Quentin Blake was born in the suburbs of London in 1932 and has drawn ever since he can remember.
Blake has always made his living as an illustrator. He taught at The Royal College of Art, where he was head of the Illustration department from 1978 till 1986. His first drawings were published in Punch when he was 16 and still at school. He continued to draw for Punch, The Spectator and other magazines for many years. It was also at this time he entered the world of children’s books with ‘A Drink of Water’ by John Yeoman in 1960.
Blake is well known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aitken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and most famously Roald Dahl. He has also illustrated classic books including ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Candide’. He has also created some much loved characters of his own including Mr Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
Since the 1990’s Quentin Blake has had an additional career as an exhibition curator at The National Gallery, The British Library and The Musee du Petit Palais Paris. In the last few years he has focused on hospitals and healthcare settings in the UK and France. Most recently he has completed a scheme for the whole of a maternity unit in Angers.
Over the years Quentin’s books have won many awards culminating in 2002 when he received, ‘The Hans Christian Anderson Award’ for illustration. This is regarded as the highest international recognition given to the creators of children’s books. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever, ‘Children’s Laureate’ followed in 2005 by becoming a CBE. This led to a Knighthood in 2015 for his services to illustration.