Friday, February 20, 2015 at 8:11PM
Dallas Clayton is an artist like no other, the author of "An Awesome Book" has created a style all his own and created a devoted, joyful following in the process. Using social media as the ultimate platform for disseminating his positive, adventurous message, he's found his way into the hearts and minds of kids of all ages all over the world. We had the exciting opportunity to talk with Dallas, and to share in what goes into such whimsical, amusing, and uplifting work...
Fingers On Blast: Did the positivity that is central to your work always come naturally?
Dallas Clayton: No, not at all. Much of my work in my younger years was born out of teen angst and fueled by aggressive music and culture. Very much "fuck the government, society, etc." While I still consider myself quite countercultural at heart, having a child at a young age and growing into a world that is inclusive rather than exclusive pushed me toward the art that now makes up the core of my work. I feel lucky to be in a position that I am not surrounded on a daily basis by war or famine in my back yard, thus I tend to celebrate this luxury by trying to put as much goodness back into the universe in hopes that it can uplift and inspire those who might not be so fortunate, or those who might just be having a rough time and looking for a little light.
F.O.B.:-Do you find there is always a correlation between your work that feels like an affirmation to adults and story or poem to children?
D.C.:Yes, that's the goal. To be able to speak to children and adults at once. To create art that nourishes and can be appreciated both for its entertainment and its depth.
F.O.B.:-Is there such a thing as an 'average' day in the life of Dallas Clayton?
D.C.:I hope never, no. But sometimes with a kid, schedules to emerge. Patterns in life are somehow unavoidable.
F.O.B.:-Can you give us some insight on your creative process and what continues to inspire you?
D.C.:I just try to make things every day. Try not to be limited by medium or genre. Keep things thematic, in hopes that it will be timeless and therefore able to reach more folks regardless of age or circumstance. I'm inspired by the same things as most, friends, family, humans trying to make things better. Try to achieve balance between creation and consumption.
F.O.B.:-When 'An Awesome Book' wasn't initially well received by publishers and then met with independent success, did that change your dedication to dreaming big?
D.C.:Not really. I suppose I've always just assumed that if you believe in making something you should try to make it at all costs. Not because of proving your worth or showing someone that they missed out, but because making things you believe in is fun. The process is fun. Even the hard bits are cool. That's life, happening.
F.O.B.:-You seem to be dedicated to reminding grown ups that life is magical. Has this always been your
D.C.:I hesitate to say anything has always been my mission, but it does feel like the older I get the less interested my contemporaries are in the essence of life and the more often they are consumed by rules imposed by a structure they had no hand in creating. To each his/her own, but I do see a lot of sad faces that could certainly benefit from a good shaking up.
F.O.B.:-If you could give a message to every person, plant and animal in the universe, what would it be?
Find something that makes you happy and use it to make others happy. Plants, keep up the good work!