Like an Orange
By Wallis Eates
A collaborative graphic novel about brain injury survivors incorporating their words and pictures.
First Edition Hardback
Signed Hardback and Artwork Print
Signed & Dedicated Hardback
Portrait and Dedicated Hardback
One-to-One Comic Tutorial
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Bespoke Day-in-Your-Life Comic
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Orange Segment Level
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In 2016, I was a very lucky artist. I got to spend six weeks with the East London branch of Headway, a charity that helps brain injury survivors to rehabilitate. The East London branch do this by providing an art studio called ‘Submit to Love’ where those who have sustained a brain injury can develop an art practice.
‘Like an Orange’ is about the people I met at the studio. It’s a collection of stories that came about as I got to know them, chatting over paper and Tosca pens. Some are about life with brain injury and some aren’t. What really makes this project special is that I will be incorporating their artwork into the comic too, making this an unusually collaborative, as well as literally inspired, piece.
My experiences with the people I met at the studio had a profound effect on me. Namely, it led me to reflect on the dynamic between memory and identity, and how we are each individual units while at the same time undoubtedly connected to each other in myriad ways – rather like the wiring of the brain itself. As such, it feels natural to me (especially as I am an autobiographical comics artist), to relate the stories of the people I met there with reflections of my own past. This at once acknowledges the fact that stories can only be told through one’s own point of view, while at the same time exploring how we are all connected.
The title of the book, Like an Orange, comes from conversations a couple of the artists had with their surgeons, who described the brain in those terms – like an orange. This resonated with me on a serendipitous level, as I remembered the first painting I ever did, as a very little girl, where I was determined that the whole thing should be entirely orange!
Overall, I want the book to capture the individual stories, my experience of meeting everyone there, the positivity of the studio, and how we connect through words, language, experience, art and creativity.
Wallis Eates is an artist and graphic novelist living and working in London, UK. She completed her MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art in 2001. Since then she has worked as an art educator and facilitator, as well as a manager for the children’s film education charity, Into Film. Her graphic memoir, ‘Mumoirs’ about growing up an only child to a single mother in the 1980s, was shortlisted for the Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel prize. Wallis also co-leads the London branch of the international graphic novel forum, Laydeez do Comics.
- 8th January 2020 Happy new year, exhibition details, strip for XR, and podcast
2020 is here, I hope it brings you all much peace, thrill or whatever it is you want and need.
I'm delighted to have started the year with a solo exhibition which shows some works in progress for 'Like an Orange', as well as pages from my upcoming book 'Wings' about my time working in HMP Wandsworth. Also included are some meditation tree drawings that I like to do for grounding…8th October 2019 When something isn't like an orange but you make it orange anyway
Welcome and thank you to all new supporters, and extended gratitude to the long-standing ones for your patience on this campaign. Please be rest assured that content production is underway - I just need a famous person now to tweet about the project!
Evidence of an orange obsession!
The 4th of October marked the 20 year anniversary since I started my MA in Animation…25th July 2019 Peel off and listen in
Hello one and all,
How is everyone? As I write this, I am fortunately sheltered from the searing tempretures and their sinister implications, but in half an hour or so I will be venturing out and facing what's what. I hope you are all managing ok!
Since I last wrote, I have been enjoying gratefully the Arts Council funding I received, and have been at home beavering away on 'Like an Orange…7th June 2019 ACE news!!
It is with utter joy that I can finally announce that development of ‘Like an Orange’ will be funded by the Arts Council National Lottery Fund! My application this time round was successfu!
I am over the moon that over the course of the next year, I will be able to dedicate most of my working time to further research, writing and drawing. There is also a fair amount of…12th April 2019 Orange tights and watercolours
Long time no update; I hope you are all well!
I was hoping that when I write again, it would be with the fantastic news that I got the Arts Council funding I had applied for (for the fourth time) to work on ‘Like an Orange’, but alas it didn’t happen. ACE are great in that they always give you feedback as to why they made their decision, and this time it was simply because…6th January 2019 The Circle of Wallis
Hello everyone, happy hibernation to you!
Christmas was a dark dwelling in the caverns of my mind while being in the extended womb of my mother's front room. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the relative new comfort of middle age that I didn’t resist. Instead, as my eyes rested on the flickering telly acting as fire, I followed these inward recesses lined with emblems of fear, anxieties, and…7th November 2018 Call out for a brain forum
Just a quick one this week, asking bit of a favour. Do you or anyone you know study brain sciences? Or belong to some kind of group related to that field? I would love to offer a presentation and workshop on 'Like an Orange' as part of my development as well as to raise awareness of the project.
Any ideas, please email me at email@example.com
Many thanks and keep it orange…16th October 2018 Metal to Matter
Hello everyone, and welcome to new supporters!
LIKE BEGETS LIKE
An old witchy-ism that I think of often, which is of course apt for October. I have been reminded of it rather fruitfully already this month (orange flavoured of course, in disguise as pumpkin), when I was incredibly lucky to be broom-sticked away on an artist’s retreat in Southend, courtesy of the arts organisation, Metal…20th September 2018 September news
The orange of the summer sun is now setting into the trees to tint the leaves before they fall. I do love autumn so!
I hope you are all well and as hopelessly excited about all the colours we get to see at this time of year as I am. I’m particularly looking forward to working on ‘Like an Orange’ as the season gets going whilst in Essex! I was thrilled last week to be informed…28th August 2018 Recommend a friend offer
Thank you so much for bearing with me! I spent this summer working exclusively on a different project, producing a 56 page comic and my first ever solo exhibition. These were the result of a residency at my local amateur boxing club in New Cross, London, interviewing members about how boxing has changed their lives and the importance of community. For more on this project…26th July 2018 Like a BOX of oranges
So sorry I haven't been in touch for a while, I've been all hands on deck with a different project that's taking all my time. I'm doing a residency in my local boxing club in Deptford, London. Just like my residency at Headway, I've been immersing myself within the community and interviewing members, and now I'm producing a comic about them with an emphasis on female recreational boxing…3rd June 2018 In the Dark Orange
Just thought I’d share with you some of my latest work in progress. This piece is going to be a quarter of a double page spread depicting memory loss. As some of you will know from previous posts, I am currently working on Tirzeh’s story, who lost memories of some of the key moments in her life because of her brain injury. This picture shows one of them. The rest of the page…6th May 2018 Are you mates with Giorgio Moroder? He feels love, right?
You know when you get your heart set on something and you just do it even though you know you're probably making loads of extra work for yourself? I've done that. I really REALLY wanted to use the lyrics of one verse of Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder's 'Together in Electric Dreams' for a page as part of Tirzeh's story. Once, while we were all in 'Submit to Love' studio, the song came…9th April 2018 Exciting new pledge level! Tell your friends or grab it for yourselves!!
Just a quick one to let you know that there is a new pledge level available for a limited time, and there are only 3 available.
Headway have kindly donated tickets to their Supper Club on the 3rd May, which means you can meet some of the artists I worked with while eating delicious food they'd have made just for you, plus entertainments!
A link with more information about it is…11th March 2018 Do you know what I love?
I LOVE WORKING ON THIS!!
Yes, I do. The infectious joy of Submit to Love studio is alive and well in my memory bones. But I'll be honest, there can sometimes be an element of anxiety involved. The other day I saw a tweet where someone had retweeted the BBC about the paralympics, and they'd written 'Disabled people don't exist to be your inspiration', and I must admit, I felt…4th February 2018 Neuron chat
Hello one and all
It is said that the forging of connections plays a powerful role in creativity and memory. One of the main themes of ‘Like an Orange’ is connectivity, within and with each other. So in keeping with this, I’d like to share with you today how I came to decide what to write for this very update – it’s a perfect example of my neurons having a chat!
As I sat here, having a think…22nd January 2018 Made with concentrate (and love, of course)
Hello Orange Likers
Just a quick one this week as I've mainly been going to meetings and doing funding applications, that kind of thing. Meetings - very exciting, funding applications - oof. So, no real new work apart from this mash up. Anyone familiar with my drawings of the Submit to Love studio will recognise many of the components to this piece. I love the atmosphere when everyone's immersed…9th January 2018 Love Letters and Upgrade Offer
Happy New Year one and all, and a warm welcome to all new supporters!
The work-in-progress I'm going to share with you today includes a thought bubble with part of the Submit to Love studio logo inside it. It's of my first journey to the studio, so I was full of anticipation and thinking of nothing but.
I think I'm probably going to have most thought bubbles throughout the book…19th December 2017 The 243 all the way there...
Welcome new supporters, and thank you to everyone for your ongoing support.
And so it begins...I have been busy thumbnailing the first part of the book, and because I got impatient, I started some of the artwork too. 'Like an Orange' begins with my first journey to Headway, and exploring the fact that when we remember something, we do so with the knowledge of what has happened…23rd November 2017 What's in a Brain?
First of all I'd like to say a massive thank you to all my new backers since my last update - welcome! It is so encouraging whenever I see I have a new supporter and it spurs me ever further on. Your generosity is much appreciated. Also, another big thank you to everyone who tweets and retweets. Being human and 50/50 extrovert/introvert I always have a certain amount of anxiety when hitting…10th November 2017 Segment Special
First of all, I'd like to say a great big thank you to Philip Chimes for making such a generous pledge, I am thrilled that he is now a Patron for Like an Orange. I met Philip at Headway during my residency and we really hit it off. He laughed heartily at my silly tales of woe on previous residencies, and I was fascinated by how he approached his artistic practice and related it to…13th October 2017 How do you like an orange?
Peeled or cut? As marmalade? With a vodka?
Two weeks in and I'm thrilled with the support I've received so far. Everytime a pledge comes in I do a little skip in my seat, and feel a mixture of humbled and excited!
If you'd like to add to my humility and excitement by making a pledge, that would be wonderful! Not only will the final book be coming your way in either…
These people are helping to fund Like an Orange.
Bridget Strevens Marzo