Quentin Saxby Blake, CBE, FCSD, RDI, is an English cartoonist, illustrator and author of children, well-known for his collaborations with author Roald Dahl. EducationBlake was educated at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School. His English teacher, JH Walsh, influenced his literary ambition. His first published drawing was for the satirical magazine Punch at the age of 16. He read English Literature at Downing College, Cambridge (1953-6), graduate... d from the University of London, and later studied at the Chelsea School of Art. He graduated from the Institute of Education with another teaching diploma before working at the Royal College of Art.CareerBlake gained a reputation as a reliable and humorous illustrator of more than 300 books for children. In addition to illustrating other people's books, including Roald Dahl and Elizabeth Bowen, Blake has written many of his own books. He has been involved in writing and/or illustrating 323 books since 2006 (of which he himself wrote 35 and 18 were by Dahl). He taught for more than twenty years at the Royal College of Art, and from 1978 to 1986 he was head of the department of illustration. He recently illustrated the debut book by David Walliams, The Boy in the Dress, and his latest book by Mr Stink.READ MORE
I suppose that really I had a training or education not so very different from a lot of other artists and illustrators — it’s just that I didn’t have it in the normal order. When I was at school I liked drawing, and I liked anything to do with humor, and I liked writing too. When I was about fourteen, I was lucky enough to be introduced to a man who both painted pictures and drew cartoons for newspapers and magazines, including Punch , the most famous English humorous magazine at the time. He was called Alfred Jackson and every few months I would take him a collection of my drawings to look at. Now I look back and realize these were in fact lessons or tutorials, and what was especially good about them was that he talked not only about the cartoonists’ drawings in Punch at the time, but also about Michelangelo and Modigliani as well.
I thought that if I couldn’t make a living as an artist, at least I shouldn’t starve. By the time I had finished these studies, I had realized that I simply did not draw well enough to be the kind of artist and illustrator that I wanted to be, and so for two days a week over two years I drew — and drew and drew — from the models in the life classes at Chelsea School of Art. I really found out how people looked and moved and balanced, and though nowadays I almost never use a sketchbook and just make everything up as I go along, it’s those days in the life room that are the back of it all.