kingston university: read to inspire conference

Yay, I got to hang out with some of my favourite illustrators today! Here’s Chris Wormell and Mini Grey. Chris does some of the best linocuts I’ve seen, and Mini comes up with the most wonderful textures and beautifully wonky perspectives when she draws objects, besides telling great stories.

I’ve just recently been able to meet the very talented Hannah Shaw, who showed the conference’s group of teachers in training some of the cool Photoshop tricks she uses in her books. (Here’s me with Morris the Mankiest Monster and Hannah with Erroll the Squirrel… closeup of the Erroll finger puppet.)

I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to drawing well, but my notes kind of give a feel for what was going on. Although I didn’t take many while Chris was talking, I was too enviously gazing on his studio photos of all his fabulous printmaking equipment. I loved seeing their sketchbooks, that was a real highlight.

I showed off work from my Morris book and comics, and got the teachers-to-be excited about all the amazing creative energy coming out of the UK comics community, and the potential for their students to tap into it by making their own comics. Then I did a bit of a plug for the upcoming DFC Library and led them in some character design with a story-starter. (You can get all the printouts I gave them if you click on the top banner of the Kids at Random House website, or the direct PDF link here.)

Thanks to everyone that made this happen! Here’s Hannah with our Kingston University contact and organiser Liz Broad (with yummy mince pies!) and our fabulous Random House publicity team members, Andrea MacDonald and Kelly Tapper. And not in the picture, but the person who brought the whole conference together, Nikki Gamble of Write Away.

Hey, thanks, Lydia Calman-Grimsdale, for blogging about my comics workshop over on your JAPS school blog, yay!

If you’re in southwest London, come along tomorrow to the great indie bookshop that is The Golden Treasury and get your Christmas copies of Morris the Mankiest Monster and colour monsters with me! I’ll be there from 3pm and the nearest tube station is Southfields.

And just one more totally unrelated thing, I got a big kick out of The Onion’s video for the Annual Take Your Daughter to War Day. Go have a look, heh heh.

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