Celebrated illustrator Chris Riddell OBE visits NUA

Celebrated illustrator Chris Riddell OBE visits NUA

The illustrator and author delivered a workshop and lecture to BA Illustration students.

Celebrated illustrator, children’s book author and political satirist Chris Riddell OBE visited NUA to deliver a live drawing lecture and afternoon workshop to BA (Hons) Illustration students.

Chris has an expansive career in illustration; from working as a political cartoonist for Economist Magazine and The Observer, illustrating children’s books for the likes of Neil Gaiman and Paul Stewart, to being an author in his own right. Chris was also awarded the position of Children’s Laureate in 2015-2017, a role given to a writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.

Chris delivered a live projected drawing lecture to students, documenting his career through illustrations as well as giving general advice on idea generation, the importance of sketchbooks and ‘sketchbook strategy’.

“Don’t think, just draw something!” said Chris. “Keep generating things and turn them into projects.”

“Chris’s lecture made me want to draw, draw, and then draw some more!” said first year student Josie Harvey.

Chris then spent the afternoon talking to small groups of students about his life as a busy professional illustrator and writer. He also looked through each student’s work, providing insightful and knowledgeable feedback. He spent time with each student, got to know them and their work as well as their ambitions.

“It was a great moment for students to consider their own work in terms of a career trajectory and have the opportunity to talk to someone who has achieved so much and worked with many high-profile figures on recognisable projects. The buzz in the studio was palpable” said lecturer Nigel Coton.

First year students Eloise Morgan and Freya Kemp both reflected on the workshop: “It was highly enjoyable to speak to someone who is so well-known in the business, and to then be able to walk down the street and see his work – it was really inspirational” said Eloise.

“Chris spent time looking through my work, saying what he liked and what worked. He gave me really great advice on how to develop my style” said Freya.