World-famous illustrator designs calendar for storytelling festival

Quentin Blake calendar SUS-140511-123521001
Quentin Blake calendar SUS-140511-123521001

World-famous illustrator Sir Quentin Blake has produced a unique calendar especially for this year’s Hastings Storytelling Festival.

The much-loved cartoonist, illustrator and children’s writer is a patron of the annual festival and will be signing a limited number of the calendars, which go on sale at outlets across town this week.

Sir Quentin is best known for bringing to life the characters in Roald Dahl’s children’s novels, including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.

The calendar, which features original images chosen by Sir Quentin especially for the unique, one-off product, will cost £10 and be available from The Hastings Tourist Information Centre, The Jerwood Gallery, Just Property, Burstow & Hewett and Nelson House Antiques. Signed copies are available to buy from any of the storytelling events at the festival, which runs from November 10-16.

Sir Quentin’s illustrations are seen all over the world. He has been drawing for Punch, The Spectator and various other magazines since he was 16 years old, as well as providing pictures for authors including Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most famously, Roald Dahl.

He has also illustrated classic books, including A Christmas Carol, and created much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.

Sir Quentin has been a teacher at the Royal College of Art for more than 20 years and has also had an additional career as a exhibition curator, curating shows in the National Gallery, the British Library and the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris.

The popular illustrator has received many awards and accolades along the years, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration in 2002. In 2004, he was awarded the ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Government for services to literature and in 2007 he was made Officier in the same order. He received a knighthood for ‘services to illustration’ in the New Year’s Honours for 2013.

The Hastings Storytelling Festival is now in its fourth year and will focus on performance, with original tales told through spoken word, poetry, puppetry, song and movement. It will take place at locations across Hastings and St Leonards.

Dick Edwards, chairman of the festival, said, “These days we are used to experiencing stories through a screen.

“The idea behind the festival is to bring the magic of the spoken word to diverse audiences across the town.”

For more information, including a full programme, visit