Monday, 15 June 2009

Sheffield Children's Festival

I was working this Saturday, despite the sunshine, in the Sheffield Central Children's Library, as part of our annual Children's Festival. It's a lovely, fun festival, with loads going on, including a parade, and there's always a colourful banner hung on the town hall, made by a local school.

It was such a hot day, I thought everyone might abandon me and go to the park instead (especially as the children's library is deep in the basement!), but luckily I was wrong and we had a good turn out of little ones for my morning storytelling. I read Stinky, and the children drew various smelly animals. Virtually every child took one of my books home too - either borrowed from the library, or bought from me, which was lovely.

I was supposed to be drawing in the foyer of the main library at lunchtime, catching people passing through but, because of the weather, nobody did! Uh-oh... my insecurities returned as I headed back down into the bowels of the building for my afternoon workshop session: who in their right mind would choose me in a basement, over ice cream and sunshine?

T Rex

How lovely then, to open the door and be met by a room stuffed full of eager faces!
I did my usual talk, showing roughs and artwork etc, then read Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur!, fresh off the press, and used that as a basis for a 'scary chase' workshop.

My dinosaur flip chart drawings are still a bit unpolished, but everybody pretended not to notice (thanks guys!). We designed a crazy 'dinosaur on a beach holiday' picture, adding all sorts of silly details, until there was no more space to cram in another thing. Then I set a quiz question about the story, to decide who got to take it home. Well done Izzy!


Karen said...

You are incredibly productive! Awesome!

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Oh this granny would have LOVED to see your basement talk... or lobby... what fun...

NAH! said...

Your blog is full of a great collection of stuff I especially like your traveling art. Your not gonna believe this but I was actually born in Sheffield, England I still have family there but I left when I was 4. I've done 2 children books myself and would love to do more in the future. How did you find all that work?

Lynne Chapman said...

Whereabouts were you in Sheffield, do you remember?

Re finding work - it's about establishing a link with a publisher really. Once you've done one job, there's a greater chance they'll use you again, then again and so on.

Your paintings are lovely. One thing to bear in mind - make sure character's faces are friendly, cute and full of emotion for children's book work. It's all character driven so they are the real key to success!