Art students have created a string of beautiful images to illustrate a book written by a dad for his precious daughter.
Patrick Wilson decided to write a fantasy novel, called Octavia’s Wake, after his wife Claire Wilson gave birth to their pretty little daughter Emily, now aged two.
The Hartlepool Borough Council worker said he would sit outside his newborn baby’s room to make sure she was okay and soothe her when she stirred.
But Patrick, 42, decided that instead of doing nothing during the hours in the night he was awake, he would write a book for Emily.
As there were a few sleepless nights – as parents of newborns will know – Patrick ended up writing 80,000 words.
And to illustrate the front and back covers, and the 33 chapters of the book, he called on the talents of art students at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, in Catcote Road – a school and college with which he has close links through work.
I work with Michael Lee, the head of English Martyrs, as part of my job, so that’s how I got introduced to the art students, who are so gifted, and have done a fantastic job with the illustrations.Patrick Wilson, first-time author
The sixth-form artists created a string of images which, as well as being used in the book, will be exhibited at English Martyrs Art Gallery for public viewing for a week from Tuesday, June 23.
He said: “When Emily was first born I used to sit outside of her room just to make sure she was ok.
“I was lying on the floor every night and I thought rather than just sit here I’d start writing a few words for Emily.
“I’ve always wrote corporately, but never creatively, so I thought for my legacy I’m going to write her a book, something she can look back on in years to come, to send a message to her.
“It was made with love, about love.
“It’s a beast of a book with about 80,000 words in it. It’s about a goat’s journey through life, set in a fantasy land, and the messages it passes on.
“There are no human characters, just animals.
“It’s very much about love and war, and it was meant to be a kids’ book, but it certainly isn’t.”
Patrick, who lives in Norton, added: “As it’s such a big book, I wanted to break it up with illustrations.
“I work with Michael Lee, the head of English Martyrs, as part of my job, so that’s how I got introduced to the art students, who are so gifted, and have done a fantastic job with the illustrations.
“I don’t think they realise how talented they are.”
The book, which is for readers aged eight to adult, is being published by Sixth Elelment Publishing, based in Billingham.