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Quentin Blake discusses his artwork for James Blake

By | Published on Tuesday 17 May 2016

James Blake

Illustrator Quentin Blake has spoken about working with James Blake (no relation) on the artwork for his new album, ‘The Colour In Anything’, via a letter to Mary Anne Hobbs. Which is just delightful, I think we can all agree.

Hobbs contacted Blake (Quentin) to ask about his work with Blake (James) for her BBC 6 Music show, presumably hoping for some sort of response in audio form, as the medium would usually demand. A letter will definitely do in this situation though.

“I’m sort of a musical illiterate in that although I listen to music, I don’t really know what’s happening”, he wrote. “Nevertheless, I can respond to atmosphere and James and I have, I think, some similar ideas about how the imagination works”.

He continued: “Of course the landscape which I drew for his music is very different to the one that I did for children [in his book ‘Patrick’, which was the original inspiration for the album’s artwork]. I’m not sure whether it’s James having an effect on the landscape, or the landscape having an effect on him, but it was wonderful for me to draw those dark cloudy vistas and the strange trees inhabited by crows and young women”.

Finally, he wrote: “At the time I produced these pictures James had not completed his work on the music and it may just be fanciful but it would be nice to think they had perhaps contributed in some small way to what we eventually hear”.

Listen to Mary Anne Hobbs’ reading Quentin Blake’s letter in full here:



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