Sussex illustrator enjoys success with educational book Welcome to Your Period

Worthing freelance illustrator Jenny Latham has come up with the pictures for a new book empowering and educating young women on everything they need to know about growing up.

Worthing freelance illustrator Jenny Latham
Worthing freelance illustrator Jenny Latham

Welcome to Your Period has been published by Hardie Grant Egmont.

Much of Jenny’s illustration work revolves around female characters, often finding her inspiration from real, relatable women – perfect for the task which came her way.

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Jenny, who has just started work as a learning support assistant at Bohunt High School, started drawing on a digital platform on her iPad a couple of years ago.

“I just started doing female-related things on Instagram, and it just went massive. It just kicked off and then a publisher messaged me on Instagram. I was convinced that it was a fake. I just didn’t think it was real, but dad was saying ‘No, no, just look into it; it could be legit’, and I did and it was.”

The publishers gave Jenny the brief for the book which had been written in Australia – a book aimed at empowering girls from around the age of 11 right through their lives: “It goes through all the things they should need to know, and it has now taken off in so many countries.

“When I tell people about it, they think ‘Oh gosh, period!’ but I wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t embarrassing at all. I wanted to make it so accessible that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed having it in your school bag.

“They went through a brief with me, and they wanted something like more than 200 illustrations. I was in my third year at university (at Falmouth); I was doing illustration; and I had to do my dissertation and I had to do these illustrations, and it was incredibly busy, but I wouldn’t have changed any of it.

“I have worked with BodyForm and Flo who are both sanitary product companies. For BodyForm I spoke about my first period and what products I like to use and what makes me feel confident. And for Flo I collaborated with them to hold a giveaway for me reaching 3,000+ followers on Instagram”

Jenny loved Falmouth: “It was like a different world there. It was so quiet and so quaint. You don’t think of it as a university area at all. It is just such a nice seaside town. Everything is so close you could do a lap around Falmouth in half an hour!”

As for the day job now, as a learning support assistant in Worthing: “I just love it. It is such a rewarding job. I am just getting to know everybody, but I love the thought of being able to make a difference to all the children’s lives.

“I guess everyone was a bit anxious about the pandemic, but I say to the children ‘If you are anxious, then so are we’, that it is fine to feel a bit anxious, but the children are absolutely brilliant at following the guidelines.”

Jenny also enjoys working in her home studio, creating products such as prints and stickers to then sell on her personal Etsy store.

“I take commissions when I can and hope to always do art in some way forever!

“My instagram is @lathams_illustrations. I have more than 3,000 followers on my Instagram and I am always uploading empowering artwork to make others feel positive and happy. My work helps people with anxieties or even anyone who wants to see something positive. I am always looking to work on new projects and excited to see what the future holds for me!”