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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

CWISL ShoutWest! storymaking festival for school children 2015

Margaret Bateson-Hill's compilation of photos from the ShoutWest! Festival 2015.

ShoutWest! was my second storymaking festival since joining CWISL earlier this year (the first was ShoutSouth!) held at Brunel University in West London with local schools taking part.

The children, illustrators and writers were divided up into three groups: Leopard, Tiger and Panther. I was with the Leopards along with writers Sara Grant, Cate Sampson and Jamie Buxton plus around 30 school children and their teachers.

For Margaret Bateson-Hill's storytelling, Mo O'Hara's drama and Bridget Marzo's illustration workshops the Panthers, Tigers and Leopards all got together.

Other workshops were done within individual groups: The Spark (getting story ideas), Character Passport, Spot the Plot and Mad, Murky & Moody.

The Character Passport session was my first chance to lead a CWISL workshop. I love talking about creating and developing characters so this was ideal for me. I spoke about the importance of characters, how the look of a character can tell us a lot about them including their backstory, how the choice of character can affect the story and drive it along. Then we worked on a character profile as a group and after that the children worked on profiles for characters in their stories. Some wonderful, and highly imaginative, work was done by the children - some of it will be available to view on CWISL's website for under 16s www.shoutaboutmagazine.com.

CWISL are already talking about the next ShoutWest! Festival to be held again at Brunel University in November 2016. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Illustration talk/workshop for Level 2 students at Lesoco College


Students working on their responses to the creative brief I gave them.
Earlier this week I went to Lewisham and Southwark College (Lesoco) in south London to talk to Level 2 students about my experiences as an illustrator and I also set them a creative brief task to create a character.

As arranged with their lecturer, Mary Campbell, I had two hours to talk. I decided to give an overview of:

  • My education.
  • My background in graphic design and animation.
  • The many and varied clients and projects I have been involved with. (I had quite a large portfolio with me!)
  • How I work with clients.
  • Sources of illustration work.
  • How to look for work.
  • Publicizing your work.
  • Useful education and training for self employed illustrators.
  • Support groups and networks for illustrators.

That was a lot of talking and unfortunately I didn't realise I was starting to run over time until shortly before I had to finish. The students only had 20 minuttes or so to draw their responses to the character based creative brief I had given them. They were amazing, they all produced something and many of them managed to create interesting characters that would be viable.

The students are looking for work experience placements in illustration, design or related businesses, studios or agencies in London. If you can help please contact art and design lecturer Mary Campbell at the college or send a message to me and I'll pass it on.