I’ve just spent the last few days with a good friend of mine, the very talented children’s author/illustrator Chris Mould. He was kind enough to invite me along with our great friend Emma O’Donovan, better known to some for her online presence as the book reviewing blog The Book Sniffer. The deal was he would put up with our company for the w/e. We would be fed, driven around and generally pampered in exchange for being dragged along to his exhibition SPINELESS – Dissecting the Art of the Children’s Book which is currently being shown at the Museum of Hartlepool.
Y’know actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
I’m joking of course. Chris really is one of the best illustrators around, he has been for a while in my opinion. And I’m delighted to say he has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for best illustrated children’s book of the year for his wonderful book Pistols ‘n’ Pirates.
Regular visitors will know that I usually let the pictures do the talking. No change here really, other than to say that looking at Chris’ work reminds me how important it is for an illustrator to have the ability to draw. I worry that this basic requirement appears not to be of primary importance these days (enough said). Chris is a wonderful draughtsman. Lively and full of character, he’s a master of the black and white line. Oh, and have I mentioned he can write? Check out his glorious series Something Wickedly Weird and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. (Do check out the fabulous website).
Emma showing off Chris’ tote bag design.
Sadly, the poor quality of these photos don’t do justice to these remarkable originals.
Chris’ artwork was beautifully displayed.
With a chance to see pages from his sketchbooks…
…and a rare opportunity at some recent work: painting random pebbles found on a beech while on holiday.
As I say, his black and white work is something else (again, apologies for the poor quality).
Here’s Chris not looking self conscious while I fumble with my iPhone.
Chris demonstrating the importance of not touching the artwork with sticky fingers.
Chris and Emma relaxing in the reading area.
Finally, me and Chris. We’re not doing ourselves any favours with this one.
Check out Chris’s blog for current projects and sketchbook shenanigans.