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As ever in Inside Outside – we want to capture as much learning, reflections and reactions as possible.

The lovely Brian was our designer – he worked his magic on the Book for both print and online.    This is his blog about being part of the Inside Outside experience.

“I was buzzing after my first meeting with Linda about this project.

Hearing about the Inside Outside work and the women involved, I knew it was special, unique, and had the potential to reach people in a way that this type of subject matter sometimes found very challenging to achieve.

I’ve been a freelance graphic designer for *ahem* a good few years and I’ve been really fortunate to work on interesting and diverse projects. Quite often I’ll be working on laying out content and I’ll be pulled in to the story: revealing, distressing, funny, sad – but it’s rare that I go on my own journey and question how I’m interpreting the content. I guess we all interpret stories depending on our point of view. Movies, tv, the press… all contribute to shaping this point of view, especially when we don’t have direct experience of the subject being discussed. And there’s definitely a lot of noise, baggage and views when it comes to the sex industry.

Inside Outside is direct experience. And all that external noise and baggage just evaporates. Stark, unpretentious, and just plain true – time and again I was pulled in. And sometimes when I was reading, I’d find myself thinking ‘Why are you doing that? Why are you running deeper into the woods?!’ You know, like shouting at the character being chased in a bad horror movie. And it’s very easy to shout that when it’s not you. You’re not in the woods. But I had to read the women’s stories on their own terms. Not through the prism of my own life, but theirs. Through the accounts it always struck me what stuck in the women’s memories: sometimes abstract detail that would be so telling, or when a simple ornament could be seen as a weapon and protector if a punter became more of a threat. And the men… seen through these women’s eyes, the scales fall away. All the fictions we are told just evaporate. The best stories allow us to walk in someone else’s shoes. With Inside Outside it’s a privilege.

Since the launch it’s been wonderful to hear and see updates on how it’s all being received and the positive effects happening for the project and people. I think back to my first read of the stories and that first realisation of just what it must have taken for all these women to sit down and talk.

We all can relate to that… it starts with a deep breath.”