• Awesome_reading
  • Book
  • 2
  • 3
  • Dream_nig
Illustration

An Awesome Book

Posted by Alex Bec,

I can count the amount of times that every sinew of my body has been utterly inspired by a project, and Dallas’s Clayton’s A Very Awesome World project is one.

In short, Dallas is helping kids to “Dream, and dream often” by publishing and giving away books that egnite a nipper’s imagination. Having sold 30,000 and counting, giving away the same amount in turn, what we have here is a project with boundless imagination, enthusiasm and significance. Dallas was kind enough to look up from his pages for long enough to let us know a little more, but please, please if you only have a few minutes, just watch the video here

Hey Dallas, we came across you through the fantastic blog We Love You So that you help out on – can you tell us what you do and what your role is there?

Well, basically I did a blog of short stories of my own dallasclayton.com and Spike Jonze was a big fan of it and he knew that I was working on a kids book so he asked me what I thought about putting together a blog for Where The Wild Things Are. I of course said I would be honored, and after screening the film, came up with this idea of a culture blog that helped shed light on some of the influences that had helped make the book possible. Almost an online magazine, wherein the main story for the duration of its life is ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. In that magazine analogy, I suppose my role would be editor in chief? Titles are funny! Ha! Regardless of the title, the site has been a really amazing experience and a rare opportunity to work on a project so unique (especially in the world of big studio films).

Your book / foundation, An Awesome Book also looks like a great concept, helping kids to ‘dream, and dream often’, can you tell us a little bit about it?

*Well essentially I wrote a book for kids about dreaming – that when we sleep we dream of really crazy amazing fantastical concepts but often times when we are awake we dream of really mundane simple things like having our couch cushions match. I wanted to talk to kids about this, because they are all still in such a fantastical state as it is, and let them know that the dreams they have in their lives, their aspirations and hopes can be just as wild or far-reaching as they ones they have when they are sleeping. So I published the book by myself and it sort of took off from there, after the book hit the internet people started e-mailing me from all over asking me to come read to their classes, hospitals, camps, etc and so I went on tour and gave away books. That’s where the foundation was born. The Awesome World Foundation donates one copy for every book I sell. Now my job is essentially traveling around, reading to kids and giving away books. For the short answer to this question please watch this video

How are sales going, are you starting to make a difference?

Sales are unreal. We sold over 30,000 copies last year and are hoping to hit 100,000 this year. With that we are also hoping to give away 100,000 books which means 100,000 kids being able to read a book for free, get it into their hands and think about what it means to dream big. Beyond that we’ve partnered with several charities nationally and internationally and have been able to donate books to help a number of amazing causes. It’s the best! For the short answer to this question watch this video

Can we look forward to An Awesome Book 2?

Yes, I finished 3 books last year and am spreading them out for release throughout 2010. So excited!

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. List_2

    Julianna Brion is an editorial illustrator whose diverse portfolio houses projects for a bunch of fortunate clients. Like most creatives who make commissioned work though, when she’s not drawing to a brief she’s filling sketchbook after sketchbook with scrapbook-like doodles which are as beautiful, if not more so, than her finished images. Reclining figures, pastel dogs, picture-perfect houses and foliage all feature, rendered in a rainbow of acrylic paints and sketchy pencil. For me, looking at the sketchbook of a successful illustrator is kind of like peeping into the messy bedroom of an impossibly well-coiffed, super dapper gent. And who doesn’t like to be nosy?

  2. List_2

    When it comes to brightly-coloured multimedia creations Mike Perry is king, and as far as we’re concerned there’s little chance of anybody threatening to knock him off his throne any time soon. As if to strengthen his case, he’s just made My Mother Caught Me Doodling, a 160 page hardback celebration of the female form, which sees Mike create tribute after tribute to ladies. Naked ladies.

  3. List_3

    Trust Helsinki-based illustration agency Agent Pekka to sign up some of the best illustration we’ve seen in a long while without so much as a cough to show it off! They’ve just added French illustrator Jean-Michel Tixier to their books, and he looks set to be an amazing addition.

  4. Main

    Considering it had been a while since I had had a proper delve through this great guy’s portfolio, revisiting his site was a refreshing reminder of just how talented Gwendal Le Bec really is. Sometimes people can be frowned upon for aping or mimicking a style from someone else but in Gwendal’s case it’s different as he successfully takes elements from all the most infamous illustrators of times gone by and adds them to his own style.

  5. List

    We’ve been harping on about what a terrific illustrator, and all-round cheery chap Ryan Gillett is for quite some time now, and it seems people have been taking notice. Ryan now counts the likes of Virgin, The Sunday Times, Anorak and Smith Journal among his many clients, who keep him busy at all hours on commissioned projects. It’s not hard to see why either; Ryan’s cheerful scenes made with the sensibilities of a traditional print-maker ought to excite even the most severe clients. But he still finds time to do the nice things that remind us what a stand-up guy he is; like producing screen printed postcards to send out to all his fans (including us). When they arrived the other week they brightened up our days, and also made us realise it was about time to praise Ryan once again…

  6. List

    Thank God for Laura Callaghan! In an illustrated world saturated with images of pretty girls sweetly baking cupcakes, making daisy crowns and chasing after boys, she injects a much-needed dose of the sinister femme fatale. Her characters have undercuts and piercings instead of being clad head to toe in lace, they read lesbian magazines instead of Vogue and they wear vials of their lovers’ blood round their necks. What more could you want from a role model?

  7. Listleipzig

    Sergio’s back, and he’s as good as ever. With new tour posters for the likes of Mac DeMarco and Future Islands and a bundle of personal work, we decided to whack him and his pointy-nosed people up on the site once again. Retro and somehow futuristic at the same time, his prints steer clear of twee although smiley, bouncy-haired characters abound. Their massive forearms and John Lennon glasses say “I’m clever and I work hard” in a way reminiscent of early communist posters, mixed with a touch of The New Yorker; what a brilliant combination. I love Summer, a print of a sunbather on a beach gazing into a snow globe. It might not have occurred to Spanish Sergio, but to me this seems like a brilliantly British reaction to too much sun.

  8. List

    Roosje Klap and Mathias Schweizer have just finished work on a pretty extraordinary piece of digital collage for Dutch literary magazine De Gids – a publication that’s been in existence since 1837. The images on display propose rooms that reference literary voices of the past like Ovid and Baiga, compositing various erotic references into surrealist dreamscapes. The pair worked on them in tandem in the manner of an exquisite corpse – building on each other’s work in stages over time – only instead of strange little bodies as the final product, we’re met with what Roosje refers to as “graphic sex cadavre-exquis!”

  9. List

    Here at It’s Nice That we spend an awful lot of time talking about, thinking about and writing about creatives but ultimately we don’t get too many chances to really see what goes on in their day-to-day working lives…until now. Our new collaboration with super-cool eyewear brand Ace & Tate – who believe in great design and ultimate customer choice – is taking us inside the studios, and inside the minds, of a host of some of our favourite creatives.

  10. Main

    I don’t go to Mr Porter to wistfully scroll through their accessories section like I used to, now I just visit them to go and meander through their journal – an online magazine put together by the team there that champions the important things in life: holidays, booze, sunglasses, cars and art amongst other things. Over the years the features in this section of Mr Porter’s webspace has become increasingly stylish, representing the brand’s core values using only the best editorial accompanied by staggeringly good commissioned illustration.

  11. Main

    Bees are precious, you hear me?! But you don’t need met to tell you that, people have been wigging out about bees dying for years. Rather than pool their minds together and sort out a solution to keep bees safe, these creative types were asked by bee-loving initiative The Honey Club to just create special artwork to help raise money for the bees instead. Way better!

  12. Lwllist

    The silver screen has never been afraid of time travel, or venturing beyond the end of the world as we know it. In the 1960s, Chris Marker’s short film La Jetée transported us to an age following the Third World War in a devastated Paris of underground dwellers; in the 1980s it was the turn of The Terminator to journey back and forth in time; and more recently The Road terrified us with its post-apocalyptic tale.

  13. Main

    Remember that moment when you stopped thinking of festivals as modern day Woodstocks and realised what they really were: enormous parties full of diseased people in Kigus in an arena of sponsorship deals? When you wake up in a shit tent with the side of your bedroom stuck to your disgusting face with only a warm Strongbow and a dead phone to look forward to for three days in a row, it becomes increasingly apparent that you are not in Woodstock, and Jimi Hendrix is not, and never was, going to play Star Spangled Banner for you today.