Chris Riddell is the new children's laureate

The illustrator and writer has worked with Quentin Blake and Neil Gaiman

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The Independent Culture

Illustrator and writer Chris Riddell has been confirmed to take over from Malorie Blackman as the UK's new children's laureate.

The 53-year-old has worked alongside famous authors such as Neil Gaiman and Quentin Blake, as well as illustrating comedian Russell Brand's first children's book.

He is the Observer's political cartoonist and helped Blake develop the House of Illustration gallery which opened in London last year, as well as winning the Costa Children's Book Award for his first Goth Girl novel in 2013.

Six questions for Chris Riddell - answered

Riddell's job will involve organising events and posting an illustration daily on a "laureate log". He will focus on encouraging creativity and championing libraries during his two-year stint in the role.

"Do you have hands? Excellent. That's a good start. Can you hold a pencil? Great," Riddell said before his appointment was announced at Bafta in London. "If you have a sketchbook, open it and start by making a line, a mark, wherever. Doodle. Take a line for a walk, as Paul Klee said. Lose your inhibitions about drawing and just do it."

Check out some of the awesome drawings Riddell has posted on his social media accounts below. His 'Sketchbook' Tumblr is also definitely worth a follow, if you aren't already a fan.

Poet Ted Hughes and children's writer Michael Morpugo launched the children's laureateship in the Nineties while Hughes was poet laureate. Riddell is the third illustrator to hold the post.

"I want to show how much fun you can have drawing...parents and children can draw together as a wonderful shared activity," he told the Guardian.

"I want to bring drawing back to the basics, make it about the pleasure that it can afford and remove the notion that it's some kind of precious or difficult activity. It's another way of telling a story."

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