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Born 1956. Studied in Florence and at Chelsea School of Art and St Martin's School of Art, London. Winner of the 1984 Mother Goose Award given for the most promising newcomer in children's book illustration and National Art Library Illustration Award.

image from The Minpins

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The Minpins by Roald Dahl, first published in Britain by Jonathan Cape, 1991, illustrations © Patrick Benson

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"However powerful the text, it's the images that stick in the mind"

Most of Patrick Benson's work has been for other people. He has now illustrated over 24 titles for authors including Kenneth Grahame, Roald Dahl and Russell Hoban.

Magic Word: Imagination
"The most important thing that an illustrator has to do is provide lots of visual clues, bits of information - rather like snapshots - that will act as a sort of springboard for the imagination". More

Magic tricks of his trade
"I do quite a lot of preparatory drawings. I usually start with a pen and ink drawing on which I apply the colour. Because Owl Babies is a night story I wanted it very dark, but also with rich colours. I solved the problem by transferring the black and white drawing onto clear film, lifting the film and colouring underneath".

"The people are many and various. I think we all borrow a little here and there, even if we don't let on".
Fritz Wegner - his tutor at St Martins
Edward Ardizzone - creator of Little Tim
EH Shepard - famous for Winnie the Pooh
William Heath Robinson - for his early work such as Midsummer Night's Dream, Song of English and Rabelais illustrations
Albrecht Durer- German painter and engraver

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