Monday, March 28, 2011

London : Comics Jam Workshop

This weekend has been lovely and long. John took the day off work on Friday so that we could drive to London on Thursday evening to have a full three days of fun. And oh, what fun we had. Our days were filled with family - both mine & his - food, and much chatting.

One of the highlights of the weekend was an illustration workshop we attended yesterday afternoon. Set in a cosy cafe called House in Camberwell, we spent an afternoon learning how to create our own character & comic strip, listening to the silence fall as everyone put pencil to paper & concentrated oh so hard in their creating. 

The workshop was run by the brilliant Sarah McIntyre, who istunningly illustrates children's books. This lady has talent. One of her recent creations is Morris the Mankiest Monstor:

Sarah showed us how simple it could be to create a character, starting with a basic shape, adding features creatively, and allowing your character to take on their own persona. 

Drawing is something that I have never found strength in, but there was something wonderful about Sarah's calm manner & confident teaching style that made the commitment of marks to paper surprisingly straightforward.

We created comic strips, sharing the process by starting our own using the character we had created, then passing it along to the next person to continue the story. Sharing the process of bringing our characters to life was quite liberating; there was no room for disappointment because there was only time to start a story of our own.  In my mind, I did not have the time to construct a complete story for my character, so he was free to develop in any which way the next artist chose. 

We folded paper and created mini books, inspired by some of Sarah's own wonderful creations. 

I wrote a story about a dandelion seed called The one that flew away. It's a very simple story and might not look particularly exciting, but I had a lot of fun making it.

I relished the opportunity to sit and listen and draw without restraint, learning from a truly brilliant artist who was so kind to share her skills & creations with us. It made me feel the need to make time to create more often.

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