Iain S. Thomas & Carla Kreuser Interview Each Other About
300 Things I Hope
WHO ARE YOU?
Iain I’m Iain S. Thomas. I only use the “S” because I think it makes me sound smarter, and
there’s a phone<c resonance with Hunter S. Thompson. And there’s a Belgian pop singer
called Ian Thomas now, so it helps avoid confusion. I’m an at least moderately successful
writer and poet, although I struggle to call myself a poet as that feels like quite a loaded
term, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling myself that at a dinner party.
Carla But you are a poet.
Iain I know I’ve sold more than 100,000 books of poetry but there’s an assump<on of skill
when you call yourself a poet. Someone smarter than me once said, and I’m paraphrasing,
let someone write and at the end of their life, when they’re dead, let’s decide then whether
or not they were a poet and that sounds fair to me.
Carla But who decides?
Iain Everyone else. Everyone else can decide, I don’t want to decide. Besides all that, I’m
known for wri<ng I Wrote This For You and all its sequels, 25 Love Poems for The NSA,
Inten<onal Dissonance, a science fic<on novel, an interac<ve poetry journal called I Am
Incomplete Without You and How To Be Happy, which is a collec<on of prose and short
Carla Now I need to talk about myself and you might have to fill in the blanks because I’m
not really good at this. I’m Carla Kreuser, a graphic designer and illustrator. I write poetry but
never published. For my day job, I’m a crea<ve director at an ad agency and on the side, I
draw and I’ve got an exhibi<on coming up based on Nick Drake’s album, Pink Moon.
Iain You’re very craXy and very awarded. You’ve won about a million awards.
Carla I’ve won quite a few, I’ve spoken at Design Indaba and Pecha Kucha. And a few other
things, I’ve recently graduated with a Master’s Degree.
Iain I think it’s worth men<oning that we both live in Cape Town, South Africa.
HOW WAS THE BOOK MADE?
Iain The book was a collabora<on, and the drawings existed before the book existed and I
like that because it’s not a perfect process. You’ve got this moment here, where you’ve
captured something, and I’ve got this line here of what I’ve wrote, and you put them
together and you get this third thing. It’s like 1 + 1 = 3. There’s this entry in the book, that
says, “I hope you love your family” and we’ve got this drawing of this girl brushing her teeth
and there’s this unique, vulnerable thing about it that says family.
Carla Very few people have seen me brushing my teeth, besides my family.
Iain I think one of Evelyn, my daughter’s first memories, will be of her father brushing his
teeth. And so with all the drawings in the book, you get this magical third thing from these
Carla I love that the one isn’t an echo of the other one, that the pictures some<mes say
something different. There’s this beau<ful cross pollina<on between them.
Iain It’s exponen<al. In prac<cal terms of how we did it, we sat in coffee shops and we went
through all your drawings over the last three years, and then there were a million emails
backwards and forwards.
Carla I loved that there was a degree of independence from each other. As was said earlier,
there’s not always <me to make art and so I always have a pen and a notebook with me and
I’m always drawing and if I’m wai<ng for some coffee or something, I’ll just start drawing the
people around me. I’ll do lots of those but only a few of them have the right spark of energy.
And you did the same in terms of edi<ng your lines, the ones that resonated with you and so
when you bring that kind of edi<ng together, the right illustra<ons with the right lines,
there’s something awesome that happens, with these li^le pockets of energy and they have
this li^le dance on the page together.
WHO IS THIS BOOK MEANT FOR?
Iain I think, my ideal situa<on for a book like this is, is that someone’s walking through the
bookstore and they find it, and they have this feeling that the book is right for them, at that
moment in <me. The very first entry in the book is, “I hope you find this book or someone
gives it to you when you need it.”
I think it’s ammo for life. It’s a stranger wishing you well, in 300 different ways.
Carla And you don’t have to read it cover to cover, you can kind of pop it open on any page
and find something that means something to you.
Iain What I really want, is for it to live in your glove compartment, next to your bed or on a
coffee table and every now and again when you need it, you rediscover it and find
something in it again. I don’t know who that is, in terms of who is the book meant for.
Iain I just hope people like the book. If it’s good, I’d love to do another one like it
Read my review on this book and find a link to it in the post below! :)