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"Siblings of the Spectrum"


This is the second illustrated children's book created with Author Denise Sullivan Near.

The goal for this book was to focus on the siblings of children with autism and what types of experiences they have. Reading Denise's beautiful manuscript brought tears and a flood of visual images that couldn't wait to on paper.

We developed a timeline in late 2019 with a deadline of April 2020 for the publication launch. It was a optimistic short amount of time but we were up for the challenge. A calendar was set in place for dates to provide storyline sketches, visual art direction, digital character design, and prepare the final book layout.

However, no one could have predicted a pandemic to hit in the middle of what would-be the book launch. With the chaos that followed COVID-19, we pressed through doing virtual meetings through Zoom and relied on text, email and working off an online drive. Our date for the final book was postponed by only a few weeks. We strategized an online social media countdown and used images to bring our countdown campaign to life.


Siblings with Style


Learn more about the stylized character development. Scroll down to see time lapse video of the book characters coming to life!

About the Book

From the author of the children's book "Nessie and Her Tisms" the second book, "Siblings of the Spectrum" tells an untold story. Through her firsthand experience with her own three children, Denise Sullivan Near reminds us all of the irreplaceable role that siblings play in the journey that is autism. Written from the perspective of two siblings, one older, one younger, Near brings to life the struggles that siblings face and the extraordinary strength and devotion that lies within the bond of brothers and sisters. 

Through first-hand experience watching her own three children, Denise brings to light the extraordinary role that siblings play in the journey that is autism.


With autism numbers on the rise, it seems that more and more people are stepping up to do thier part in spreading awareness. The word autism is finally a little more familiar to the masses than it once was. Parents, with all that they're facing and the battles they're fighting, are starting to rise up, join together and take charge. Individuals who have autism are courageously telling their stories! But there's another side to all of this that often goes unheard. In Siblings of the Spectrum, Denise Sullivan Near, tells that side of the story.


As with any creative venture, there are endless ways to go about creating a book. This process begins simply. Starting with a mockup of the book is helpful in figuring out the sequence of the illustrations.


I did the first book mockup in an analogue style because it was way easier for me to picture the book including the cover and title page, but for the second book I took advantage of the digital template created from the previous and used it to my advantage.