The Casual Optimist

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Simon Schama on Illustrator Quentin Blake

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Simon Schama profiles artist and illustrator Quentin Blake for the FT Weekend Magazine:

Blake comes straight out of this 18th-century tradition of rococo mischief, the arabesque ride through the storyline. I ask him if he ever thought of painting full-time? He tells me that he didn’t think he could make a living as a painter and then, more importantly, that his instinct was always for the marriage of words and image, the connections that propel a tale forwards. Though everyone who loves his work will have their own laugh-out-loud moments… Blake doesn’t think of himself as a humorist.

“The humour is a by-product [of the story]. You draw the scene, what people are doing, their reaction to it, and if it’s funny, it comes out. There are certain books where you play it for laughs but it’s always more interesting in a dramatic situation.”

‘Inside Story’, an exhibition of Blake’s work, opens at the House of Illustration in London July 2, 2014.

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One Comment

  1. “Rococo mischief” What a great description!

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