The Pugin Society reports on how James Robinson, illustrator of the new children’s book, Mr Pugin, was inspired by the architect’s ideas on life and buildings and wanted to bring these to a young readership.
Joanna Lyall, for the Pugin Society writes:
James, now 21, grew up at St Edmund’s College, Ware, Hertfordshire, where Pugin designed the chapel, and his father Alan Robinson is head of boys’ boarding. ‘I have always liked Pugin’s view of life and his vision of a Gothic England inspired me,’ said James. ‘I was also influenced by the illustrators, James Mayhew, Arthur Rackham and Edward Ardizzone and wanted to go for a fairly traditional style. Of course it was impossible to incorporate all of Pugin’s huge output but I hope the fact every page is fully illustrated makes the book attractive.’ Illustrations in the book, which follows Pugin’s life story, include St Augustine’s and The Grange, Pugin’s family home, as well as St Marie’s Grange, St Giles Cheadle, and the House of Lords.
James is one of six children all home schooled by their mother, Suzanne Robinson, a former history teacher, who wrote the text for the book. When he was 18 James illustrated a book on home schooling…. He was commissioned for the Pugin book, when Father Marcus Holden, former rector of St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, visited St Edmund’s for a conference and saw James’s Christmas cards.
‘I was very excited by the project and just dived in and did lots of research and worked on it for three months,’ he said. James has been working on commissions for illustration since he was 16 and now hopes to take himself to art school in Florence on the proceeds.
… Mr Pugin is available from the Pugin Centre, St Augustine’s Ramsgate, price £5.50, or £9.50 p&p. To purchase, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring 0730 531 7642