Diary of a Wimpy Dad
Written by David Diebold | Cover design by Millie Baring (2021)
David got in touch with the exciting news that he was publishing a second book, after a great success with his first This Is How We Dance, which got national praise in Ireland in newspapers and on the radio. This second book, David told me, was going to be a year in the life of the Diebolds - combining favourite excerpts from his weekly newspaper column with as yet unpublished stories, it would be a poignant insight into what it means to be a dad, a husband and a man.
It was a joy working on this with David. I proof read the story (partially because I have an eagle eye for typos and partially to get to know the content), and then whipped up a few drafts... we had it nailed in just a few short days!
Written by Agi Heale | Illustrated by Millie Baring (2019)
An old school friend got in touch and we went for coffee. She told me she had left the world of investment banking to become a life coach and was specialising in helping busy professionals to cope with the pressures of juggling demanding work and personal lives.
As I was fairly busy with non-illustration projects at the time, she was hoping I might be able to direct her to some potential illustrators, but in the end and due to our shared passion for mental health, we both agreed we would love to work together on this special project.
I didn't want to get her hopes up and then let her down if I wasn't up to scratch, so I started by creating two little characters who would take the reader on a visual journey through the book.
Agi fell in love with George & Polly from the first (and named them!), and after that it was plain sailing. Agi knew exactly what she wanted, so she sent me rough sketches of each drawing with notes on what to include and what the main messages were. Over the next couple of weeks, it was a joy transforming her sketches into finished simple line drawings that would bring her words to life.
The book 'Generation Panic' is designed as a simple, step-by-step guide to help combat anxiety and feelings of overwhelm and loneliness. You can read more about it and get hold of a copy at www.generationpanic.com
N.B. Cover was not designed by me
Grandma's Bedtime Stories
Written by Annette Waldman | Illustrated & Formatted by Millie Baring (2015)
A lady got in touch with me, having heard about my illustrations, asking if I might illustrate some short children's stories her grandmother had written several decades ago. I accepted with pleasure, and received a scan of the original stories, typed up on an old-fashioned typewriter by the author Annette Waldman.
Original stories typed by Annette on an old typewriter
The collection scanned in to be retyped into an editable format.
As the project progressed, Annette's 90th birthday approached and it was agreed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchilden that an illustrated, printed and bound copy of her stories would make the perfect surprise present!
Once I had illustrated all the stories, I had them printed and bound and presented them proudly to Annette's daughters.
Me and the final product at one of Annette's daughters' house
A glimpse inside: from the story "Poppetty Squirrel"
The Waldman chidren were thrilled with the outcome and rushed to take the first copy for Annette to open after her 90th birthday lunch. I was informed she was overwhelmed with joy and later in the day I received a little note which she had emailed (yes, she's a whizz on the internet at age 90!) to her daughter:
"Please do tell Millie I am looking forward to meeting her and I am so grateful to her for making the characters come alive for me by her perfect interpretation."
The finished article in hardback colour print!
The book also received high praise on social media and several requests to buy a copy, both from individuals and children's book and toy stores.
The Waldman family looked into getting the book formerly published but sadly did not find a willing publisher.
Limited editions may be printed on request, and with the approval of the Waldman family.
The Short 6ft Tall Man
Written by Stuart Acker Holt | Edited & Illustrated by Millie Baring (2013)
My good friend Stu wrote an amazing short story. He wanted to give it to his father, Robert for his 90th birthday. The story was based on Robert's memories as a Jewish adolescent living in Nazi-occupied Austria in the months leading up to World War II.
Robert and Fritz as boys in 1938
Robert (aged 90) and Fritz reunited in Vienna, 2014
Robert's best friend Fritz was a member of the Nazi Youth when it was still thought of as a harmless boys' camp, although even at that point it was not open to Jewish boys. The story documents their last few months together before Robert and his family had to flee their home in Austria, and it ends with Robert's first kiss at the tender age of 16.
Stu sent me his story to edit. I loved it - I was so moved that I begged him to let me illustrate it for Robert. Stu was thrilled. So I edited it and sent it back with some drawings.
Robert and his family flee Austria in 1938
We were both so pleased with the results that we decided to make it into a proper book for Robert. I formatted the text and illustrations, found a local printers and together we self-published Stu's amazing story and turned it into a beautiful hardback book for his dad.
Now it's available on Amazon in soft back and there are 50 special edition, signed hard back copies which were bought by family and friends.
More info on the Facebook page.
Robert returns to Vienna Station 76 years later
From notebook scribbles to the finished article!
Me and Stu with the finished article!