The Fear Theory

The Idea.

The book started as a seed that was planted by someone else. I’ve always been fascinated by space and the universe. So I started sketching rockets and planets during a 5-hour train ride while travelling to another city. The narrative concept was already previously laid out, it just needed some refining. Being a big believer in creativity, I understood its power to transform mental illness into beautiful pieces of art. It also allows for deeper understanding and compassion. 

The initial sketches included some sort of large creature, as a representation of our fears. The King plays an integral role by allowing children to understand the importance of responsible leadership. And most importantly, Creo shows the importance of introspection and empathy, and the tools we acquire in overcoming difficult situations.

The Development.

Being a graphic designer, I felt that having a firm grasp on the art direction was important. The colours chosen were based on a popular video game: No Man’s Sky. Using bright colours not only grounds it in another world, but mainly keeps it interesting for children, so they have a break from their already-too-bright screens. 

While I am used to creating perfect lines through my Photoshop work, I wanted to keep the integrity of the initial sketches by allowing them to stay perfectly imperfect. No straight, refined drawings. It was important for me to show that having colours outside the lines added to the charm of the illustrations.

The Final Product.

The final book took over a year to create. With the help of a few people along the way, I put it all together to make something that has a lot of meaning for me, and hopefully others. 

The first of a series, The Fear Theory teaches children lessons in creativity, courage, and compassion. With fun facts and questions on each page, it is interactive. Beyond the book, I have also created different packages that give more value to the buyer, including a sketchbook, bookmark, printable activity sheets, and more. 

With the continuation of the series, including an audiobook and a children’s cookbook, my hope is to inspire others to create.

The Cadet Package.

Check out to order your copy!

“How sad if we pass through life and never see it with the eyes of a child.”

– Anthony de Mello


10/10 The Fear Theory is as heartwarming as it is educational. As someone with professional experience educating and caring for children of all ages I definitely recommend this to all parents, teachers and caregivers. From a personal perspective, I really enjoyed this book on all levels – from content to aesthetics. I can’t wait for the opportunity to share this with all the wonderful kiddos in my life. Will be buying many more copies to brighten the little ones’ covid days.

And all the goodies that come with it are really wonderful, I have one of the postcards that came with it on my fridge and the other one on my desk at work.

The one with the peaceful lovely landscape – helps me deal with the stress of doing a job of three people. In a way, it kinda became my happy place.


–  Ana

Even though the book is intended for a slightly older audience, Liam and Amelia really enjoy it and it’s become one of the books on their current bedtime rotation! I shorten some of the language for them, but they like the illustrations and they like to point out the creatures and ask me questions about them. The rocket ship and action words on the pages also grab their attention. They like to do the ‘beep, beep’ sound on the first page.

As a parent I really like the little facts and conversation points included at the bottom of each page. Especially the ones intended to help kids better connect to and understand their own feelings. We had a conversation about what empathy is thanks to the book! I really like that the book attempts to teach a meaningful lesson in a fun and engaging way!

–  Nicole

I bought The Fear Theory to share with my 4 year old grandson. His review “it was really good that she found her friends again”. He is really interested in talking about the questions posed in the book and coming up with ideas together. We both really enjoy the illustrations!

–  Judith

Chad Hopson’s first publication “The Fear Theory” is a delightful and imaginative story that fosters creativity, piques curiosity, and explores mental health in an accessible and exciting way. Hopson’s illustrations are captivating, and the associated workbooks continue the conversation long after Creo’s journey has ended. Looking forward to Hopson’s next project!

–  Jazz


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