Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake OBE RDI (British b. 1932)

Quentin Blake was born in Sidcup, Kent on 16 December 1932, and was first educated at the local Church of England primary school. While a pupil of Chiselhurst & Sidcup Grammar School, he published his first drawings in Punch. During two years of National Service he taught English at Aldershot and illustrated a book for teaching illiterate soldiers to read. He read English at Cambridge.

He later attended life classes at Chelsea College of Art (under Brian Robb) while beginning to illustrate for the Spectator. He began freelancing in 1957, illustrating his first children’s book in 1960. Among his prizes are the Kate Greenaway Medal (for Mr Magnolia), the Kurt Maschler Award (for All Join In) and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize (for Clown).
Quentin Blake received an OBE in 1987 for his contribution to illustration and children’s literature. In 1999 he was appointed the first children’s laureate. His work appeals to both children and adults and is striking in its simplicity and in its ability to capture expression and movement with great ease. Quentin Blake is well-known for his witty and enchanting studies of animals.

References: Horne, Alan. The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators: 106.