- Chris Duke, Author -
Chris Duke is a former radio presenter, party DJ and father-of-three who has suffered from mental health issues throughout his life. He went through a particularly dark patch of depression after the birth of his first daughter in 2010. He realised he wasn't feeling "quite right" when the Health Visitor did the post-partum questionnaire with his wife, Lisa. She suggested that Chris should answer the questions and the Health Visitor then suggested he seek medical help and advice as based on the questionnaire results he was suffering from post-natal depression.
Chris then spent some time fighting for Dads to be offered the questionnaire as well as the Mums - after all, they become a parent too! He then realised that the stigma associated with mental health is taught throughout life. We could teach kids to break that stigma by educating them on thoughts and feelings and encouraging them to open up without fear of shame from a young age. This is when Chris decided to take his book idea public.
Chris has no qualifications regarding mental health issues other than his own experiences, nevertheless, this has not stopped him hitting the mark for helping children express their thoughts and feelings and "Lucy's Blue Day" is making strides in achieving his ultimate goal: to teach kids that #ItsOKNotToBeOK and to open up about their feelings.
People such as Stephen Fry said the book is "charming"; Lorraine Kelly says, "It's such a clever, common-sense and totally relatable way to talk about mental health". Other influencers such as Linzi McLelland (Miss Scotland 2018) who is campaigning for men's mental health and social media influencer The Unmumsy Mum have said how much they love the book and the concept behind it too.
- Federica Bartolini, Illustrator -
I'm Federica, a Graphic and Industrial Designer from sunny Italy, currently based in rainy-yet-lovely Bristol.
Apart from being a pizza and pasta lover, I have a passion for Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography and Illustration.
I'm creative, extremely curious and flexible. I love new challenges and learning new skills.
As a child - to my mother’s delight - I used to open every toy apart to merely see what was inside.
I have always been curious of how things were made and I loved making things.
My hands were always covered in glue and paint - again, to my mother’s delight.
So I went on to study Graphic Design in college and moved on to Industrial Design at university, where my passion for glue, paint, rulers and cutters wasn’t left unsatisfied. This helped me move on to the digital world as well, using Adobe suite and CAD programs for my university course.
In the past few years I’ve been working with a man with Autism, as a Private Tutor helping him developing his creative side, with quite few challenges.
We’ve been drawing, painting, experimented with 2D animation and used lots of different materials and techniques.
I've been also working as a freelance Graphic Designer, doing various projects, from corporate to illustration to merchandise.
Alongside that I work as a Fairy, or occasionally a Mermaid, at children parties, providing the entertainment and the activities for up to 30 children.
Again, we always used a lot of glue and paint and glitter! I made lots of Magic wands and crowns in those days. Best unusual job ever.