And not just this! Oh noooooooo-!

If you’ve been following along, last time I showed you pictures of two torn up teddy bears, with scarcest of information about them. (see previous blog post for more info)

So here we go:

Back in mid-May I was confronted with the opportunity to design something for someone. Something I never thought I’d ever get the chance to do. At least not anytime soon. It was also an opportunity for me to really flex my artistic muscles with Manga Studio 5.0. And man did it ever!
Ok so I’ll just stop torturing you now and tell you what it was:

It was a cover design foorrrrr…. A book! And not paper type book, but an e-book.

And here I present to you the creation:

 (click to view larger image, then larger on bottom right of the image)

My Soul To Keep

“My Soul To Keep”
Photoshop CS4 & Manga Studio 5.0

This is a memoir about a woman who went through a great deal of things in her life time, starting from when she was only a child. As you can tell from this cover picture, it was not always a happy childhood….

First, I worked on it in Manga Studio. Then I did the rest of the drawing part (most of it) in Photoshop. After I finished the drawing, I colored the entire thing in Manga Studio 5.0.

The most challenging part of drawing this, for me, was the wheelchair. Aside from the fact that I don’t normally do mechanical subjects in my artwork, I had to be sure I used the right sort of wheelchair Gracie Lea Silverwood used when she was a child (Ah! There it is! That’s what GLS stood for!). I had to get the right perspective, the right angle, the tiny little details of what made the wheelchair, the wheelchair. And the sizing differences, between the chair, the child, and the teddy bear, taking into consideration what her body type was at the time, going through what she went through. I admit the wheelchair was a bit intimidating to work on. There were so many details to pay attention too!

I also used references of her from when she was younger to how she looks today, taking note of the features that made her who she was and is. Gracie has informed me, since the publishing of this e-book, that people who have known her the best, say that this depiction of the little girl looks just like her. Even the scenario she is depicted in resembles familiar memories.

I also had to get a feel for the emotion behind the overall story. Gracie told me a number of stories from her childhood and even some from her young adult life. I got a sense of what she had to deal with. Gracie already had a general idea of what she wanted as a cover, she just needed someone to make it come to life. I wanted to really capture the emotion felt during her childhood years. The teddy bear is also very significant. But I won’t tell you how. You must read the book in order to find out for yourself!

I truly hope I was able to capture the strong emotions and messaging of the story of Gracie’s childhood. It’s not always something that can be so easily done! Let me know what you think! And while you’re at it….

You can buy the e-book directly from or Click on either of these icon images to go directly to the e-book.

Amazon USAAmazon Canada As you can see from the USA and Canada sites, it’s already gotten rave reviews! Yyyayyy!

Note: Even if you do not have a Kindle, but you have either an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet you can still read it via the Kindle App (Google Play has a free Kindle App) or you can read it directly on the computer through the Amazon website. So you’ve got options!

This book cover was a tremendous challenge. But a welcomed challenge. I feel like I learned a great deal. I’m so glad I had this opportunity! :}

Here is a synopsis of the story:
Most little girls dream of tea parties and playing with dolls. Their biggest worry is making sure Mommy or Daddy chase the monsters out of their closets and out from under their bed. However what happens when your own Mother is the monster, instead of the arms of love and safety? “My Soul to Keep” is the story of Gracie, a disabled little girl who, from day one, knew she was an unwanted child, just trying to survive and avoid her mother’s daily abuse. All the while, she struggled to hide her pain from the outside world.

I hope you all get a chance to read this inspiring story! And feel absolutely free to share this around! 😀


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