Three Guardian children’s books site members – Rosa AKA Rosa.Reader, Joshua AKA Confessions of a Book Lover and Lucy AKA Horselover3000 – conducted one of the first interviews with new children’s laureate Chris Riddell at his inauguration ceremony at Bafta.
Lucy: What will you bring to the role of children’s laureate?
Chris: I want to have a lot of fun. I’m going to do the laureate log so you can follow what I do any time of day or night. I tend to sit up in bed in the middle of the night with a great idea and start drawing. I want it to be an open experience, so that people can see what I’m getting up to. I want to talk about sketchbooks and why they are so important to me and how they have influenced my life.
Chris to Lucy, Rosa and Joshua: Do any of you draw?
Lucy and Rosa: Yes, yes
Chris: Why not?
Joshua: I just don’t…I can’t!
Chris: Do you have hands? Can you hold a pencil? [hands him a pencil]
Can you make a mark on this piece of paper?
He was drawing! Congratulations! My diagnosis – you can draw! Now go for a wander with it. Do a few stick people, maybe an elephant. Never say you cannot draw.
Get a sketchbook and fill it up with drawings and notes and shopping lists, you can draw in your own way and it’s personal to you. It teaches you how to think visually. We can think in all sorts of ways but it is important to think of ideas as visual things – we can draw a problem and a landscape of ideas around it. Everyone can draw and what I want to talk about as laureate is promoting drawing. Everyone can draw so let’s all get sketchbooks and draw in them every day.