Perfect Reasons Publications' Illustrator, Meneer Marcelo who fantastically brought Santa's Lost Buttons picture book to life in 2021, speaks out about his difficult battle over the past two years.
As Mental Health Awareness is in the spotlight around the world this week and having reached a good level of health himself, Meneer would like to share a few words with you today from his home in the Philippines;
Hello. Thank you for being here with me. 2022 was a rough year for me. I received a diagnosis of depression a few years ago and sadly, it returned. As a creator, I am an over-thinker. The fact that so much was happening in 2022, it became too much for me to cope. I just couldn't draw and it affected my professional and personal relationships. I needed help and after a few months of therapy I'm making my way back up. Kirsty is the most understanding and patient author I know and, even after all we've been through, she never lost belief in me. I'm back working on Hullabazoodle and will finally finish this magical book for the world to experience and enjoy. Sorry it's taken so long but I promise it will be worth it. Thank you for believing in me.
Meneer and his wife Fatz with one of their three children, little Charlie
The past two years have been testing, to say the least, for Meneer, illustrator of Santa's Lost Buttons. With periods of dark depression ravaging his mind and body and stripping him of his ability to draw, Meneer has had to learn to come back to himself and his family, travelling a very long and winding road.
The brave and mighty Tiger Moth of Hullabazoodle illustrated by Meneer, May 2023
Having been hospitalised for a period in 2023, Meneer sought help from professionals and undertook therapy. With the support of his loving family and friends here at Perfect Reasons Publications and in the Philippines, we're happy to see Meneer's strength and talent return. I think you'll agree with Meneer's illustration of our Tiger Moth, one of the amazing characters of Hullabazoodle, he is coming back with gusto!
I can safely say, from me personally and you, PRP VIPs, we're right behind Meneer and excited to see his illustrations for Hullabazoodle. Once the mysteriously fascinating Hullabazoodle is complete, we shall celebrate his magnificent achievement, together.
Thank you for supporting Meneer and I these past two years. We couldn't have done it without you.