Oh! Dear Me
Arum, the au­thor of <Oh! Dear Me>, was di­ag­nosed of ma­jor de­pres­sive dis­or­der at the age of 21. After the destructive news, she went through experiences such as constantly going in and out of hos­pi­tal, at­tempted sui­cide and dropped out of school. While ex­pe­ri­enc­ing these se­ries of in­ci­dents, she kept care­ful di­aries on her face­book page pub­licly which grad­u­ally at­tracted read­ers with shared ex­pe­ri­ence to fol­low. As more and more read­ers ex­pressed that Arum’s di­aries has com­forted them, she de­cided to gather them into a book, hop­ing that it might be able to reach out for more peo­ple in need. Fur­ther­more, maybe, with her rev­e­la­tion of how is it like to be suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion, she can help fight the so­cial stigma of de­pres­sion.

Dur­ing the three developing-stages for this book—crowd­fund­ing, self-pub­lished, pub­lished—I put forth the key vi­sual and adapted it to both graphic and dig­i­tal de­sign, namely, book cover, lay­out and crowd­fund­ing web pages.
<Oh! Dear Me> was first launched as a pro­ject on crowd­fund­ing plat­form, fly­ingV, which was the time I joined the team as graphic/​​dig­i­tal de­signer. The pro­ject came well, raised 420 thou­sands NT dol­lars (14 thousands US dollars), three times more than the original goal. <Oh! Dear Me> was then suc­cess­fully self-pub­lished and was sold solely online. The huge suc­cess at­tracted ma­jor pub­lisher in Tai­wan, Read­ing­time, to invit­e the book to be re­pub­lished by them. This was the time when the second version of design came out.
The design was based on Arum's impression of mine. To me, un­der the sur­face of be­ing prone to be­ing sad and happy at the same time, Arum is no more than an or­di­nary girl. So I drew this or­di­nary cir­cle, very much like the one we drew when in sketch­ing classes when we’re lit­tle. At that time, we still can’t adroitly move our el­bow, so it usu­ally touched and blurred the car­bon cir­cle we drew that we thought per­fect. Yet when we tried to look back only to find out the flaws made, we erased and drew, drew and erased. This process is the metaphor of her struggle with de­pres­sion, relentlessly re­vising and retry­ing, stub­bornly aching for per­fect. And this is the rea­son ­for my first edi­tion of vi­sual de­sign for this story—the cir­cle of flaws and trial.
The sec­ond time read­ing this book, in­stead of falling into the sen­tences again, I went into the story of Arum’s. In the book, she is ,at the same time, a col­lege stu­dent, a beloved daugh­ter, a sweet friend and more. Yet to the so­ci­ety, the mo­ment some­one was di­ag­nosed of de­pres­sion, he or she will be tagged and viewed as no one more than a sad per­son. Yet seeing Arum ex­pe­ri­enc­ing com­plex emotion in every­day life, I know she’s not as flat as the so­cial stigma goes. So I sliced the flat cir­cle I drawn and re­com­posed it. Be­cause I know there are more than mo­not­o­nous­ness and grieve in her. She is an or­di­nary girl with her complexity, just a bit prone to be­ing sad and happy at the same time.
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