18 months after the wildly successful Kickstarter where 588 backers showed their support for the project, the fruits of my labor are finally ready for the plucking. In all seriousness this book took a lot of effort on my part to create. My life went through all kinds of ups and downs. I came out to my family and friends (pansexual non-binary salute!!) I nearly had my child taken away from me. I was severely depressed and very, very suicidal. I ran away from everyone while making it. I couldn't answer emails or questions about the book that didn't require some kind of explanation that felt invasive to me.
Truth be told, I was ashamed. I felt like a failure, even though I hadn't really failed. I was basically giving up. I got into therapy and mustered up enough courage to actually read the messages people had sent me and some were really rude (I don't blame you) but the majority were really uplifting, and supportive. People really wanted this book to happen and they believed in me enough to hold out until the last moment. I can't really express how powerful was for me. It really brought me back from the brink and allowed me to work on the book bit by bit and day by day until it was complete. I don't dare to guess if this book meets anyone's expectations and if nothing else I hope it's the start of more books from artists who want culture to play an important role in character designs. I have never worked this hard on something and I sacrificed a lot of things that shouldn't have but I had to go down that road to get to where I am right now and I don't regret anything really. As for the book itself, I will let you all be the judge of its merits and usefulness. I look forward to hearing feedback and ways it can be improved through subsequent editions. I also would love to see the lessons laid out in the book implemented in your art if you wish to share it with me. There's still more to look forward to regarding HTDBP, I will regularly update line art for colorists to practice with and brush sets, art, etc. I plan to bring the book to comic book conventions and the like so be sure to sign up for my news letter so you'll know when I might be at a con near you. Lastly, and most importantly, I just wanna say thank you all for shining your light on me. I was in a really dark place and I don't know if I would've ever come out of it. -Ali