We are incredibly excited to announce Charlie Mackesy as Maddox Gallery Artist of the Year 2020 at the 23rd annual GQ Men of the Year Awards. During a year of great uncertainty, Mackesy’s inspiring drawings have captured the hearts of the nation. His iconic characters from The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse have provided strength and warmth in a time where we needed it most. Having sold over 1 million copies of his book worldwide, there seems to be no limit to Mackesy’s success.
We spoke to Mackesy to discuss lockdown, his success, and the best piece of advice he’s ever been given!
Congratulations on being Maddox Gallery Artist of the Year! What does winning this momentous award mean to you?
I’m extremely grateful to have been given the award. I never imagined I would. I look forward to visiting the gallery when things have calmed down. Apart from the book of the year I haven’t been given an award, particularly in the art world, so it means a lot.
Over 1 million copies of your book have been sold globally. What do you consider to be the key-contributing factor to your success?
In truth I have absolutely no idea, but I find it very moving that it seems to have connected with so many.
Your work has been an unbelievable inspiration to many during the pandemic. How did lockdown affect your practice?
Nothing seems to have changed much, as my life is pretty similar to how it was before. I just seem drawn to creating images that encourage people to keep going.
You have been praised for your positivity and wisdom. What is the greatest advice you’ve ever been given?
Can you tell us more about the process of creating your drawings?
I use a dip pen and water proof ink. I think a lot about conversations I’ve had with people and then translate them on paper and make hundreds of sketches and a lot of mistakes and at the end of this process something hopefully comes out.
From hospitals to schools, your drawings can be found all across the country. Did you ever anticipate the incredible response to The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse?
No, I absolutely had no idea that any of this would happen, but I am very grateful that it has.