Chris Riddell at Bath Children’s Literature Festival

Children’s author and illustrator Chris Riddell brought his jumbo stack of paper and fine liner pen to Bath!

In this performance, he showcased new book Guardians of Magic and his life as a writer. I found it stunning to find out about his life and experience the world of his characters and work. His visualiser meant we could watch him illustrate live at the Guildhall as he described his drawings and took us through his sketchbooks.

I found it very interesting how he came across his three heroes’ names in his latest book. They were inspired by an awkward mistake with an unusually named child at another literature event (Zam), the young American singer of his favourite band (Phoebe) and a forgotten gravestone (Bathsheba). This fun draw-along let us have a sneak peek into the creative mind of a master illustrator and writer.

His amazing artist’s hand bamboozled us drawing wonderful stories of his childhood, life and work. And if you have ever brought The Guardian newspaper and laughed at a monstrous cartoon Donald Trump or Boris Johnson, you might have just looked at one of his works of art as his amazingly quick drawing even keeps up with the latest news.

Ash Alway

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