Meet the Illustrator – Daisy Wilson

Next up in our ‘Meet the Team’ blog series is our wonderful illustrator, Daisy Wilson. Daisy tells us about her initial involvement in the project, and her future as an illustrator. See more of Daisy’s work on Instagram @daisysketchbook.


How did you feel when Matthew Approached you about the book?

I was really excited about the idea for the project when Matthew initially approached me. I was still in College at the time and was working part time at my local leisure centre. I’d begun a few social media pages and blogs to be able to submit my drawings for school and had gained some interest for logo designs and commissions.  I received a small notification from the Ally Bally Bee Project site via my Twitter account – and the rest was history! We had a long phone conversation about the details for the book on a Friday night whilst I was on shift – sat on my staff room floor!  I’d never embarked on a commission this big so I was initially a little nervous but I had a feeling that something really brilliant could come out of it, so was 100% up for the challenge.


Did you have any experience of Dementia?

My grandma lived with dementia for a few years before she passed away. Although my family were no longer children when she was diagnosed, it was still quite a confusing time getting to grips with the adjustments we’d have to make. I believe children’s books do have an equally effective impact on adults, and I personally learnt a lot of new information about the disease whilst researching and reading through proofs of the book. From those initial stages of research, I knew this project would eventually help a lot of people, regardless of age. It allows families to come together and read, learning at an equal pace; something I think is very precious and rewarding.


Where did inspiration for the drawings come from?

I draw inspiration for sketches from lots of places, so piecing together the illustrations of the children turned out to be a really fun process. We went back and forth for ideas for outfits, and the colours. What was most important was that the characters seemed universal so that children reading the book could relate to them within the narrative.


How do you think picture books are effective?

I have always believed passionately that pictures, in books and otherwise, are paramount to helping children develop an understanding of the world around them. I think addressing these sometimes more difficult topics creates an incredibly helpful resource for young people to navigate their way through new and possibly daunting social situations. When Matthew and the Ally Bally Bee Project Team approached me with the idea behind the book, I felt a great responsibility to convey this as much as possible throughout my illustrations. I’ve always been a big believer that we should utilise the format of children’s books to tackle more mature themes that are relevant to the youth of today, and hope to continue to do so throughout my career.


Will you continue to illustrate books in the future?

I really hope so! The Ally Bally Bee Project was my first ever published work and holds a very special place in my heart. I learnt a lot throughout the whole process and I’m now hooked on the idea of continuing with picture books. Although submitting drawings throughout my first year of university was a challenge, I felt very strongly that I wanted to be able to the do the best job possible and I’m incredibly proud of everybody who has helped bring the outcome to fruition

Rachel Cram
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Rachel Cram

Digital Marketing Assistant at The Ally Bally Bee Project
Digital Marketing Assistant with the Ally Bally bee Project. Working with the Äikäs-Adams family to help more children understand dementia!
Rachel Cram
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