I’m not going to lie, when I walked into this month’s Creative Mornings, I wasn’t 100% familiar with Dallas Clayton or his work. When I left however, I felt like we were buddies; not because I had a conversation with him, but because I felt like I was part of his awesome little world. He has this unbelievable way of capturing an audience by opening himself up in such a personable manner, leaving me completely vulnerable, inspired, and ready to take on anything…. kind of like I was a kid again.
For those of you who don’t know, Dallas Clayton writes and illustrates his own children’s books and travels the world reading them to kids of all ages (including XXL kids, which he calls adults). He believes the most successful stories have themes that equally talk to adults as well as kids, which he tries to implement into everything he creates. After self publishing his first book, An Awesome Book (which you can read for free here! and do it, seriously), which became popular pretty much over night, he has since continued writing, illustrating and traveling the world helping kids dream really, really big. The coolest part about Dallas is the fact that he’s so excited to live his life, inspire kids (and adults) and help them realize their full potential. He doesn’t take life too seriously or let the small things get to him; instead he always tries to turn something negative into something positive.
When we become adults and live in the “real world”, a lot of times it’s so easy to lose our child-like sense of wonder. It might be because we know more or have a fear deep inside, but that should never stop us from trying something new, taking risks or dreaming big.
When I was really young, I wanted to be a professional basketball player (who doesn’t?!), which apparently is a popular dream for a lot of little kids according to Dallas. With height most definitely not on my side, my parents were pretty sure that was not in my future. However, god bless them, they never said a word and always encouraged me to do what I love and follow my dreams, which ultimately led me away from my high tops and and into into the world of art & design.
Sometimes, getting our inner-child back takes a little reminder, and for me that came in the form of Dallas ending his talk by reciting An Awesome Book to us. It was pretty powerful and for a second, I felt something that I didn’t want to go away – an excitement for what’s to come, a belief that anything is possible and a sense of satisfaction to be doing what I love and living my dream everyday.
His talk will be available to watch online soon, I’ll post it here as soon as it is!