In my mind, that was a funny title. Sort of like a failed pun.
Obviously, everyone interested in illustration knows who Chris Riddell is. But for those of you out there less interested in the scribbles which are not words, found in books sometimes (aka illustrations), he is the current Children’s Laureate, as well as a brilliant artist, writer of children’s books, and political cartoonist.
I’ve been meaning to excitedly write about his illustrations for a while now. Because I’ve always thought that illustrations and final art, in general, is meant to have colour, or lots of cool shading that makes an art student gasp and drool (obviously, whilst rolling in envy and crippling self doubt).
However, his illustrations are not made of palettes of colour and envy-inducing shading.
His illustrations are made of strong, self-assured, awe-inspiring lines. His is a world of lines that swish and roll, rising into new skies and carving new worlds from the white of paper. It seems simple. After all, it’s just lines. But the patterns are not simple. The characters are not simple. The worlds are not simple.It is a simple way which nonetheless enchants the eye and mind, giving you something so much more intricate than a collection of lines.
And what I love the most, is his frequent partnership with Neil Gaiman. I cannot think of the Graveyard Book, without visualising Riddell’s fascinating illustrations.
As long as there are books written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, I feel the world will be ok. It’s my safety blanket.