The wonderfully inquisitive works of Daniel Frost are some of our favourite illustrations and as such, we were curious to see what kind of books he’d reference as inspirational to his own practice. The RCA alumni didn’t disappoint with some new and old favourites, all of them absolute classics…
The Twits Roald Dahl, Illustrations by Quentin Blake
I remember when I first got this I was quite young, can’t remember how old I was, but I remember that it was one of those books that was on offer on the back of a Weetabix cereal box, to get it you just had to collect the coupons on the box. Of course, you had to buy tons of Weetabix to get enough coupons, but it was really worth it! It has been one of the biggest inspirations for my work,
Quentin Blake’s illustrations being one of the reasons I started drawing and wanting to be an illustrator. It seems to me that this book was just made for Blake’s illustrations; his scratchy style really suits the characters of Mr and Mrs Twit. I really love the idea of two grown-ups having nothing to but to play practical jokes on one another and ultimately reaching a sticky end. It’s a book that has and always will make me laugh, and everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine.
The Snowman Raymond Briggs
This is a really thin book only a few pages long and it’s a book that I have owned the longest. It’s an amazingly simple story, really magical but quite down to earth and honest. I also really love the choice of medium, the pencil crayon is really light, but it creates so much atmosphere and movement especially in the flying scenes.
Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
I illustrated this book for my final project at Royal College of Art, it’s a very special book in that I relate it with both graduating and leaving education and it’s the first book that I illustrated. It is a story that I thought I was really familiar with, but actually when I read it, it has so much more to offer, so many different lands that Gulliver visits on his travels that were not included in the children’s version of the book. Not only is it a amazing work of satire for that period, but it is also really absurd and quite rude/adult and remarkably funny.
Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
This book was a real bargain, I got it when I was studying in Manchester, I bought it from an Oxfam for three pounds It was at a time when I was getting into independent comics, this was the first comic I read, that made me realise the potential of this form. Chris Ware is not only an amazing craftsman but his writing is very elegant and incredibly well-paced within the pictures. His sense of design and text is something that has been a constant inspiration.
The Story of Flying translation by Bridget Galeotti, Illustrations by Amedeo Gigli and Marcello Ralli
This is a large battered book, which I remember carrying around everywhere (and drawing from) as a child, this is the reason for its tatty appearance and that the cover has come away from the pages. It’s one of the remaining books that I have left from a stage in my life when I started becoming interested in transport and contraptions of every kind (especially flying machines). It has such a variety of imagery; such as crazy flying machines as imagined in the 1800s, renowned advancements in flight and a section with paintings of famous air battles. The illustrations in this book have so much energy, which attracted me to this book in the first place and still inspires me now.