Quentin Blake Centre launches the UK’s first National Illustration Day

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Lena Yokoyama created National Illustration Day’s quirky identity

Grab your pencils! Public arts organisation The Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration has today launched the UK’s first country-wide celebration of pictures and the people who make them with National Illustration Day, which will take place on 24 November.

Everyone has a special connection with illustrations. They’re a strong presence in the first books we learn to read, and even as adults they have a unique ability to make a point in a way that words alone simply cannot. So to celebrate their importance and the artists who draw them, the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration has announced a special day dedicated to all things illustration.

Due to take place on 24 November, National Illustration Day is the first of its kind in the UK. Taking place in schools up and down the country, as all as online with the help of the hashtag #NationalIllustrationDay, this event will focus on inspiring and much-loved illustration from picture books, posters, icons and beyond.

People will be invited to get involved online by sharing their favourite illustrations, while schools, libraries and home educators will encourage children to celebrate the medium with the help of free online resources. These will help budding illustrators to bring their ideas to life as drawings, paintings, sculptures or even digital works.

The illustrated celebrations will then be shared in a special digital gallery, which will provide a snapshot of what young people think of the event across the UK in 2023 for generations to come.

Illustrator and Quentin Blake Centre Ambassador Lauren Child said: “Visual literacy is a universal language that allows us to navigate the world and understand each other better. Illustration is a beautifully immediate and impactful way to make a point, get across information, provide clarity — but it also imparts powerful emotion and empathy.

“Everyone can enjoy drawing and making pictures — it can be very nourishing for us to take a moment and observe the world around us. I’m delighted that there will now be a day to celebrate this art form and invite everyone to join in this joyful pursuit.”

And that’s not all. In Islington, where the Quentin Blake Centre is establishing a new cultural destination opening in 2025, there will be a special National Illustration Day pop up at the Angel Central shopping centre. This will offer drop-in workshops on the day and encourage people to give the art of illustration a go.

Lena Yokoyama has worked for outlets such as the New York Times and The Guardian

To capture the joy and fun of making pictures, illustrator Lena Yokoyama was on hand to create the visual identity for the big day. Covering everything from its logo to stickers, posters and activity sheets, Lena’s identity perfectly reflects the eternal pleasure of creating images.

Quentin Blake Centre Director Lindsey Glen said: “National Illustration Day is a celebration of the everyday images that tell us stories, explain ideas, instruct and persuade us.

“At Quentin Blake Centre we’re on a mission to champion this vital, immediate and accessible form of communication, and to empower people of all ages to share their stories and ideas. We can’t wait to see the illustrations posted online across the UK as part of this new national celebration!”

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