I love working in schools and offer a range of visit options. They are all interactive and fun!
My art workshops include a short talk about the process of illustrating a book from initial character sketches, to pencil roughs and finished artwork. Then I show the children how to draw facial expressions and demonstrate how they can be used to illustrate characters from a story.
The sessions can be adapted to suit all ages and I can fit up to 5 sessions into a school day.
For older children I give tips on figure drawing including how to draw hands and faces and step by step drawing tutorials.
My writing workshops start with readings from my books, a talk about where my ideas came from and how I developed them into stories. Because I always draw sketches as part of my writing process, I show the children my sketch book doodles and scribbles that are the starting point for my books. We can then brainstorm a collective story plan that they can build on later. I'll draw characters from the story as a visual lead in to their writing.
For younger children I'll draw a story picture based on characters (usually animals) they've suggested and leave it with them to write a story about after my visit.
All my school visits are flexible; I'm happy to work with a single class, a year group, a key stage or a whole school in a day and can do a mixture of writing and illustration, whatever the school requires.
I occasionally provide experiential writing projects. For example, in a West Midlands School I staged a dragon hatching. An egg was found in the school grounds, we kept it in an ovarium until it started to crack then filmed it hatching and escaping through a window! The writing and drawing that came from the project was fantastic and covered all genres.