Monday, 3 November 2014

Illustration royalty

On Saturday I did something that not many people get to do in their lifetime; I got to see one of my idols, an icon of illustration. I was fortunate enough to attend ‘In Conversation with Oliver Jeffers and Quentin Blake’ at the Southbank Centre in London. I have admired and followed the work of Oliver Jeffers for a number of years now, but Sir Quentin Blake has been a hero of mine since I first picked up a Roald Dahl book.

As a girl who spent her childhood reading Dahl stories repeatedly, I was totally star-struck when Blake walked on the stage. Throughout the discussion he spoke modestly about his work; his influences, the development of his signature ‘scratchy’ style, and his working relationship with Dahl that swiftly became a friendship.

This 81 year old man held the undivided attention of an intimate audience consisting of successful illustrators, families with young children, and aspiring artists like myself. The room was filled with a sense of awe and utter admiration, even Jeffers looked as though he had to pinch himself!

The completely unexpected highlight of the afternoon however was when Blake walked into the foyer after the discussion to join Jon Burgerman on his collaborative mural he had started with Jeffers earlier that day. So not only did I get to hear him speak passionately about illustration, I also had the rare opportunity to see him doing what he is world-famous for. He then waved and was led backstage, leaving the small crowd stunned - myself included!

It’s an afternoon that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and it was an absolute privilege to be there. When I was a child he bought the stories I loved to life, and now as an adult his dedication and talent inspires me to pursue what I love doing. Just incredible.

No comments:

Post a Comment