IN penning messages of advice encouraging her goddaughter Maeve to be brave, Paige Duggan is taking a leap in her own courage.
What had started as a way to deliver Sydney-based Maeve a little inspiration and hope she could hold on to, has sparked a project to empower the youngest generation.
Brave Maeve is Duggan's first children's picture book, launched on a crowd-funding platform to share her message for Maeve that little day-to-day things children can do can make a difference on big issues, such as climate change.
"I want it to be an appealing message of hope. Climate change is one thing, but for all the things we face personally and globally you can feel powerless and alone when you're scared," Duggan said.
"There is the adage, you don't need one person to do everything, you just need everyone to do something...picking up rubbish, protesting, it's about finding your community and realising you're not alone. You can spur action and there is hope."
There is the adage, you don't need one person to do everything, you just need everyone to do something. You can spur action and there is hope.Paige Duggan
Duggan is a well-known Ballarat artist and musician by trade. She fused her creative skills together for her goddaughter.
Brave Maeve started as a poem and Duggan "sat on it for a year" before revisiting the concept for Maeve's first birthday.
Duggan realised it was too epic a project to not think bigger. A Ballarat Arts Foundation grant allowed Duggan to purchase an iPad so she could digitally hand-draw and paint images to turn the poem into a picture book.
Her songwriting background helped guide a rhythm best suited to help children's literacy and learning.
Duggan's social media followers encouraged her to put Brave Maeve out there on a bigger platform, seeking crowd-funding.
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The project is about $300 short of its goal target with about one month left to reach to print hard copies. Money raised from extra merchandise, such as Brave Maeve tote bags, will help produce soft-cover editions to sell in stores.
"I'm really not good at online promotion and branding because I am such a diverse artist: I do everything from animation to painting; I'm a songwriter and musician in choirs to jazz," Duggan said.
"My first week on Kickstarter was well-supported. I think people like the message.
"...This way I can try to make a lovely to hold book. I don't want it to be a book that gets lost in the back of the bookshelf. I want it to be a treasured book."
Maeve, who is now about 15 months old, already approves.
Duggan sent Maeve a recording of herself reading the book the way Duggan heard the words when writing them.
To support Brave Maeve, visit kickstarter.com and search "Brave Maeve".
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