ACCEPTING difference is at the heart of Crowboy, a new picture book written and illustrated by Mandurah-based artist Ricky Gibson.
With its streetwise illustrations suggesting a The Simpsons meets Tim Burton-style, Crowboy encourages readers to be genuine to themselves, rather than trying to fit in and conform with the crowd.
Debut author Gibson was inspired to write a children’s book after becoming an uncle and realising he wanted his nieces and nephews to “better understand the journey of growing up and becoming who they are meant to be” and the importance of “being genuine to themselves and their beliefs”.
“I’m sure everyone at a time in their lives, especially in their youth, has had to face the awkwardness of trying to fit in, be it the first few months of high school or starting a new job,’’ he said.
“You face the pressures of acceptance and the nerves of social hierarchies all the while losing your true self in the process.
“I guess Crowboy came from my relationship to being somewhat of an outsider and becoming comfortable with that realisation.”
Gibson said publication came about by chance – he gave a spiral bound copy of the draft to his grandparents for Christmas and after attending a Tai Chi class, his proud grandmother showed it to Serenity Press publisher Monique Mulligan.
“With this chance meeting the book found its way to print,” Gibson said.
“It seems surreal now to hold it as a hard copy.”
Gibson is a multi-disciplinary artist who ranges from illustration to animation, but his passion is in large-scale mural projects.
He has showcased work in Perth, Melbourne, London and Berlin.
Crowboy is available in selected book shops and online from Serenity Press and Amazon for $14.99 (soft cover).