Reading time: 2 min

Freddy Deane  is the man behind the illustrations repeated across the Smiling Planet collection. If you are fond of  Freddy’s fun and poetic creatures, you will love his book “Donut Dream”.


The story behind the book

I actually started working on Donut Dream 18 years ago! I wanted to write a play that captured the world of L.A. in those hours between the last club closing and sunrise at a 24 hour diner. That’s dream time and donut shops are everywhere in L.A. – thus the title. The play never jelled, but I loved the title and the idea of showing a side of L.A. few people saw. Every few years I’d come back to it and things would change. 
Just as it is, L.A. is surreal, so that element got stronger. The more I got to know and really love L.A., the more I wanted to somehow show all of it in it’s multi-facetted glory. A neighborhood called Mt. Olympus gave me the idea of the furies from mythology living in L.A. and fighting demons. That famous YSL anime campaign inspired me to make my L.A. furies rock and roll.
As a young man I was on a fine arts track, then took a turn into entertainment. My wife Olivia and Smiling Planet brought me back to the arts. The infinite possibilites of drawing finally made Donut Dream come alive. Being able to make characters with animal heads let me put their animal ids right there for everyone to see. 
Through my earlier Smiling Planet books, I found a writing and illustration voice that is both whimsical and sharp, and I like that. A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down as Mary Poppins would say. Donut Dream is on the sharper side, and it is for all ages. Kids love the drawings and the characters – I think that’s why we won Milk Magazine’s Prix Deco at Playtime Tokyo
The final pieces that came together were the extended title: “a hero’s journey through L.A.” and the main character Freddy Spaghetti. Everyone is on hero’s journey, that’s why it resonates and that’s why it’s in every script. Putting it in the title somehow grounds the whimsy of “Donut Dream” and makes it universal; it also makes me smile. I was called “spaghetti legs” as a kid, so, since every writer writes about him or herself, I put that right out front for everyone to see too.”
The book Donut Dream should be out soon, and animation studios have expressed their interest, so stay tuned!
Click here to read more about Smiling Planet, Freddy Deane and family.