1. 1932

    Born in Sidcup, Kent
  2. 1938

    (approximately) Picks up a pencil (or crayon) and has drawn every day ever since

  3. 1940

    Evacuated to the West Country away from the London Blitz

  4. 1943

    Starts at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, where there is now a Quentin Blake Art Building.  Has drawings published in the school magazine, The Chronicle.

  5. 1949

    First cartoon published in Punch magazine.  “They paid me seven guineas.  I didn’t have a bank account so that when I got the first cheque I didn’t know what to do with it.”

  6. 1951

    Begins two years of National Service, serving in the Royal Army Educational Corps.  Illustrates English Parade, a booklet to help soldiers learn to read.

  7. 1953

    Enters Downing College, Cambridge to study English.  Whilst at University, produces two covers for the student magazine, Granta.

  8. 1956

    University of London Institute of Education – trains to be a teacher.

  9. 1957

    Attends Life Classes at Chelsea Art School, part-time.

  10. 1960

    Illustrated first children’s book, called 'A Drink of Water', written by John Yeoman.

  11. 1965

    Begins teaching at the Royal College of Art.

  12. 1968

    Writes first children’s book, Patrick, illustrated in full colour.

  13. 1974

    Begins collaboration with Russell Hoban, illustrating How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen.  Russell Hoban died in 2011, a few months before the publication of Rosie’s Magic Horse, their final book together.
    Also begins long-lasting collaborations with Michael Rosen and Joan Aiken.

  14. 1976

    Illustrates first classic book for The Folio Society, London: The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll.  A further 13 titles follow, including Animal Farm by George Orwell (1984), Cervantes' Don Quixote (1995), Voltaire's Candide (2011), Fifty Fables of La Fontaine (2013) and Waiting for Godot (2021).
  15. 1977

    Appeares on BBC TV Jackanory narrating and illustrating his 'Lester' stories live on camera.

  16. 1978

    Becomes Head of the Illustration Department at the Royal College of Art.  Publishes first book with Roald Dahl - The Enormous Crocodile – followed by (among others) The Twits, The BFG and Matilda.  Their collaboration continued until Roald Dahl’s death in 1990.

  17. 1980

    Mister Magnolia published, which wins the Kate Greenaway medal.
    Appointed RDI (Royal Designer for Industry) at the RSA in London.

  18. 1982

    Becomes a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (now the Chartered Society of Designers) for which he designed a Christmas card full of his characteristic humour.

    Illustrates Roald Dahl's The BFG, receiving one of the author's sandals through the post during the collaborative process
  19. 1983

    Awarded the ‘Silver Paintbrush’ (in The Netherlands) for illustrations in Roald Dahl’s The BFG.  Roald Dahl wins the ‘Silver Slate Pencil’ for the book at the same time. 

    Becomes an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

  20. 1987

    The unstoppable Mrs Armitage and her faithful hound Breakspear appear for their first outing, Mrs Armitage on Wheels.  These are the only two of Quentin's characters ever to appear in more than one story, with Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave (1997) and Mrs Armitage, Queen of the Road (2003) continuing their adventures.

  21. 1988

    Appointed OBE.

  22. 1989

    Becomes a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art, where he had taught for over 20 years and inspired a generation of students

  23. 1990

    Wins the Kurt Maschler award for All Join In

  24. 1991

    Becomes a trustee of the newly-established Roald Dahl Foundation.  (It is now Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, with Quentin as one of its Co-Presidents). 
  25. 1992

    Illustrates Mortimer and Arabel – the final book in the much-loved series by Joan Aiken.  Their collaboration began in 1974.

  26. 1993

    Commissioned by the Royal Mail to design a set of postage stamps based on Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol

  27. 1994

    Commissioned to illustrate the early Roald Dahl titles which had been published prior to their collaboration, including Fantastic Mr Fox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

  28. 1996

    Wins the Bologna Ragazzi Prize, and the Nestle Smarties Book Prize (bronze medal) both for Clown

  29. 1997

    Turns 65.  Tries to retire....

  30. 1998

    Wins the Kurt Maschler Award, and the Nestle Smarties Book Prize (bronze medal), for The Green Ship

  31. 1999

    Appointed as first Children’s Laureate for a two-year term.

  32. 2000

    Supports the newly-formed arts education charity 'The Campaign for Drawing' and is a regular contributor to Big Draw events each year for the next decade.

    Awarded Honorary Fellowships at Downing College, Cambridge, Brighton University and the Royal Academy of Arts.
  33. 2001

    Curates 'Tell Me a Picture' at the National Gallery, the first exhibition in which he apparently 'draws on the walls' thanks to large-scale printing of his artworks.

    Awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the Royal College of Art and an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law (DCL) at Northumbria University 

  34. 2002

    Wins the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious award for children’s books.  Created 'Chevalier' in the 'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' in France for services to literature.

     A bilingual German-English school in Berlin becomes 'The Quentin Blake Europe School' in his honour.
  35. 2003

    Major retrospective exhibition, 'Quentin Blake – Fifty Years of Illustration', opens at Somerset House in London.  It toured the UK for two years.

  36. 2004

    Illustrates Michael Rosen’s 'Sad Book', which wins the 4-11 category in the English Book Awards. Michael Rosen, who is himself a former Children’s Laureate, is another long-standing collaborator.  

    Awarded an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) at Cambridge University, and becomes an Honorary Fellow (Hon RWS) of the Royal Watercolour Society.

  37. 2005

    Appointed CBE. Curates an exhibition called 'Les Demoiselles des Bords de Seine' to celebrate the re-opening of the Petit Palais in Paris.

  38. 2006

    First commission from The Nightingale Project, to produce artwork for an older adults’ ward in a London hospital. This is the beginning of a fruitful collaboration that produced more than 350 artworks for hospitals in the UK and France.

    Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Open University and an Honorary Fellowship by Cardiff University.
  39. 2007

    Creates a five-storey-high wrap for a building in St Pancras.  (The building was derelict so the wrap provided a more welcoming sight for travellers arriving at the new St Pancras International station across the road.)

    Appointed as 'Officier' in the 'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' in France, and receives Honorary Doctorates from Loughborough University (DLitt) and the University of the Arts London. Becomes a Companion in the Guild of St George.

  40. 2008

    Wins JM Barrie Award for 'a lifetime's achievement in delighting children with work that will stand the test of time'.   Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Institute of Education, London University (DLitt Education).

  41. 2009

    Produces ‘An Informal Panorama’ – a giant frieze celebrating great historical figures from Cambridge University – for its 800th anniversary.  The frieze is now on permanent display in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
    Illustrates ‘Mr Stink’, the second of two books with David Walliams.  The book sold more than 500,000 copies in the UK within its first five years and has been adapted both for television and the stage.
  42. 2010

    Commissioned to provide artwork for an entire maternity hospital in Angers, France, making many visits to the site whilst it was under construction.  Draws artwork for the different specialist areas including the delivery rooms, midwives' station, fathers' room and the glass façade on the front of the building.  Attends the official opening in 2011.
  43. 2011

    Awarded the Prince Philip Designers’ Prize by the Chartered Society of Designers, the last one to be presented by HRH Prince Philip in person.

    The exhibition 'Quentin Blake: As Large as Life', a celebration of his work for hospitals since 2005, opens at Compton Verney, Warwickshire.  The show toured the UK until late 2014.
  44. 2012

    Publishes  Beyond the Page, an account of his work since 2000, much of which has been for hospitals and other public spaces.

    Receives the Eleanor Farjeon Award for his outstanding contribution to the world of children's books.

  45. 2013

    Receives a knighthood for ‘services to illustration’ in the New Year’s Honours list.  Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
  46. 2014

    Awarded the insignia of ‘Chevalier’ in the French Légion d’honneur.  

    Landmark show ‘Quentin Blake: Inside Stories’ is the inaugural exhibition at the new London home of the House of Illustration.
  47. 2015

    Admitted as a Freeman of the City of London.   

    Creates artworks for 'Life under Water: A Hastings Celebration', a special exhibition for the Jerwood Gallery, inspired by the town where he has a home. 

    The newly-reopened children's library at the Institut Francais in London is renamed 'Bibliotheque Quentin Blake' in his honour.

  48. 2016

    Commissioned to illustrate an unpublished story by Beatrix Potter, 'The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots' to coincide with her 150th anniversary.
    Helps to celebrate the centenary of his friend and most well-known collaborator, Roald Dahl.
    Curates 'Seven Kinds of Magic', the inaugural exhibition in the House of Illustration's new Quentin Blake Gallery.
    Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Rose Bruford College, Sidcup.

  49. 2017

    Takes his work in a new direction and scale at Jerwood Gallery's 'Quentin Blake: The Only Way to Travel' exhibition

    Illustrates 'Billy and the Minpins' for the first time, twenty five years after its first publication.  It is the only children's title by friend and collaborator, Roald Dahl, for which he had not provided pictures before

  50. 2018

    Creates a unique mural at the Science Museum in London, depicting 20 of the world's leading scientists and innovators of the past 200 years

  51. 2019

    Illustrates John Ruskin's classic book 'The King of the Golden River' to celebrate the book's 150th anniversary

    Embarks on an ambitious scheme of self-publishing with an eclectic new series of 20 books of drawings titled 'The QB Papers'

  52. 2020

    Creates a giant 30 x 5-foot mural entitled 'The Taxi Driver' - described as his 'Guernica' - for Hastings Contemporary's exhibition, 'We Live in Worrying Times'
    A set of his 10 'rainbow' drawings created during the first coronavirus lockdown is auctioned to raise money for the NHS
  53. 2021

    With Thames and Hudson, publishes 'A Year of Drawings', a selection of some of the 5,000 personal artworks he created during the lockdowns of 2020 - 2021.

    A major new documentary about his career, 'The Drawing of my Life', is aired on BBC Two on Christmas Day

  54. 2022

    Becomes a Companion of Honour (CH) in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours list