I like to talk ~ love the sound of my own voice, me ~ but it’s Art and Comics I like to talk about.
With four decades of experience at making art and design for print, I’m always interested in mentoring or teaching individuals or groups and supporting workshops organised by third parties.
Live on-the-spot illustration with children at creative classes and How-To creative workshops (extended DBS certificate in my back pocket all the while) are fun days out of the studio and I really enjoy school and festival performances telling tales of ancient myths.
I’d be happy to slot in to your existing framework or develop one-off events or ongoing programmes ~ these are the days that make a freelance smile.
I do like to draw on the spot, so if a workplace event can benefit from some form of graphic recording or being captured in a visual manner. get in touch here (but no more court room sketches, please ~ drawing should be fun and I found that’s not a place for levity!).
Little Green Pig ~ storybuilding workshops
The excellent Little Green Pig run after school clubs and in-class projects and workshops to promote and celebrate creative writing in young people.They book me to come along and draw the children’s ideas on a flipchart as they call them out ~ a typical morning might begin: “It’s in a kitchen. On the moon. It’s a cat. A green cat. With 6 tails. And two heads!” so I have to think and draw on my feet!
The second half of an LGP session usually has me helping each child work on their individual stories, showing them ways to add drawings and visual effects. This gives us a chance to take a little more time and get some finished drawings ~ especially with the teenagers’ clubs.
I always come away with a great sense of excitement and exhaustion, and a renewed respect for full-time teachers!
MyHelm ~ art classes
Not every child learns in a classroom. MyHelm is a Home Ed community group, offering after school and holiday clubs with activities, workshops, courses and tutoring for the whole community. I’ve run a series of creativity clubs there ~ encouraging reluctant artists to express themselves visually through drawing with sticks and mud, pens and bleach, carbon paper and monoprints.
St Luke’s Primary School, Brighton ~ playground mural
I went in to the classrooms to brainstorm ideas for a large mural in the infants playground, then lead a team of volunteer parents in translating the kids’ drawings in to a painting… includes a thumbprint ant for every child they signed to immortalise their work!
One of my favourite projects in 2021 was at TEDx SPRINTS ~ a creative bootcamp where visual artists have 48 hours to produce an artwork on a specific issue. All works are then published under an open license, so that activists, nonprofits and educators globally can use them in their future campaign work. In this instance it was to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis.
You can see what I came up with HERE
Fancy some having some comics related chatter whispered in your shell-like? I was honoured to be invited on to these podcasts to talk about my enthusiasms and theories…
- Panel Borders talking with Alex Fitch about the relationship between Fine Art and Comics
- Never Iron Anything bending the ear of Tony O on the genius that is Eddie Campbell
UnComics where Allan Haverholm and I really get in to the weeds on how far an artist can push the Comics form (link to come)
- Spiracle talking about how long it takes to get to a simple illustration that looks like it was done off the cuff
IN THE WORKPLACE
I don’t frequent offices much these days, but if you have a team that needs some friendly mentoring, I could be persuaded in, if the sandwiches are good!
I started working on a daily newspaper just as the company was switching from mechanical/analogue production methods to digital ~ from cut and paste to Mac. A large part of my role was training the inhouse production department on the new technologies, but at the same time I was learning the traditional processes from them… skills that are lost to many these days, but inform everything we still do in making printed objects.
That done, I moved to the Editorial floor to show the journalists how to use DTP and joined the team of sub-editors in putting together pages.
I later joined the British Tourist Authority, managing a team of designers, photographers and writers in rebranding the quango as VisitBritain, and spent many months helping to develop the new brand and roll it out in 27 different countries and among regional and commercial partners in Britain itself.
Our workshops explaining how the new system worked were always well attended ~ I like to think it was the quality of our explanations, but some say it was the quality of the gin and tonics we included!