05 August 2014

Summer School

I have had the most inspiring and motivating week! 

Last week I attended the Children’s Picture Book course at Cambridge School of Arts Summer School. It was fantastic to be back in a busy studio, with so many like minded people, all working hard on very different ideas.

The tutors were Pam Smy, Ness Wood, Courtney Dicmas, Marta Altes, Carolina Rabei and Imogen Clare plus a guest appearance from James Mayhew.

We learnt about character development, pacing, the play of words and pictures and looked at many excellent books. Here is just a short list.
  • 'I want my hat back' - Jon Klassen
  • 'Beegu' - Alexis Deacon
  • 'This is not my Hat' - Jon Klassen
  • -The Great Googly Moogly', 'Lemur Dreamer', 'Home Tweet Home', 'Harold Finds a Voice' - Courtney Dicmas
  • 'No!', 'My Grandpa', 'I am an artist' - Marta Altes
  • 'Very Little Red Riding Hood' - Heapy & Heap
  • 'Sad book' - Michael Rosen

    During the week something magical happened. My scribbles became characters, the characters found a story, the story became a story board and some how (within the four and a half days we were working) the story board became a little rough dummy book.

    I loved every minute – even the painful ones when I didn’t think I was going to do it or have a clue where the story was going. I didn’t want it all to end. One of the best bits was seeing what everyone else had created.

    Then on Saturday there was a one day conference: A bit too arty? With exciting talks from Deirdre McDermott - Picture Book Publisher at Walker Books, Ness Wood - Designer, illustrators - Nicola Killen and Marion Lindsay, Helen Mackenzie Smith – Literary Agent, and Andrea MacDonald is Commissioning Editor for Picture Books at Random House. All just to whip up all my excitement even further.

    I think the whole experience has just put concrete round something I always new to be true – I flippin’ love drawing, and I am at me happiest when I’m doing it.

    Lesson learnt – I must do more.

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