Self-Publishing a Book of Lockdown Art

Posted on: Sep 21, 2021

Lockdown Art BookEven though I draw for a living, I also love drawing in my spare time. These illustrations are usually quite different from my client work, with figures, faces, plants and words hand-drawn in pen and paint.

During the various lockdowns it became a way for me to cope with the cabin fever and uncertainty. I posted the drawings on my Instagram, and it was amazing to see how people related to them. Sometimes I was reluctant to share my more personal reactions to the pandemic, but the more I shared about my own emotional rollercoaster, the more people got in touch to say they were feeling the same way. It’s true what they said – we weren’t all in the same boat with Coronavirus, but we were certainly all sailing on the same rough seas.

When the restrictions started to ease in April 2020, I realised I had accumulated quite a pile of drawings!

I decided they needed to be collated as a way of marking what an extraordinary time we had all just been through. I wanted a memento, and I also had a desire to share my work in a physical format, rather than just through a tiny phone screen.

Lockdown Art Book internal spreadNow I needed a title. After pondering a lot of options my friend came up with “I Got Locked Down But I Picked Up a Pen”. Perfect! I decided to publish the book myself and asked local printers Warwick Printing (who I’ve used many times before) to do a small print run. I also had a brainwave to ask one of my oldest friends, the author Michelle Adams, to write a foreword for me. We’ve known each other for a very long time and have been witness to each other’s teenage dramas, career developments, and creative endeavours. She wrote a thoughtful introduction that really complements the book, which I’m so grateful for.

After weeks of scanning and editing A LOT of hand-drawn illustration, writing captions, designing a cover, and asking the printers many questions about paper types and thickness, the printed books arrived in June and the pre-orders were signed and sent out.

My main aim with publishing the book was that readers would smile with recognition at the absurdities of lockdown life.

Judging by the lovely feedback and reviews I’ve had so far; I think I’ve achieved that aim. And while I doubt it will be bothering the best seller list any time soon, I’m very proud of it. They say everyone has one book in them and I hope this won’t be my last!

Copies are available to buy through my Etsy shop:

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