‘In recent years I have found myself working increasingly in sequences of drawings which explore subjects and techniques which interest me. These sequences vary in approach and tone, and between reality and fantasy. But I hope that in each of them in its own way will appeal to anyone who like looking at drawings.’ Quentin Blake 2019
Quentin Blake, like many illustrators, works essentially in isolation. In normal times he would make two daily trips to his office across the square from where he lives to see what business there was for him to deal with. But during the lockdowns he had no such distractions and demands made of his time. There was still some commissioned works; he finished two books and he did some work for charities raising funds to deal with the lockdowns. But Quentin had a lot more time to explore his visual interests and go wherever his imagination took him.
Some of these series were drawn at 6.00 am while he was still in bed. The medium he used for each series was partly decided by whatever was to hand; pencil, biro or Sennelier oil pastels. Similarly, the size, colour and quality of the paper would be decided by what was available.
This book is an edited selection of over 3,000 drawings Quentin produced from March 2020 to February 2021; a portfolio of new personal work, not commissioned and not meant for publication. They provide a unique insight into what happens when a great artist is left to his own devices.