Sir Quentin Blake is one of the world’s most famous illustrators. Before the digital age, Quentin Blake made a living as a professional illustrator. As well as working as a professional illustrator, he was a teacher for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art.

Blake’s work was acknowledged when some of his first drawings were published in Punch. At the time Blake was only 16 years old and from there he continued to draw for Punch, The Spectator, and other magazines for many years.

Over the years Blake has worked with a number of successful writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most notably, Roald Dahl.

Mothers and Babies Underwater By Quentin Blake


There have been many highlights in Blake’s career. In recent years the artist has been creating illustrated pieces for hospitals. Blake believe that the power of illustration can “help people who are in a variety of therapeutic situations and life transitions”.

The drawings featured are both celebratory with a joyful energy. The image is of a mother and baby wo appear to be swimming. This image has several connotations and many instead see the pair flying, in regards to the characters inside of this piece, Blake has commented noting that is “a celebration of what’s going to happen and a reassurance that it is going to happen”.

Before Blake started the project he was told by the treasurer of the project that: “what matters about this project is the exchange of looks between mother and baby”.


You’re Only Young Twice

From young to old, the next series of pieces created by Blake was entitles: You’re Only Young Twice. Blake’s appeal was just as strong for elderly mental health patients when he released this collection in 2013.

The piece below, along with many other was created for the walls of a hospital unit, for elderly mental health patients.  Blake wanted want to create pieces that were light-hearted and humorous. Keeping in mind that Blake was the same age as some of the patients at the hospital, it was important to him that they enjoyed his work:

“I drew a parallel world, mostly in trees, where they could not only dance and sing and eat, but swing from branch to branch if they felt like it. I think they liked it: at least one patient exclaimed, “They are wonderful. They encourage us to do all the things we are not supposed to.”


McLaggan and Smith Ceramics

Mug design brand, McLaggan and Smith, sell a range of Sir Quentin Blake ceramics. They were inspired to release a selection of pieces featuring the work of this famous artist as he is “one of Britain’s best-loved artists and illustrators”.

So far, the ceramics have been extremely popular and McLaggan and Smith believe that his legacy will influence generations of children to experiment with design and illustration.

The main attraction to the works of Quentin Blake is that he appeals to all ages. The ceramic brand has created a varied range with Quentin Blake’s designs screen printed onto them.  As always, this range captures the humorous side of Blake’s work and there is a bespoke mug for every member of the family.

There is a sense of nostalgia which surrounds the work of Quentin Blake and perhaps that is why his work is so popular with all age ranges. If you know Quentin Blake for his most well-known work in the BFG books, you will be delighted to hear that a selection of unpublished drawings was released earlier this year.  These drawings are currently being shown at the “BFG in pictures exhibition” at London’s House of Illustration.