Kate went to St Pancras Grand (v. nice place on top floor of St Pancras, where you could go for a romantic dinner before you got on the Eurostar if that was the kind of life you led) for the launch of the Magic Bird Club (illustration © Quentin Blake 2010), which is a members scheme to support the House of Illustration.
The House of Illustration will be the UK’s first public gallery dedicated to celebrating and championing the art of illustration in all its forms. It will provide a home for illustration past and present, international and British. Quentin Blake, whose idea it is, has committed to donating his archive, and spoke (charmingly, eloquently) about the importance of illustration in creating composite works of art in the form of books.
Invited by fellow independent publisher, Klaus Flugge (who talked in his speech about British children’s book illustration being the best in the world), Kate felt a bit of an impostor, though there were lots of people she knew there: the cost of becoming a member is £100 per month for three years, which is rather beyond the Crow’s wallet right now. Kate’s going to email Tatiana Kennedy, who’s head of development for the House of Illustration, suggesting a cut-price associate members/friends scheme.
At Nosy Crow we agree that we’re privileged to be able to work with British children’s book illustrators (and illustrators who live in Britain). They have such a wonderful tradition to draw on, from George Cruikshank, Arthur Rackham, John Tenniel and Kate Greenaway to Shirley Hughes, Quentin Blake, Raymond Briggs, Anthony Browne, Helen Oxenbury, Axel Scheffler, Lauren Child and countless others.
Please write in to tell us who your favourite children’s book illustrators are … oooh, and we can do a survey (Kate likes a nice survey).