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written by Steve Thorp / illustrated by Ruth Thorp


ISBN: 978-0992864712  /  Paperback  /  First published in 2014

non-fiction & poetry

Soul Manifestos and Pieces of Joy

Soul Manifestos and Pieces of Joy written by Steve Thorp and illustrated by Ruth Thorp is a collection of small, poetic essays written against the backdrop of conflict in modern culture, politics, economics, ecology and psychology.

The small manifestos are written for wonder, wisdom, joy, love, and openness - and for the common good. They describe an alternative and grounded response to the material world, a way in which we might live our lives with depth and soul.


This project stemmed from an earlier collaboration for which they produced illustrations to accompany 5 pieces of writing for a book submission. Although this version was never published they were able to use and add to these illustrations for his new book which he had written as an extension to the original pieces of writing.

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ARTWORK AND COVER DESIGN  /  Words from the illustrator

'The original illustrations for our previous collaboration 'Under Blood light' were produced in black and red, but due to having to print the inner pages in black and white only, I had to adapt them to make them work in this format. Some are read solely as black and white, while others have the addition of grey where a tonal contrast was required. The illustrations are bold and simple, as if they have been stamped on the page, but I didn’t want them to feel too ‘clean’ and graphical. The hand-drawn style and addition of subtle textures helps to soften the illustrations and gives it a more hand-printed feel, whilst still retaining the power and impact required.


The cover design for this project was a real challenge. We were able to print in colour for the cover, but the illustration still had to feel very much part of the rest of the illustrations within the book. I limited myself to using black and white, and one contrast colour. We wanted it to feel strong, powerful and challenging, whilst still maintaining a warmth and feeling of hope. The red used in the previous project ‘Under Blood Light’, although powerful, seemed too morbid, but we still wanted to retain the colour in this spectrum for the warm glow of the setting sun. After many orange colour tests we finally settled on a deep red-orange, which we were able to continue to the inner leaves of the book helping to add a real sense of quality and cohesion to the book.'   Ruth Thorp

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EXTRACTS FROM THE BOOK  /  Steve Thorp  /  click to zoom

'I think this book is going to stay with me forever. The kind of book that I will pick up and read sections, pick up and immerse myself in. The balance and purity make me calm and yet excite me at the same time. I picked your book up at Bath Artisan market. I read the page on Childhood and welled up - I think it is a wonderfully written, thought provoking marvel.'  Dawn J



'It's been thought provoking, comforting, baffling and inspirational! Not all at the same time obviously! It's chock full of good stuff.' Phil L



“Really lovely and so inspiring - a wonderful book indeed. There is something beautiful on every page”. Review on the People’s Book Awards website



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