Dapo Adeola creates 'stunning' Books Are My Bag tote bag

Dapo Adeola creates 'stunning' Books Are My Bag tote bag

Illustrator and activist Dapo Adeola has created this year’s Books Are My Bag eye-catching tote bag, which will be available in bookshops across the UK and Ireland from Bookshop Day (9th October).  

The co-creator and illustrator of the Waterstones Prize-winning picture book Look Up! (Puffin) has designed an image featuring the profile of a woman wearing a brightly patterned headscarf and a hoop earring spelling "Books Are My Bag" (see below left). 

“London born and bred, but of Nigerian heritage, Adeola is well known for creating characters that challenge expectations around race and gender in a fun, upbeat way,” said the organisers. “Passionate about supporting Black illustrators and creatives, in 2019 Adeola created the Twitter hashtag #BlackBritishIllustrators, where Black British creatives share their artwork and stories. In November 2020, Adeola wrote an open letter asking the media to credit illustrators, which was signed by Malorie Blackman, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Mould, Rob Biddulph, Sarah McIntyre and more.” 

The design will be made available in bookshops across the UK and Ireland from 9th October (Bookshop Day), an annual celebration which is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign from the Booksellers Association (BA). The limited edition bag has previously been created by acclaimed illustrators, artists and designers including Charlie Mackesy, Yehrin Tong, Sir Peter Blake, Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Orla Kiely and Coralie Bickford-Smith. 

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.”  

Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the BA, said: “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.”  

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