excerpted from Quentin Blake’s Message to Illustrators:
“It is quite difficult to offer advice to an artist starting out in illustration without talking about individual portfolios of work. There are problems about who, artistically, you are; your relationship with your talent and what actually is. You may find something out by discussion with your companions or with more experienced artists; as well as that I think you have to remain on the alert for the things that you do that seem to work best, that seem most like you.
There is the other problem that there is no defined career structure â?? all I have been able to do is to record some of my own experiences in getting started in a book called Words and Pictures. Some of that may be out of date, as it took place a few years ago â?? but there may be some interest in a parallel, though different, development.
I think itâ??s important not to lose sight of the fact that illustration is not a diluted form of painting. In the world of book illustration, for instance, what corresponds to a painting is not one illustration but the whole sequence of illustrators, with implications of design, narrative, atmosphere, commentary. The constraints are not necessarily a denaturing of what you do; they may require that you do something that you would mot have discovered otherwise.
In the hope that it may be useful evidence we offer here some examples of the story of a book, and show roughs and preliminary drawings as well as the final versions.”
This site will rock your socks. I promise! (Be prepared to spend some serious time here!)
And don’t miss the video of Quentin in action.