Islington People: Illustrator’s mission to get kids drawing

Acclaimed illustrator Marion Deuchars is on a mission to tear children away from their TVs and PlayStations and get them drawing again.

The 46-year-old has put together an art activity book designed to spark their creativity - and teach them about old-fashioned, non-digital fun.

Her creation, Let’s Make Some Great Art, aims to help parents struggling to stop their kids becoming square-eyed zombies.

The mother-of-two said: “My kids are always asking for computer games, but I want to keep them enjoying physical play. It’s hard to compete with computers, but every parent tries to find a balance.”

Marion lives in Battishill Street, Islington, and is a creative consultant at nearby Cass Art, in Colebroke Row.

Her book is packed full of simple drawing games and step-by-step instructions, guiding readers through basic techniques and onto the work of celebrated artists, from Picasso to Jackson Pollock, and how to recreate their styles.

“Other art books are often too dense or complicated,” she said, “so I was trying to make things easy to do. And I wanted it to be educational without being boring!”

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The emphasis is always on fun and self-expression – as she tries to capture the joy of art.

“Hopefully it will help inspire some budding artists,” she said. “Being in the arts is a privilege. Everyday I feel like I’m not going out to work, I’m going out to play.

“My kids say I just colour in all day. It’s a privilege to be able to do that and make a living.”

Marion has been highly successful at helping companies to sell everything from books to cars with her distinctive designs.

She has worked on advertising campaigns for the likes of Ford and Formula One and book covers for Penguin Books, as well as commissions for The Guardian and Jamie Oliver.

She is proud of what she has achieved – but says her first book is particularly special.

“This is the first job I have done that is not selling,” she said. “The only thing it’s selling is the idea that anybody can be an artist. I hope it’s the first of many.”

- Let’s Make Some Great Art was published on August 1 by Laurence King Publishing.