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Winegums, Wonderland and writing! Chris Riddell at FLY!

On Tuesday 21st June 2016 I attended the Chis Riddell Workshop as part of my role on the FLY Media Team. Riddell is now the only person in the world who has won the Kate Greenaway award three times so it was an honour seeing him. At the start he was introduced to us by Antoinette Moses the festival producer. While this was going on Riddell was busy drawing personalized birthday cards for people in the audience.

When Antoinette had finished, Riddell got a whole pile of cards and explained to us that these were questions. I was intrigued to see what he was planning to do with them. First he showed us his diary that he kept. Whenever he’s doing something he draws it. I was astounded by the quality of his art work.

Throughout the workshop there were some very intelligent questions such as What Inspired you to Become an Illustrater? To which he responded “winegums!”. At first I thought this sounded very weird but he explained that his father was a vicar and he hated going to church so he would slide the prayer cushions when it was quiet. Also he used to blow on peoples necks so his mum gave him some paper and pencil to draw with. An old lady used to sit next to him and feed him winegums. Writers also inspired Riddell to draw. One book in particular called One by Sarah Crosnan about conjoined twins. Riddell really enjoyed drawing illustrations in Crosnan’s book and hopes that he can illustrate it in the future.  

Riddell’s favourite childhood book is Alice in Wonderland and he always wanted to draw the White Rabbit by John Tenniel. His advice to anyone who wanted to write was “just do it yourself and practice.” 

Liesl Hammer