Back in 2014, illustrator Sarah Lippett created a poignant and beautiful tribute to her Granddad, Stan, as her final project on graduating from the RCA.. The book and interactive website formed a touching portrait of the grandfather Sarah never met, and serves as both an intricate piece of superbly executed and charming illustration work and an exploration of ideas around shared memory and storytelling.
We’ve long been fans of Sarah’s work, and naturally were thrilled to find out that the project has expanded over the years, and has now evolved into a weighty new tome, Stan and Nan, published by Jonathan Cape. The book tells the story of Stan and Sarah’s Nan, detailing the relationship between the two. Piecing together information from her Nan’s letters, Sarah retells the story of the couple’s relationship, drawing inspiration from the drawings, paintings and ceramics Stan made during his life.
“Every wall of Nan’s house would be decorated with [Stan’s] artworks and every windowsill bore his ceramic creations,” says Sarah. “Whenever we visited Nan in the Black Country I would study the ornaments and pictures, wondering who had made them. It wasn’t until I wrote to Nan many years later, receiving in return beautiful handwritten letters detailing his life, that it became apparent that the work as his. The letters were so beautiful I felt my nan’s story had to be told.”
The graphic novel is ostensibly about this ordinary working class couple, but the sensitivity of the storytelling and imagery makes it so much more than that: it’s about life, death, love, family and the importance of life’s simple pleasures, and how by being good to another, those pleasures become all the richer.
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.