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Born 1932. Studied at Downing College Cambridge, the University of London and Chelsea School of Art. OBE. More


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Quentin Blake, The Green Ship, first published in Britain by Jonathan Cape,
1998 © Quentin Blake

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Hear Quentin Blake in person


“A picture book has an effect on a reader not so very different from a good lesson”

Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s most popular and best recognised artists. He has been drawing ever since he can remember. His first book was published in 1960. Since then he has illustrated many more.

Once voted ‘the illustrators illustrator’, Quentin is the winner of numerous awards, including the Kate Greenaway, the Kurt Maschler, the Smarties and the Hans Christian Andersen. Quentin recently completed a successful two-year tenure as the first Children’s Laureate.

Magic Word: Spontaneity
“It was while I was doing magazine drawings that I came upon the possibilities of spontaneity - that you didn’t have to be frightened. That kind of drawing is the basic act that for me makes illustration so attractive”. More

Magic tricks of his trade
“I use a light-box constantly. I put a sheet of water colour paper over a rough and then, because I can see where evrything has to go, I can draw as if I were making it up for the first time- actually feeling the gestures and expressions with the pen.” More

“I think my University time has stood me in quite good stead. I get a lot of pleasure and stimulus from reading and illustrating other people’s writing. What I learned about teaching helped to tell me something about how books work.”

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