Today’s guest is Chris Riddell, a British illustrator based in Brighton. Chris has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including Pirate Diary by Richard Platt, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, which both won the Kate Greenaway Medal. He also writes and illustrates his own children’s books.

Podcast Ep 72 Creative Chat with Children’s Illustrator and Political Cartoonist Chris Riddell

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Chris Riddell was a Children’s laureate from 2015 to 2017. The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Chris is also a renowned political cartoonist, whose work appears regularly in UK newspapers. 

We have been trying to get Chris on the podcast for over a year, and wow was it worth the wait. He is such an interesting man, we hope you love this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it.

The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Guardians of Magic (c) Chris Riddell 2019, Macmillan Children's Books

The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Guardians of Magic © Chris Riddell 2019, Macmillan Children’s Books

Some of the things we chat about

  • We ask Chris how he took his influence from Raymond Briggs, his tutor (who illustrated the Snowman), but went on to develop his own unique style. 
  • His thoughts on whether artists are born with talent or if it’s something that can be learned
  • Chris offers his tips on drawing from imagination, something many of us struggle with and suggests an exercise to try
  • Why he recommends keeping a secret sketchbook
  • What made him decide to write his own children’s stories as well as illustrate? He also has a fascinating process of how he does this!
  • Chris’ work as a political cartoonist for the Observer and how the process differs from his children’s illustration
  • His time being Children’s Laureate and what that means?
  • How a novice illustrator can create their own opportunities.
Love in the Time of Coronavirus, text (c) Nikita Gill 2020, illustration (c) Chris Riddell 2020. From Poems To Save The World With by Chris Riddell, Macmillan Children’s Books

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, text (c) Nikita Gill 2020, illustration © Chris Riddell 2020. From Poems To Save The World With by Chris Riddell, Macmillan Children’s Books

Books that Chris has been working on

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © Lewis Caroll 1865, illustration (c) Chris Riddell 2020, Macmillan Children’s Books

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland © Lewis Caroll 1865, illustration (c) Chris Riddell 2020, Macmillan Children’s Books

Find out more about Chris Riddell

 

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