September 23, 2023

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Quentin Blake is 90 today!

3 min read
Quentin Blake is 90 today!
Today is the 90th Birthday of
Sir Quentin Blake, the ! 
To celebrate this, there have been some new initiatives
  • 90 illustrators have celebrated his life by creating illustrations of
    candles for a virtual exhibition by the UK’s national centre for

Quentin Blake: The Drawing of My Life

Blake is presented with an enormous white wall of paper and invited to draw
his life. 

Quentin Blake confronted by the giant blank wall of paper on which to
draw his life

You can access the programme now on iPlayer – but, although I started
watching it, I’ve decided to save it for Christmas Day when it’s also being
broadcast on BBC2 at 4.10pm in the afternoon. There’s a lot of much younger
illustrators who will wish they can draw with the fluidity of Quentin at 90!

You can read all about Quentin Blake and his achievements on his website
– in
Meet Quentin Blake

90 Candles by 90 Illustrators

With a career in illustration spanning eight decades, Blake’s books have
inspired generations of readers and illustrators.

To celebrate Blake’s 90th milestone birthday, the
Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration  invited 90 of the UK’s leading illustrators – working in editorial,
literature, fashion, animation and design – to create
an image of a candle that references the original meaning of the word
‘illustration’ as “to light up, make light or illuminate”. 
some of the 90 candles illustrations
  • The Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration is the new name for House of
  • This is now halfway through a £12 million fundraising campaign to create
    the permanent national centre for illustration at the fascinating
    industrial heritage site New River Head in Clerkenwell, London. 
  • Opening in 2024, the Centre for will offer a dynamic programme of
    exhibitions and will provide a home for Blake’s 40,000-work archive.

The 90 illustrators Contributors include 

  • Axel Scheffler (best known for his collaborations with Julia Donaldson
    including The Gruffalo), 
  • Lauren Child (former Children’s Laureate and creator of Charlie and
  • Chris Riddell (political cartoonist for The Observer), 
  • Margaret Calvert (best known as a designer of the UK road sign
  • plus Oliver Jeffers, Posy Simmonds, Joey Yu, Hannah Berry and many, many

The collection of illustrations are being bound into a special book and
presented to Quentin Blake as a birthday gift.

Also, from 16 December, the 90 candles will be exhibited at and available for sale as limited edition prints from, priced at £50 each with all proceeds going to Quentin
Blake Centre for Illustration.

Full list of contributors

Adam Higton, Aleesha Nandhra, Alexis Deacon, Alice Lickens, An Chen, Andrzej
Klimowski, Anne Howeson, Ashton Attz, Axel Scheffler, Bruce Ingman, Carolyn
Gowdy, Catherine Anyango Grünewald, Charlotte Ager, Chris Haughton, Chris
Riddell, Christopher Brown, Claire Alexander, Cressida Cowell, Dan Fern, Emily
Rand, Emma Chichester Clark, Erin Aniker, Grace Holliday, Graham Rawle, Hannah
Berry, Harry Woodgate, Hollie Fuller, Huntley Muir, Isabel Greenberg, James
Mayhew, Jason Chuang, Jay Cover, Jean Jullien, Jemima Muir, Jhinuk Sarkar,
Joanna Layla, Joey Yu, John Lawrence, John Vernon Lord, Jonny Hannah, Joy
Yamusangie, Julie Vermeille, Karrie Fransman, Kingsley Nebechi, Laura Carlin,
Lauren Child, Lena Yokoyama, Lily Ash Sakula, Lily Kong, Lucinda Rogers, Luke
Best, Luke Pearson, Maisie Paradise Shearring, Margaret Calvert, Margaret
Sturton, Marion Deuchars, Mark Oliver, Matthew Richardson, Mick Inkpen, Montana
Forbes, Natsko Seki, Nick Butterworth, Noma Bar, Oliver Jeffers, Owen
Gildersleeve, Paul Cox, Peony Gent, Peter Nencini, Posy Simmonds, Rachael Ball,
Rob Biddulph, Rob Ryan, Roderick Mills, Rubyetc, Russell Mills, Sabba Khan, Sara
Fanelli, Sharon King-Chai, Sharpay Chenyuè Yuán, Shonagh Rae, Simone Lia, Siôn
Ap Tomos, Skye Baker, Steven Appleby, Thomas Hedger, Tom Abbiss Smith, Tom
Gauld, Toya Walker, YiMiao Shih, Zoom Rockman.

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