A deluxe hardcover art book showcasing the life and career of one of the world’s most unique and prolific illustrators – Ken Dallison
About this project
Today’s Inspiration Press is back with another exciting project! Ken Dallison – A Life in Illustration will be another luxurious and thoughtfully assembled collection of illustration artwork from one of the world’s most unique and prolific illustrators.
As a young illustrator, Ken Dallison pined for the day when people would open up a magazine and say “yup, that’s a Dallison.” And it didn’t take him long to reach that point.
In his continuing career of over five decades, not only has Dallison succeeded in creating a style which is undeniably his own – with each drawing like an elaborate signature – he has also carved his place in multiple fields and made his mark on portraiture, reportage illustration, automotive artwork and the illustration industry overall.
Ken’s unique style – stemming from his working directly in ink with a dip pen – has, for decades, marked magazines, advertisements and more with his energetic, gestural and lively line.
“Ken Dallison can draw what you feel when you look at a Bugatti or an airship or a heroic figure. That’s his genius: the ability to choose the symbols that summarize, that evoke the feeling of an enterprise or an era.”
– Charles Fox, Car and Driver
Ken Dallison – A Life in Illustration will be a deluxe, full colour, 160 page hardcover art book featuring hundreds of illustrations from the course of Dallison’s career. We will be working directly with Ken to photograph all of his original art and extensive archives of tear sheets to put together a book which features the art. Our design philosophy for art books is simple: it’s all about the art. Rather than filling every page with tiny thumbnails, the book will feature large full colour spreads, detailed, high quality reproductions of finished illustrations and a variety of amazing pieces showcasing Dallison’s process – reference photos, comps, sketches and more.
Beyond the artwork, Ken Dallison – A Life in Illustration will feature the stories and anecdotes of Dallison’s amazing life as dictated by the artist himself in dozens of hours of interviews we’ve recorded and are continuing to collect with him. Anybody who has met Ken Dallison will immediately speak to his endlessly engaging and entertaining character, and we want to offer the unique opportunity for his charismatic voice to speak right along with his captivating illustrations.
Today’s Inspiration Press
Created by Leif Peng in 2001, Today’s Inspiration began as a mailing list of just 10 friends, grew into a blog of over 3,000 readers, and evolved into a Facebook group of over 12,000 members, all of whom share a passion and appreciation for illustration in the mid 20th century.
Last year, we launched our first Kickstarter project, The Art of Will Davies with great success and Today’s Inspiration Press was born! You, the community of passionate illustration enthusiasts and everyone who Will Davies has influenced in the industry came together to create something truly amazing and humbling. With your help, we were able to show Will Davies just how influential and important his life’s work was, and continues to be, to so many of us.
And that’s what Today’s Inspiration Press is all about. We strive to bring lasting recognition, acknowledgement and deserving esteem to the artists who helped to define the visual style of our culture since the beginning of the 20th century.
We also do it because of how much we love their art!
Now we’re back with another exciting project from one of the most unique and interesting people to touch the illustration industry – Ken Dallison. But we can’t do it without you.
Like The Art of Will Davies, this book is something which can only be made with the support of the community who would want to see it exist. We are an independent small press publisher, which provides us with the freedom to take on whatever project we think needs to happen. The unique and amazing thing about Kickstarter is that, with your support, we can actually make this possible!
Another facet of crowdfunding which we hadn’t anticipated being so significant our last time around is that we get to show these illustrators that there is a whole world of people who want to see their work immortalized in a book. Most illustrators careers end after having left thousands of amazing pieces of art behind with very few people knowing the names of the brilliant artist who created them, but with Kickstarter we can show these artists that their name is as important as their art – that their careers are something all of us appreciate and want to celebrate!
We are hoping to raise $27,000 to fund the production of the book, which will cover all of the costs related to the pre-production of the book, the printing, and the supplies that go into fulfilling the shipments. If we exceed this goal, we will be able to expand the book in scope, in page length, in the size of the print run, by offering more of the handmade rewards and even by adding some bonus rewards for all of you amazing backers who support us!
Risks and challenges
We have learned a lot from our last Kickstarter book project, The Art of Will Davies. From the practical experience of designing and writing this type of book, to the logistics and time consumption of processing and shipping hundreds of orders with a relatively small team of just a few people, this project will benefit from a myriad of lessons learned – mostly the hard way – and, as a result, will definitely run much smoother.
Of course, one lesson we’ve learned repeatedly is that Murphy’s Law is always waiting around the corner, and that no matter how much you think and plan, things come up which couldn’t have been anticipated. This book will be slightly more ambitious in its formatting, and we are working on some extra, high-quality hand made rewards which are new and exciting and will inevitably present new challenges along the way. We are more than confident that some of the greatest experience we’ve gained in the last year is in our adaptability and capability in publishing, and that this book will be nothing but a success.