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Q&A with Quentin Blake: Read his answers here!

(61 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Aug-16 12:05:14

We're very pleased to announce that legendary illustrator Quentin Blake will be answering your questions about his work and latest illustrations in The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots.

Beatrix Potter wrote The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots in 1914 but did not find time to illustrate it. Now, over 100 years later, Quentin Blake has brought Kitty to life with his witty and charming illustrations.

Quentin Blake is one of Britain's most successful illustrators. He has illustrated nearly 300 books and he was Roald Dahl's favourite illustrator. He has won many awards, including the Whitbread Award and the Kate Greenaway Medal, and taught for over 20 years at the Royal College of Art. In 1999 he became the first ever Children's Laureate and in 2013 he was knighted for services to illustration.

In Beatrix Potter's own words The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots is about 'a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life' and will be available in all good bookshops from 1 September.

Post your questions to Quentin Blake before 9 September and you'll be entered into a prize draw to win one of five copies of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots

SuburbanCrofter Tue 30-Aug-16 13:06:16

Here is my question for Quentin:

When we visited the Roald Dahl museum, we were fascinated to see that you and Roald Dahl exchanged letters about how he thought the characters should look. Your illustrations were so intrinsic to the books, could you tell us a bit more about that process?

MrsGosling71 Tue 30-Aug-16 13:09:09

My dd(13) has always adored your drawings and wants to become an illustrator. What advice would you give her? How did you start?

SteamTrainsRealAleandOpenFires Tue 30-Aug-16 16:35:11

Not a question, but we really enjoy reading/singing your book "All join in". grin

Witchend Tue 30-Aug-16 16:43:19

A question my dd has asked several times is why don't more illustrators include different disabled people in the illustrations-they may put a token person in a wheelchair if they think about it.
Dd2 is missing her left arm from below the elbow and you get that very rarely in books.

BearAusten Tue 30-Aug-16 16:56:34

You can never fail to recognize a Quentin Blake illustration. My son loves your vibrant drawings, especially the ones for The Twits. We also have fond memories of Cockatoos.

Which classic children's book would you like to illustrate?

Why do you prefer to use watercolours for your illustrations, as opposed to other mediums?

Cherrysoup Tue 30-Aug-16 20:04:55

How did you come up with the Twits? Loved those illustrations!

WhatamessIgotinto Tue 30-Aug-16 21:14:41

We all love your illustrations, they really bring the characters to life. How did you find your 'style' of drawing?

iklboo Tue 30-Aug-16 21:17:27

Huge Quentin Blake fans here. Of all the books and stories you've illustrated, which has been your favourite to do?

AbbieLexie Tue 30-Aug-16 21:40:04

A huge thank you for all the wonderful illustrations I've had the pleasure to see over the years. Your work is distinctive - easily recognisable. Have you ever tried a different medium to work in - like oils? Do you ever do portraits?

Geraniumred Tue 30-Aug-16 22:15:32

Just a thank you for your books and illustrations. I have loved 'Lester and Lorna' as a child and reading the joyful 'All Join In' as an adult to my own child. I've also been very moved by your work for hospitals.
My dd would like to ask how do get so much emotion into your characters and animals? And how did you develop your own style of drawing?

winkywinkybumbum Tue 30-Aug-16 22:18:21

We saw your exhibition at the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge. My goodness....I was in awe the whole time. I could have spent hours looking at your work. Thank you so much for the joy you have brought me.

Vintagegirl1 Wed 31-Aug-16 12:18:16

Not a question-my mum met you when you had an exhibit in the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum a number of years ago. She said you were lovely and you signed a catalogue for my son so thank you very much!

JellyBelli Wed 31-Aug-16 14:14:52

I dont have a question, I just wanted to say Quentin is one of the people who got me into drawing and cartooning, along with Leo Baxendale smile

Thank you so much!

MothersGrim Wed 31-Aug-16 18:34:56

I love the illustrations in the Twits!

I'd like to know how it feels that lots of illustrators try and emulate your style. I guess it wasn't always popular?

What do you think was your "big break?"

triniposse Wed 31-Aug-16 19:57:44

grin Quentin biggest" Hello" to you!!!, What was the first thing you remember Painting/Drawing as a small child say 3 years old? From a budding Artist.........envy

trufflehunterthebadger Thu 01-Sep-16 01:23:45

Oh how exciting ! I live in Hastings and love the illustrations you did inspired by the sea. Are they available as a series of prints ? I have the cover of our council magazine with one of your drawings on the cover proudly displayed in a frame !

Which was your favourite Roald Dahl book to illustrate ? My favourite would have to be the Revolting Rhymes, particularly Cinderella.

And finally couldnt be a better title for us as my daughter's name is... Kitty !

Next time you are in Hastings pop in for a cuppa !!

Mysillydog Thu 01-Sep-16 12:51:02

I have a teenager who has to draw every day or she gets a bit twitchy. She started out by copying your style from her books and later on has been influenced by Japanese manga and anime. However, it was you that got her started.

She wants to know if you draw everyday for pleasure as well as for work.

VanellopeVonSchweetz99 Thu 01-Sep-16 20:31:07

You are one of my main inspirations in becoming an author/illustrator, 'Sad Book' (Michael Rosen) is my absolute favourite. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Question: What are your 'can't live without'-artist materials? Ie favourite paper, pen/ink, watercolours, lightbox - the more specific the better please.

villagefox Fri 02-Sep-16 13:19:22

Which is your favourite drawing? My son loves the boys after they escape from the Twit's tree!! He lets out a belly laugh and shouts 'bottoms'!!!

Minklemonk Fri 02-Sep-16 13:44:17

DS (10y) asks:
What is your favourite picture you've done?
My favourite picture you've done is the last picture in Micheal Rosen's Sad Book.
And who's your favourite illustrator (apart from yourself, of course!)?

WarmHugs Fri 02-Sep-16 13:48:56

My almost 7yo would like to know

I read you used Roald Dahls shoes as inspiration for the BFGs shoes? Did anything else inspire you?

Dsiso Fri 02-Sep-16 17:46:21

My son (age 5) wants to know who you ate drawing pictures for now Roald Dahlnis dead.

RickOShay Fri 02-Sep-16 22:55:32

Just wanted to say that I can recite the Cockatoos word perfectly. My children couldn't believe that Professor DuPont was so bad at hide and seek. Even when they knew where all the Cockatoos were hiding they still pointed them out. Yours are among the very few books that I didn't mind reading over and over again. Thank you.

lalalonglegs Fri 02-Sep-16 23:10:33

Hello Sir Quentin

I love the way that the children in your books seem so chaotic and nearly always very busy and involved in their own thing, buzzing around creating a benign anarchy. As you don't have first-hand experience of bringing up children and have never, as far as I know, worked in a primary school or nursery, who do you model these children on? Did you grow up in a large family where children were left to their own devices or is it an idealised version of how childhood should be?

Thank you for all your fantastic books - my children pretend to be a bit old for some of them but we still enjoy Mr Magnolia, Sixes and Sevens and Captain Najork.


PS Are you doing another show at B&H this winter?

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