The book Como crecen los lirios en el agua (How lilies grow in the water) results from VECTORES, a project coordinated by the writer Ángela Mallén and developed over two years in the Creative Writing Workshop of ASAFES, an association offering support for people with mental illnesses and their families.
"This is a book of mental and emotional adventures, a book of questions and a search for answers in which poems written by recognized poets and poems written by people with mental illness are embraced." The purpose of the VECTORES Project is to contribute to diminish the stigma around mental illness and show the so-called People with Special Needs can also, and should, be considered with Special Capabilities if they become visible because art encompasses, invites and responds to all kinds of lives and psychic profiles. The anthology gathers the voices of 17 authors who share this vision and have had the generosity to collaborate. " (A. Mallén)
My challenge as the graphic designer was to give form and a visual language that would unify all the material Ángela Mallén gave me: poems, texts, illustrations, archival photographs, biographies. 2 years of work in the writing workshop. Each element separately has its history and its strength, but to transform all into a book-object it was necessary to integrate them in some way and find the book’s voice and character as a whole without losing the essence of Art Brut. For this reason, all the graphic material used is made by the participants or was created in the workshop.
The overarching theme of the book and the project is the concept of Vector: an agent that transports something from one place to another. A straight line is present in a subtle way throughout the book, as its common thread, to indicate direction and connecting all the agents.
The illustrations by Irtaxe Ochoa, also a user of the workshop, provide energy to the endpapers and the chapter dividers. The chromatic range of the book is based on the intense colours of these illustrations, and are used to indicate the many different poetic voices, plus the grey pages, that work as a counterpoint throughout the book, in which are the essays that explain the project.
The bright red cover is full of energy and emotion just as the book itself. The handwriting is by Mari Paz Vélez, who also participated in the workshop.