• 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. Main9

    Scrolling through Marcel George’s hand-painted watercolour illustrations is like going on safari. Lipsticks hiding behind palm fronds, flamingos stalking around sunglasses, the Lacoste crocodile roaring at trainers.

  2. Dadulist

    There’s something otherworldly about Dadu Shin’s illustrations. Miniature people wander about an overgrown fairy-tale forest, an avatar-like hand reaches out into a tie-dye galaxy, a man walks a lonely path over rocks which form the silhouette of a woman’s face.

  3. List

    As far as I can tell, there will always be a place for clean, stylish, witty illustration in the pages of today’s most esteemed media outlets, and for as long as that is the case illustrator Ben Wiseman isn’t going to have any trouble finding work. He’s nailed his aesthetic, communicating funny, satirical observations in neat, stripped back images and vibrant colours, and sure enough, clients have cottoned on. His portfolio includes a TIME magazine cover alongside work the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and This American Life, a corker of a list which just about makes him Brooklyn’s poster boy for editorial illustration. And thank god, because the black and white pages of the aforementioned publications sure would be dull without him.

  4. Main

    It’s very exhilarating to see people taking something destructive and turning it into something creative; with that in mind please welcome the Computer Virus Catalog.

  5. List

    Dutch illustrator and designer Eline Van Dam (Zeloot to her clients) belongs to the same circle of pals as Viktor Hachmang and Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, which goes some way to explaining why her work is so god damn beautiful. Although she’s about as versatile as image-makers come – her portfolio covers a variety of styles ranging from the niche to the commercial – it’s her posters that really stand out for their 1970s-inspired phychedelic iconography and bold, experimental use of colour; any colour she can get her hands on! Now we just need to work out what we can commission her for.

  6. List

    As our online editor Liv Siddall said, “If you like sex and you like lions, you’ll like these drawings,” and I think she’s probably right. Maria Luque illustrates naked couples hanging out with what I imagine is a pet lion. Her characters lounge around in the nude, lying across big beds in breezy looking apartments filled with luscious vases and intricate carpets, always accompanied by a big, red quizzical king of the cats. Maria is from Argentina, and she says that she likes to make people laugh with her work. We like her child-like hand and summery colours, and the fact that she’s definitely succeeded in making us giggle.

  7. Main

    Editorial horoscope illustrations tend to be a bit same-y: crabs, women holding scales, goats, fish, blah blah blah. I can’t deny I was surprised yesterday when I saw that Elle Italia had commissioned one of my favourite illustrators to bring their horoscope supplement to life, mainly because Sac Magique is a weird choice for a usually rather reserved publication. They gave him the task of illustrating the horoscopes with the theme of “beach” and my, did he deliver. How refreshing and fun to have something so ubiquitous illustrated with the most fun, summer drawings ever, especially by someone who gave us this Spice Girls image that will forever remain the best thing I have ever seen.

  8. Main

    What do we have here, then? Editorial illustration with a Cubist slant and an entirely unique style? We’ll take that, thanks. Polish illustrator Gosia Herba’s website is basically a treasure trove of projects for diverse clients, but we think her work is the most exciting when the faces are in profile, the bodies buxom and the colour palette muted, so that’s what we’re bringing you. The balance between malleability and a strong aesthetic is a difficult one to strike, but somehow Gosia has it down.

  9. List

    Though it’s been only two weeks since we wrote about Anders Nilsen’s beautiful Rage of Poseidon he’s just knocked out another brilliant piece of graphic art (albeit satirical rather than fantastical) so we felt compelled to feature him again. In this instance he’s lampooning online retail giants Amazon for their detrimental effect on publishing, using some magnificently wry visual metaphors to discuss what appears to be a quite unpleasant situation.

  10. Pk

    When Printed Pages editor James Cartwright first saw these images he said they reminded him of the Tetley Tea folk crossed with something out of The Legend of Zelda and you know what? He’s not wrong. The cloaked, hunched characters are actually sneaky-peeks of Patrick Kyle’s upcoming collaborative zine with fellow artist and publication maker Jason Murphy.

  11. Main1

    We love Jim Pluk’s work, not many illustrators openly share doodles they’ve drawn of them and their girlfriend having sex on a sofa with F.r.i.e.n.d.s on in the background. It’s an odd collection of drawings, his work travels from lo-fi paintings to crude squiggles and back to sharp, witty comics or collaged posters at an admirable speed. This is the kind of art that, personally, I’m really into – funny, odd creations made by someone who’s not afraid to try out every medium possible (even drawing on Photoshop) to get their work out into the world.

  12. List

    Do you remember Peter Judson’s bold geometric constructions from earlier on this year? He had us bowled over with his vibrant, brick-like compositions, and as his website proves he has plenty more strings to his bow. Focusing principally on Memphis-influenced design and architectural illustration, he takes familiar shapes and transforms them into something so simple that it goes full circle and becomes incredibly complex again.

  13. List

    Since we last featured Joe Cruz almost a year go to the day, we’ve commissioned him to work on editorial pieces for Printed Pages and had him into the office to check out his stunning portfolio in person. Suffice to say, in the flesh, Joe’s beautiful oil pastel creations do not disappoint – the unusual mix of deep, rich photocopier toner illuminated with oily strips of neon colour is a surefire winner online and in print. But it’s not just the colours that keep Joe’s work fresh and exciting; his constant experimentation with theme and composition means he’s just as likely to be enticing you into his portfolio with a sultry fashion illustration as he is making you leap from your skin with the needled jowls of an incensed doberman.