The children’s illustrator Quentin Blake has been in the news this week, as he has received a Knighthood in the new years honours list. The team of Blake and author Roald Dahl created some of the most memorable characters in the world of children’s literature – Blake’s work is so distinctive you couldn’t fail to recognise it. The official Roald Dahl website wouldn’t be the same without these signature illustrations.
There is no doubt that the stoies themselves would be loved without the illustrations, but I began to wonder how much the creation of these distinctive drawings had on the development of Dahl’s work. And how much did it help the popularity of the books?
I remember when I first discovered the artwork of Brian Froud, who worked a lot with Jim Henson on another two of my childhood favourites – the films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. I like to think the characters and landscapes evolved thanks to a combination of the intricate artwork of Froud and the creative ideas of Henson, allowing the personalities of the characters to develop around the images and vice versa, with the two creative mediums being completely intertwined, both unable to evolve without inspiring the other.