Friday, 20 June 2014

Masterclass in Lincoln

"Are you Lynne Chapman?" 
I was spied on the platform at Sheffield Station, sharpening my pencils as I waited for the train. I didn't know Beryl, but she recognised me, because she was on her way to my masterclass for SCBWI in Lincoln! Which was lovely: I didn't get to use my newly sharpened pencils, because we chatted all the way there.

I was met at the other end (thanks Alan) and Beryl and I were driven to The Museum of Lincolnshire Life, which looked really interesting. Unfortunately there was not a spare moment to look round, as I had a very full day.

I did a lecture first, about how I became an illustrator and the various other kinds of work I have done before picture books. Everyone laughed in the right places and asked lots of questions afterwards, so I think they enjoyed it.

The rest of the day was more informal. I had rooted out lots of roughs from Baby Can Bounce!, Bears on the Stairs and Swap!, including my very first sketch sheets, where I write my books in a kind of 'half words, half images' kind of way, trying to capture the ideas that pass through my head, before they escape. We laid these out on a big table and I talked people through them. 

I had even found my editor's feedback from Baby Can Bounce!, so we could look at my first roughs, the publisher's comments and my re-roughs together. I thought it was useful for showing the kind of feedback you get. I showed artwork too. Again, lots of discussion and good questions.

After lunch, I talked about my Urban Sketchers work. Again, we gathered around the big table and I took everyone through my sketching kit, demonstrating various tools for them. People were very interested in how I use the watercolour pencils and, as ever, people were fascinated by my Sailor pen.

I took a pile of sketchbooks too, and let people have a good old rummage.

I had a smashing day and met so many lovely people. It makes a real change to talk to grown-ups rather than children. Thanks so much to Addy Farmer at SCBWI for inviting me and to everyone who came, for making it such fun.

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