I do a few different workshops and talks to schools and groups, but one of the more unusual ones is to the children of Abbotswood Junior School. For the third year I'd been asked back to help kick off their study of Varjak Paw, a children's book by S.F. Said and illustrated by Dave McKean. My part has been to give the children confidence and encouragement in drawing cats, so I've run a short cartooning workshop that includes step-by-step drawings for them to follow.
The idea is to make the children familiar enough with the subject matter that they can go away and draw their own cat characters, complete with personalities, poses and props that suggest a much more rounded and complete feline than perhaps they'd be able to achieve otherwise. Abbotswood have large year groups, and taking several classes in one session isn't normally something I'd do, but such is the organisation that it all goes swiftly and smoothly with plenty of contented faces. Afterwards I also got the opportunity to do several small focus groups with some of the children, which is always great fun to see up close what they can achieve with a little guidance. Have had some really positive feedback from the day and we're already looking forward to next year.