Today I Am.. is a fun, lighthearted book of verse where children dress up as animals, are happy using their imagination, and are encouraged to be whatever they want to be.
38 Colourful, playful illustrations accompany short poems celebrating diversity, how it is normal that our moods and emotions change daily, and how they can sometimes best be summed up by the nature of an animal.
Mark ‘Blackie’ Blackburn has spent his entire working life flipping between the visual world and the audio world.
In the 2000s, he produced 3 albums under the artist name, Kinobe- a name that references his eternal love and fascination for cult movie, Star Wars.
His 1st album 'Soundphiles' recorded in 2000 included the genre-defining track Slip Into Something More Comfortable which sampled Englebert Humperdinck and which has been included in scores of chill out and dance compilation albums and tv ads around the world..
For the past 14 years, Mark's graphic arts company ‘wildandpeaceful’ has taken up the majority of his time, during which he has created designs for brands/projects including G-Shock, Arc’Teryx, Créme Skateboards, Bupa International and Pala Eyewear. Also creating limited edition bespoke prints, portraits and private commissions, murals and artwork.
However, the past year has seen his attention focussed on a true labour of love, the book Today I Am.. which has united his skills and passions to create a cool, yet, reflective and highly-relevant book for children that stands out as a thought-provoking rallying cry to ‘let kids be kids’ amid today’s shiny, conformist, ‘Blink and you'll miss it' digital lifestyle.
The beautifully illustrated 38 page book draws upon his experiences as a father and his interests in graphic arts and illustration, pop culture, fashion and literature.
Today I Am.. with it’s clean, bold design, presents 38 short fun verses, alongside loose colourful illustrations depicting children playing in animal onesie costumes, expressing themselves and celebrating their individuality. This theme is played out by exploring ‘How would it be to be this animal for the day?’ and conveys how the mood and feelings of children can often be summed up best by the nature of an animal.
Like all the best children’s books, they chime with all ages, and the book's verses and illustrations contain subtle nods to other literary works, movies and fashion, all tied up with Mark’s irreverent and expressive sense of humour.
With a limited edition of 300 crowdfunded hardback books, Mark has first sent signed copies to all contibutors, and will use the rest to promote, spread the word and gain momentum for a second, larger print run.
In doing so, he hopes to catch the attention of publishers, agents and influencers to enable this positive, energetic book to reach a large readership.
With two follow-up books already under way, and the potential to branch into merchandising, branded tie-ins and collaborations, Blackie hopes the book will become part of a positive movement, whereby children can be just that.