Sitting behind the big screen at the House of Illustration's 'Open Doors' campaign fundraiser, as drawing after drawing unfolded (backwards, since we illustrators hid round the back with the projector), I was totally swept up by the magic of it. Most of us get nervous or jumpy about drawing in public individually, but every drawing by every illustrator that I watched put down on those scraps of paper and up on the screen looked like, well, magic of the best kind. Huge thanks are due to Emma Chichester Clark for getting us all together.
Last up was Master Magician Sir Quentin Blake, and I think I speak for at least one generation (and probably a couple more) of illustrators when I say that his work is not even so much an influence as part of our very make-up, having breathed it in since early childhood. Watching him at work was totally joyful.
And yeah, I got to do my bit while Doctor Who, I mean Peter Capaldi (his days as himself, or even Malcolm Tucker are probably already over aren't they?) read aloud.
The picture and video were taken by Andrea MacDonald.
Here is a list of all the illustrators who were up on stage during the reading from Lewis Carroll's the Hunting of the Snark: Marion Deuchars, me, Chris Riddell, Polly Dunbar, Sam Usher, and Sir Quentin Blake.
The readers were: Peter Capaldi, Simon Russell Beale, Celia Imry, and Joanna Lumley.
And the room was full to the brim with other great drawers, several of whom were up and drawing after the reading. Tor Freeman, Viv Schwarz, Benji Davies, Steve Lenton, Alex T Smith, David Roberts, Bruce Ingman... the list goes on and on beyond what I remember, or who I had a chance to meet.
Huge apologies to those I've forgotten. And everyone should look gravely at the pun in the headline.