Something else I've been beavering away at on the sly, is a PowerPoint lecture about my sketchbook work...
I was invited to talk on Reportage Drawing at Hallam University (where I've done occasional bits of Life Drawing teaching over the last couple of years). It sounded like good fun but, though I do sneak the odd sketchbook drawing into my lectures, I've never done a talk exclusively about sketching before.
The worst bit is always gauging the timing - I have a tendency to add-lib once I get excited. I have been practising, delivering the lecture to thin air (or to poor, long-suffering John). Luckily, doing this as a one-off lecture (rather than part of a packed timetable in a school or festival) I was allowed plenty of time.
Last Tuesday afternoon, I took myself, my memory stick and a few sketchbooks to Hallam Uni, and was shown to a nice, posh lecture theatre: all padded seats and high-technology. I'm so lucky that I don't really suffer with nerves on such occasions, so I enjoyed myself immensely.
The students all listened and laughed in the right places. When I'd finished, I asked for questions. They all sat mute. One lad finally put his hand up. His question: 'Can you do my project work for me please?'
I invited them to come down to the front, and look at the actual sketchbooks. For a moment, it looked like they might just all shuffle off, then suddenly a couple got up the courage, then it was a deluge (phew!). They gathered round, chatting excitedly, and several said they were off to buy a sketchbook immediately. I really enjoyed talking with them and sharing our feelings about drawing. How lovely to be so young, with a fresh palette of creativity ahead of you.
The spin-off from the event is that, of course, now I have another string to my bow - so, anyone want to book a lecture about sketchbook drawing..?!?