A Voice From The Heart

Words and illustration by Dallas Clayton.

“Find something that makes you happy and use it to make others happy. There are no rules in these lives we've carved out for ourselves, many of the standards by which we live aren't but a few decades old - entire nations only a few hundred. We are all, right now, each and every one of us, floating in space pretending we've got it all figured out... but it's all just a guess, so why not do whatever you can to enjoy your time here.”

“Remember that your children are not you, that they are growing up in an age and place you didn't have access to, so try your best not to let your own hang ups and nostalgia undercut your child's ability to grow beyond you, to thrive in a world you never had access to. Children are a very honest mirror. Whenever I am at a crossroads emotionally, or strategically I've found my son to offer some of the best untainted advice. No nonsense, just a voice from the heart.”

Dallas Clayton interview

“Art is a term I use loosely as there is much art to be made of the practical world, and as such I find artists at nearly every turn. Those who have chosen careers that aren't certain, pathways that have no clear map, I find a kinship with them in that I recognize that they each seem to be driven by a desire to hold onto magic. What is that magic? Residual youth? A fist raised against the mundane? A step toward a greater self? I can't say for everyone, but I know for me it represents a true internal yearning to find new and exciting adventures every single day. This in many ways is the embodiment of being a child - the unknown - a world where you meet new people, learn new things, and find yourself day after day. What a joy.”

“At this point the audiences I read to are pretty big, auditoriums full of kids, so my goal is just to get them as loud and crazy as possible. To get them firing as much as I can, then to see if I can take them back down to a small quiet place. A place for thinking. It's a great challenge, but I think it's an important lesson, to remember that each of us has the capacity for deep introspection as well as the ability to raise our mighty voice to the heavens.”

“It feels to me that a huge portion of ones youth should be about consumption. The consumption of ideas, experiences, entertainment, newness on all fronts. Read what you can, see what you can, go where you can, do it all as much as you can then slowly and steadily begin to refine your own ideas and hopefully put them back into the world, new and improved for others to consume. This isn't to say that consumption should be cut off at a certain age, or that one is obligated to stop consuming in order to create but I do feel that personally it goes in waves. A few years back I think I hit a peak for consumption and have been spending my recent career, and most of my free hours trying to create. The side effects of this are that currently I find it difficult to sit through an entire movie because as soon as I sit down in the theater I start thinking of stories I'd rather be telling. I don't know how long this phase will last, but I'm trying to leg it out as much as possible until the work I'm doing begins to wear thin, at which point I'll probably be back to consuming again, at least in moderate levels. Who knows what the future holds!”


Dallas Clayton 'Papers' poem