Our Children’s Art Week Ambassadors

We are very grateful to a number of public figures who are kindly lending their support to Children’s Art Week.

Lauren Child, Waterstones UK Children’s Laureate, author and illustrator

Nurturing creativity is at the heart of what I represent as Waterstones Children’s Laureate, because I believe that making space and time for children to be creative is an essential part of a child’s education. Children’s Art Week is a fantastic way to encourage creativity inside and outside school, in adults and children alike, and I am very pleased to give it my support.

Lauren Child is a multi-award-winning, bestselling writer and artist whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of characters including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola. 

Lauren is also a passionate advocate for visual literacy and the importance of quality picture books for children. She is also passionate about encouraging creativity in children and adults. She is a trustee of House of Illustration, a gallery set up by former Laureate Sir Quentin Blake. She has been awarded an MBE for her work and was appointed as an Artist for Peace by Unesco in 2008. She is one of the commissioners for the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education.

Laura Dockrill, author and illustrator

Art is the most precious form of expression; it’s dreaming with your eyes open, except better because you can remember what happened…

Laura Dockrill is a talented writer and illustrator who has performed her work at the Edinburgh Fringe, Camp Bestival, Latitude, Bookslam and the Soho Theatre and on each of the BBC’s respective radio channels, 1-6. She has been a roaming reporter for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, run workshops at the Imagine Festival on the South Bank, and is on the advisory panel at the Ministry of Stories.

Loyd Grossman CBE

Children’s Art Week continues to go from strength to strength with activities across the UK in many cultural and educational venues. It is a great opportunity for families, children and young people to have fun, make art together, learn about artists and see what their local gallery or museum has to offer.

Loyd Grossman’s lifelong interest in history, the arts and heritage has involved him in a number of organisations, including the Museums and Galleries Commission, English Heritage, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the National Museums Liverpool and of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. He founded the 24 Hour Museum (now Culture24) and was its Chairman until 2005. Grossman is the current President of NADFAS, President of the British Association of Friends of Museums, Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust and Chairman of The Heritage Alliance.

Jenny Leonard, artist

I’m an artist and work in lots of different schools and at events, and I believe EVERYONE can draw and EVERYONE is creative. I think it’s so important for people of all ages to put down their phones and pick up a pen or pencil and just make, draw and doodle! We were meant to create and it’s important to play with inky lines and not always be pressing buttons.

Contemporary landscape artist Jenny Leonard specialises in murals and illustration. The artist describes herself as working ‘in a tea and coffee induced frenzy’, and will travel far and wide for a blank wall to make her mark on. Her aptly energetic paintings are alive with colour and movement, and she often incorporates materials like plaster into her work. Leonard lives and works in Norwich, where she studied Fine Art, and she exhibits extensively in local galleries.

Ricky Martin, CBBC’s Art Ninja, Creative Director at Aardman Animations, animator, actor and artist

I had a lot of trouble with reading and writing at school, but found art as a great way to be understood and express myself. Children’s Art Week is about releasing the creative child in all of us. There are so many great venues (big and small) involved in creating a platform for this brilliant event. Together we can help empower kids with art and help them get their ninja on!

Ricky Martin makes animations and short films, enjoys film and digital photography, skateboarding, shooting arrows and writing music.

Sandy Nairne CBE, writer, curator and chair of the Clore Leadership Programme

Children’s Art Week is a wonderful way of demonstrating, through a focused and exciting programme, what museums and galleries offer young people all year round.

Every kind of creative activity will be taking place across the country and I hope this will tempt children and families to return again and again.

Sandy Nairne CBE FSA, is Chair of the Clore Leadership Programme. He was Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 2002 to 2015. His early career included experience at the Richard Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh, the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Tate Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. From 1987 to 1993, Sandy was Director of Visual Arts at the Arts Council. He re-joined Tate in 1994, as Director of Programmes, which included supporting the development of Tate Modern and leading the creation of the Centenary Development of Tate Britain, as well as new initiatives in learning and digital engagement.

Chris Riddell, writer and illustrator

I’m delighted to support Children’s Art Week, a fantastic opportunity for children and families all over the UK to try and experience the visual arts and see how much fun can be had from trying creative activities

Chris Riddell is a prolific writer and illustrator whose work is familiar to both children and adults. He is known especially for his distinctive line drawings with their clever caricature, fascinating detail and often enchanting fantasy elements.

Frances Quinn, designer, baker and 2013 Great British Bake Off winner

Image courtesy of Frances Quin

I’m delighted to be an ambassador for such a worthy campaign. Being creative can take many forms and for me, it’s baking and designing with both ingredients and ideas.

I hope children everywhere get involved in Children’s Art Week, by going to an event or getting creative at home.

Creativity is at the heart of everything I do. Before winning the Great British Bake Off, my background was in design, having studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University. I often get asked what would you choose baking or design, but for me it’s never a choice and always a collaboration of the two. From fabric through to food I see inspiration in everything. My creative process always starts or ends with an idea, design or concept that I often find easier to express by ‘drawing’ on my imagination.

Nick Sharratt, illustrator and author

Photo by James Mulkeen.

Children who don’t engage with the visual arts are really missing out, whether it’s looking at or making art, it’s all about creative thinking, an incredibly important life skill that brings no end of advantages with it, aside from the fact that it can be the most enormous fun! So three cheers for Children’s Art Week!

Nick is a British illustrator and author of children’s books, and was chosen to be the Official Illustrator for World Book Day 2006. Sharratt has illustrated around 200 books, including over 40 books by award-winning author Jacqueline Wilson.

Children’s Art Week is run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and supported in 2020 by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.

This event is open to the public.