Monday, 16 January 2012

The Gift of The Ladybug - Part One

I love this project!
Illustrating The Gift of The Ladybug project is really something. It's the first time for me working with an excellently solid and fun team from different time zones, on a crazy short timeline. The Author is Carole Amber from Colombus, Ohio, USA. The Editing and IT team are Nina and Agung from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. While I myself as the illustrator and art content, live in Shah Alam, around Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
There has been a lot of work and back-to-back deadlines in order to hit our final deadline on December 20 with uploading 14 spreads, the cover and the layout to CreateSpace. But we successfully made it!:)

The Gift of the Ladybug is a tribute to TJ, Carole and Troy's late son.It portrays a story about accepting fate with joy, laughter, love and peace.

Carole M. Amber is the author and owner of the project.

The first time I read The Gift of The Ladybug story, I simply fell in love with it. And reading the story behind the story really moved me. Carole is a person, a mother with all greatness and perseverance that I admired

A part of Author's Note
by Carole M. Amber

"This story came to me in a flash during one my darkest moments. It was a cold, dark and rainy evening in December. We were driving home from the Cleveland Clinic after hearing the doctor say "your son may not see his second birthday." I was reeling, in a catatonic state and frozen in pain.

Suddenly, I began to see horses and ladybugs floating in my head. I watched the ladybug ask the horses why they were crying and I heard the ladybug say, “But I don’t know how to be a horse. I only know how to be a ladybug.” It was these words and the peace that they brought that allowed me to find relief in this harrowing moment.

In the days following that car ride, I put pen to paper and wrote The Gift of the Ladybug for TJ. I gave it to him for Christmas and was able to read it to him countless times. 

The Gift of the Ladybug mirrors the way TJ made us feel. His eyes and demeanor would say, “Mom and Dad, I’m okay. It must be this way.”

TJ peacefully passed away in April 2009 at 14 months from complications from Leigh Syndrome.

My profound gratitude to TJ, and to this story, reaches far beyond words. Not only did The Gift of the Ladybug provide comfort to me and my family when we needed it most, but it helped us reframe how we looked at our circumstances. When times got hard, we embodied the story. We would remind ourselves that TJ was our ladybug and that he could never be a horse. And if TJ could face his fate with joy, laughter, love and peace—we could find a way to do the same. Our wise little ladybug gave us a glimpse of what it is like to fly."

When an author and an illustrator can sit together and discussed about every page, character, expression, the ambient, nick-nacks and details, it becomes a great way to get the essence of the story and then poured them into visual graphic..

It was some works around the clock game! With the internet stayed on line for almost 24/7, the teams from the two continents were sharing all information, files, discussing all tweaks, and throw jokes as well as giving support to each others. One horrible moment was when the internet connection in Jogjakarta,Indonesia crashed for the whole day on the last critical time, but still the team managed to get through the trouble with a very strong spirit.Once again it was a tight, close call, but still remains fun.


  1. This is the best post ever Evi!!! Thank you for your sweet words. They mean so much. This project has become a lifelong heirloom for my family and I couldn't be happier with you and our whole team!

    You are so right about the craziness of this project with ridiculously short deadlines and so many time zones.

    You were the BEST team in the world and I am incredibly lucky to have found you. xoxo

  2. Thanks Carole, you are the best!
    I am happy to be found by you :D