answer without a word as she thought for a few moments in silence before making her careful reply. “No, it is unlike anything we have previously observed. Both earth and sky are restless, but in anticipation of what, we cannot be certain. It is a mystery, one we must unravel, but not yet. There is a reason for all things. We will have our answer in due time.”

Turning to face her companion, Maren’s voice faltered with uncertainty, hinting at her differing opinion. “Are you suggesting that we simply wait?”

0004

Jora’s gaze did not waver, her sights set on a distant star, its glow a foreign presence in the heavens. “I ask that we remain patient for the time being. To do so will ensure that we recognize the proper moment to act. We know too little at present. For now, I must inform the Council of your discoveries. They will find this of great interest.”

Jora raised her wings to their fullest height, the icy blue of her eyes turning their attention to her companion as she dipped her head in a respectful gesture, giving closure to their meeting. “Until tomorrow, Maren. May your path remain clear in dark times.”

Taking a few steps back to allow her winged companion more space, Maren replaced her hood letting the darkness of the early morning obscure her face once more. “Fly safely, Jora.”0005

All copyright remains with © Whimsical Publishing 2017.