ENTERTAINMENT

Best selling author and artist Charlie Mackesy is helping us lockdown


Kindness, tenderness, love, honesty and vulnerability run like golden threads through Charlie Mackesy's exquisite pen drawings. One depicts a boy, a horse, a fox, and an adorable little mole all huddled together in a dark and hideous forest.

In other cases, they crouch under a looming storm cloud, struggling to find their way through thick undergrowth, or just knot tightly together. Always together. Always close. Always cheer each other on with simple but uplifting thoughts.

"I can't see through any way," said the boy.

"Can you see your next move?"

& # 39; Yes. & # 39;

"Just take this," said the horse.

Another shows them under a dark, swirling sky.

"These are dark clouds," said the boy.

"Yes, but they will move on," said the horse. "The blue sky above never works."

The current public favorite – shared over a million times and captured in kitchens, offices, and hospitals around the world for hope and strength – is a simple drawing of the boy, horse, fox, and mole, their heads barren landscape are lowered. "Everything is canceled." "Love is not canceled," said the horse

Mackesy, 59, posted drawings on social media during that difficult year – some of which the Mail can share with you today.

They are supposed to be warm and nourish the soul and – as we struggle to find light and hope in another long, dark, cold lockdown – resonate more than ever. Millions have been cheered on by Mackesy's drawings and shared on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – and beyond.

The effects were nothing short of extraordinary. They have been used in schools, the armed forces, and the NHS medical staff, who paste the drawings into internal emails and paste them into hospital wards and staff rooms to boost morale.

They crouch under a threatening storm cloud, struggle to find their way through dense undergrowth, or simply knot tightly together

They crouch under a threatening storm cloud, struggle to find their way through dense undergrowth, or simply knot tightly together

Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Joan Collins and actress Carey Mulligan also rave about them.

Meanwhile, Mackesy's illustrated book "The Boy, the Mole," "The Fox and the Horse," which through their conversations depicts the journey of a curious boy, a cake-driven mole, a rather jaded fox, and a wise horse, remains the publication sensation in the last 18 months, sold well over a million copies.

It is one of the books recommended by the Duchess of Cornwall in her new book club, The Reading Room, and has been praised and acclaimed by many, including the friends of the writer Richard Curtis and Bear Grylls, for its wisdom and strength and celebration of kindness Understanding.

Mackesy got a job at The Spectator as a cartoonist, worked as an illustrator for Oxford University Press and has exhibited in galleries across the UK and America

Mackesy got a job at The Spectator as a cartoonist, worked as an illustrator for Oxford University Press and has exhibited in galleries across the UK and America

Charlie Mackesy, 59, posted drawings on social media during this difficult year

Charlie Mackesy, 59, posted drawings on social media during this difficult year

His drawings, which were sent to E.H. Shepard's illustrations for Winnie-the-Pooh are nowhere near as simple as they look

His drawings, which were sent to E.H. Shepard's illustrations for Winnie-the-Pooh are nowhere near as simple as they look

As Mackesy himself once said, "We all struggle, and that's the point. I've never met anyone who has nothing to struggle with. Being human is really difficult and we just have to be so kind to ourselves and to each other , as possible. "

He speaks from experience. He didn't settle down in school, was broken when his best friend died in a car accident at the age of 18, tried university twice (but went both times after a week), didn't go to art school and has long struggled with depression and anxiety.

Eventually he got a job at The Spectator as a cartoonist, worked as an illustrator for Oxford University Press and exhibited in galleries across the UK and America.

A single image can take up to 50 tries before he is happy that the lines of ink are properly conveying the emotions he is looking for, "through the angle of a head or the swing of a tail".

A single image can take up to 50 tries before he is happy that the lines of ink are properly conveying the emotions he is looking for, "through the angle of a head or the swing of a tail".

His drawings, which were sent to E.H. Shepard's illustrations for Winnie-the-Pooh are nowhere near as simple as they look.

A single image can take up to 50 tries before he is happy that the lines of ink convey the emotions he is looking for “through the angle of a head or the swing of a tail”. The words are searing now.

"What's the best thing you've learned about storms?" Asks the boy. "That they end," replies the horse. "What's the bravest thing you've ever said?" Asked the boy. "Help," said the horse.

The latter was based on a conversation with Bear Grylls about courage, and this image posted on social media went viral and eventually led to the book.

Mackesy himself once put it this way: "We all fight, and that's the point. I've never met anyone who isn't struggling with something."

Mackesy himself once put it this way: "We all fight, and that's the point. I've never met anyone who isn't struggling with something."

The drawings are meant to be warm and nourish the soul and - while we struggle to find light and hope in another long, dark, cold lockdown

The drawings are meant to be warm and nourish the soul and – while we struggle to find light and hope in another long, dark, cold lockdown

Unused to fame, recognition, or even company – except from his dachshund Barney – Mackesy is both confused and alarmed by his sudden success.

"I already have a roof over my head and can pay for my food." For me, success means hearing stories from people who have problems, ”he once said in an interview. "It is a privilege that the book has helped others. I am so delighted that it speaks to people and encourages them."

The current public favorite – shared over a million times and captured in kitchens, offices, and hospitals around the world for hope and strength – is a simple drawing of the boy, horse, fox, and mole, their heads barren landscape are lowered. "Everything is canceled."

"Love is not canceled," said the horse.

We have to remember this every day.

  • Illustrations by Charlie Mackesy with the beloved characters from his book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (Ebury Press, £ 16.99)

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