Monday, 8 March 2010

Sketches from Last Week's Travels

On Sunday evening I scanned in some of the train sketches from last week. It was a fair old trip to Bedford and back, so I did a few. As you can see, I was feeling a bit tired by the time I got there, having come straight from my day in Yew Tree Primary:

I went to Bedford to visit Margaret Beaufort Middle School in Riseley. I gave a couple of big lectures in the morning and I don't think I've ever had such an enthusiastic reception - the applause got me quite choked up to be honest.

When I've more time, I'll tell you about the remarkably enterprising war-comic artists I did my signings with over lunchtime (hi fellas!).

At the end of an equally lovely afternoon (dropping in on various art workshops and helping the children where I could) I spent the evening with friend and author Julia Jarman, who lives just up the road and who was kind enough to put me up.

People tend to think of author / illustrator teams as friends, but they often live at different ends if the country and sometimes never get to meet at all. Most meeting-up happens either at publisher's Christmas parties, or at literary festivals.

Since both Julia and I do lots of festival events, we have got to know one-another really well. It was great to spend a couple of nights chatting and relaxing with some wine and good food (great risotto Julia - thank you!).

On Saturday morning, Julia and I drove up to Corby for their Play on Words festival, where we spent the day having fun reading our stories of snakes, pirates and derring-do in Corby Library.

That evening on the train, nearly home, I was lucky enough to have a child across the aisle, sitting quite still, playing a game. His mum asked to see my sketch, as she said he was a very keen artist. If you're seeing this, hello Frank - keep up the good work!


Ben said...

Hi Lynne, Ben the beginner again with another question! I was going to ask how long the sketches take, but I see the '15 minutes' on the last sketch of the child, so my other big question is... do you ask people if you can sketch them on the buses and trains? Not the sleeping ones of course, but do you just start and see if they notice you working? I have a feeling it would be easier as a woman to do this, I can imagine, for example, that a man sketching a woman on a train without checking might cause trouble if he is 'caught' by the subject. I'd love to hear about how you approach this.

I love your blog by the way, I've been blogging for years, and this is one of the nicest, friendliest, most inspiring blogs I've ever come across - it's certainly inspired me to make my blogs even friendlier in future!

Lynne Chapman said...

Hi again Ben - no I never ask (if possible I want to do it without them noticing - it makes for better poses).

If they notice, which they sometimes do, that's fine, they have never had a problem with it, but you're right: it's probably easier for a woman. If I was a man sketching women, I'd pick my 'victims' and avoid anyone that might think you're being a perv!! Doubt if it would be an issue very often though - most people are stunned and flattered.

Lynne Chapman said...

Forgot to say - thank you so much for such a kind and lovely comment on the blog! Much appreciated.

Ben said...

Thanks Lynne, that makes sense (the not asking) - I'll give it a try soon once I get my sketching up to speed!

John said...

lovely work! I used to sketch people on the train in Tokyo all the time, but have been very careful in the UK, a bit scary - I never quite know what the reaction will be.

These give me confidence that maybe people don't mind after all...

Lynne Chapman said...

Go for it John - the Brits are a pretty ok bunch.

Interestingly though, it seems it's better to draw them on trains and buses than in pubs and cafes - friends have had people object when victims are actively 'at leisure'.