Award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola has been revealed as the creator of this year’s ‘Books Are My Bag’ Limited-Edition Bag.

Dapo Adeola
Award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola is the illustrator for this year’s ‘Books Are My Bag’ Limited-Edition Bag

The ‘Limited-Edition Bag’ is part of an annual campaign organised by the Booksellers Association to celebrate books and bookshops, and previous designers of the trendy tote include the likes of Orla Kiely, Charlie Mackesy and Tracey Emin.

Accomplished illustrator Dapo Adeola is the artist behind bestselling picture book Look Up! which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and was the number one debut picture book of 2019.

Dapo’s illustrations are characteristically bold in portraying characters that depict gender equality and social justice from a fun-loving and optimistic angle.

“Accomplished illustrator Dapo Adeola is the artist behind bestselling picture book Look Up!”

A respected voice in the Black creative space and the creative industry at large, he has been instrumental in pulling together a community of Black illustrators worldwide through his Twitter hashtag #blackbritishillustrators. The initiative encourages Black illustrators to share their creations and tell their stories in an industry where Black people are largely underrepresented. Last November, Dapo challenged the media to credit illustrators for their work through an open letter signed by celebrated authors including Malorie Blackman.

When he’s not busy cooking up new characters you can find Dapo running illustration and character design workshops with children or organising events to help highlight the possibilities of a career in illustration to underrepresented members of the Black diaspora.

Dapo Adeola
Dapo Adeola’s illustration

Speaking about his recognition, Adeola said: “I was super stoked to be asked to illustrate this year’s ‘Books Are My Bag’ tote. Supporting bookshops is and has always been a huge part of my journey in this industry, so saying yes to this opportunity was a no brainer. Now more than ever, bookshops need our help to stay afloat. We’re gonna need the type of magic only they can provide when things go back to normal, so anything we can do to help them in the meantime should be done. Let’s keep these wonderful hubs for magic and community alive.”

“I was super stoked to be asked to illustrate this year’s ‘Books Are My Bag’ tote.”

Emma Bradshaw of the Booksellers Association was also very excited about working with Dapo Adeola and had the following comments to share: “We are so excited to have teamed up with Dapo Adeola for this year’s Limited-Edition Bag. We are huge fans of his work, and the bag’s vibrant, fresh design is absolutely stunning – I can already picture those bright colours bringing some good cheer to all book-lovers on Bookshop Day!”

Books Are My Bag Limited-Edition Bag will be available exclusively in bookshops across the UK and Ireland on Bookshop Day – Saturday 9 October 2021.

Find out more information about the campaign here.

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