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Exclusive: Rob Ryan's new book

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It takes a lot to impress us here at Stylist, but cult artist Rob Ryan's new book A Sky Full of Kindness, with its evocative world of paper birds and poetic parables is perfect.

Like all the best fairy tales, it has a darker undercurrent: it tells the story of two married birds about to have a baby. Ryan explains, "It's a tale of a fearful mother about to bring a child into the world in this age of anxiety."

Frightened by the warnings of other birds, the mother-to-be sets out on a voyage of discovery, eventually returning to her husband and newborn chick a changed bird.

Full of wistful refrains ("I will wait! I will return! I will wait!") swirling around Ryan's ethereal illustrations, it's like a grown-up bedtime story."I'm an anxious person so I wrote it to soothe my own fears," he says.

The artist, whose romantic vision and laser-cut prints are loved by everyone from Lulu Guinness to Paul Smith, creates each page by hand with exquisite care, "this book took six months cutting and drawing," he explains. As these pictures from inside the book show, it was well worth it, Rob!

A Sky Full of Kindness is out 13 October (£16.99, Sceptre). We've got 100 exclusive Rob Ryan prints to giveaway to mark our Made By You 100th issue - click here for details.

Artwork copyright Rob Ryan

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