Diary of a Headcase book cover

I’ve been wanting to share this for a while: my lovely friend Faiza* has written a book about her experiences following a brain injury she got in a serious car accident. She asked me to do the cover for it and here it is.

Diary of a Headcase cover illustration by Lara Crow

The accident and Faiza’s recovery are not my story to tell, but I thought I’d write a little bit about working on the cover and the ideas behind the image.

Chatting to Faiza and reading bits of the book, I was thinking about the things she mentioned when piecing together life after the accident. I wanted to represent something of that, so there are the odd puzzle piece, a map, letters, notes, books, photos and receipts. (incidentally my desk looks a bit like this, only with more half drunk cups of tea and pencil shavings).

I like the idea that these solid, fairly mundane, everyday objects can give you a window into the more elusive internal life of memories and ideas. I wonder if that’s partly why people find it interesting to look at other people’s bookshelves and desks when visiting? (or is that just me? Oh dear *blush*). Ah no come on, I’m not the only one. There’s that whole ‘shelfie’ thing. Mmm books.

Although we originally discussed a more science-y and crisp design, I wanted to keep this cover from becoming too clinical. I tried to find a warmer, more personal side because to me, this seemed more a memoir than a science textbook (although it does have a lot of scientific discussion and I learnt a lot!). Hopefully Faiza agrees!

Working on it took ages. Dah, I think I need to buy a new computer, this one is getting so slow and chuggy! A few unfortunate crashes and I ended up doing lots and lots of changing something, paranoidly saving the file. Change something else, save it again! SAVE SAVE! Argh!

So anyway, that’s about it from me, why not buy a book from Amazon or Lulu and read more? I can recommend it, it’s a lovely mix of personal story, humour and neuroscience. A winning combo for sure! A donation from the sale of each book goes to Headway too.

*A nom de plume! Dah, I want to be a writer so I can have one of those!

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