Sh*ts Got Real: HDY Art Director Paul Power publishes book

28th January 2021

The HDY team are a brilliant bunch with all kinds of quirks, so it’s always a pleasure to see the cool stuff they get up to outside of work! Whether it’s a handmade cards side-hustle, going viral on TikTok or skills-swapping during lockdown lunches, the team are full of surprises. Co-founder Angel Gaskell commented;

“We’ll always encourage and support the HDY team to develop their skills and follow their passions however we can. It’s part of what makes HDY special.”

This week, we’re celebrating the publication of our Art Director, Paul Power’s new book, ‘Sh*ts Got Real’, an illustrated survival guide for new dads and an effort to tackle the little-talked about issue of Post Natal Depression (PND) in men. We caught up with Paul to get the inside scoop. 

What sparked the idea for the book?

Every year I create something around an issue that’s close to my heart, usually to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, particularly in young men. From talking to the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), I realised that PND in men is really common, but is often undiagnosed. We got some creative heads together and decided to do something.

Have you tried and tested the tasks in the book?

Well, funnily enough, during the book’s creation I found out I was going to become a dad. That meant I got to put the book to the test for its true purpose – to get me through the first few weeks of fatherhood!

‘Sh*ts Got Real’ tackles the first 9 weeks with a newborn. Why 9 weeks?

Your routine changes overnight when a baby arrives and that’s a key reason new dads get depressed. It’s really hard to adjust. But through our research, we found that it takes 66 days to build a new routine. That’s roughly 9 weeks. 

What was the creative process for this project?

It was collaborative from start to finish and there were lots of keen creatives up for the challenge. We asked questions like… What can we do to break down barriers? What language should we use? What tone do we take? How can we strike the balance between educational and funny? Everyone brought different skills to the table. 

How are you going to get the word out about the book?

Word of mouth! But also, HDY have been awesome in supporting this. Ed, HDY’s co-founder, really pushed me to get published and Siân, who leads the digital team, will be helping to get the book out there with Amazon campaigns. 

What’s your next project going to be?

I love working for a good cause. We’ve got a brilliant skill set at HDY and the growing creative team is an exciting, fertile ground for us. We have a few cool ideas in the pipeline, watch the space!

You can get your copy of ‘Sh*ts Got Real’ here. All profits go to the CALM