Wednesday, 25 November 2015

CWISL ShoutWest! storymaking festival for school children 2015

Margaret Bateson-Hill's compilation of photos from the ShoutWest! Festival 2015.

ShoutWest! was my second storymaking festival since joining CWISL earlier this year (the first was ShoutSouth!) held at Brunel University in West London with local schools taking part.

The children, illustrators and writers were divided up into three groups: Leopard, Tiger and Panther. I was with the Leopards along with writers Sara Grant, Cate Sampson and Jamie Buxton plus around 30 school children and their teachers.

For Margaret Bateson-Hill's storytelling, Mo O'Hara's drama and Bridget Marzo's illustration workshops the Panthers, Tigers and Leopards all got together.

Other workshops were done within individual groups: The Spark (getting story ideas), Character Passport, Spot the Plot and Mad, Murky & Moody.

The Character Passport session was my first chance to lead a CWISL workshop. I love talking about creating and developing characters so this was ideal for me. I spoke about the importance of characters, how the look of a character can tell us a lot about them including their backstory, how the choice of character can affect the story and drive it along. Then we worked on a character profile as a group and after that the children worked on profiles for characters in their stories. Some wonderful, and highly imaginative, work was done by the children - some of it will be available to view on CWISL's website for under 16s

CWISL are already talking about the next ShoutWest! Festival to be held again at Brunel University in November 2016. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Illustration talk/workshop for Level 2 students at Lesoco College

Students working on their responses to the creative brief I gave them.
Earlier this week I went to Lewisham and Southwark College (Lesoco) in south London to talk to Level 2 students about my experiences as an illustrator and I also set them a creative brief task to create a character.

As arranged with their lecturer, Mary Campbell, I had two hours to talk. I decided to give an overview of:

  • My education.
  • My background in graphic design and animation.
  • The many and varied clients and projects I have been involved with. (I had quite a large portfolio with me!)
  • How I work with clients.
  • Sources of illustration work.
  • How to look for work.
  • Publicizing your work.
  • Useful education and training for self employed illustrators.
  • Support groups and networks for illustrators.

That was a lot of talking and unfortunately I didn't realise I was starting to run over time until shortly before I had to finish. The students only had 20 minuttes or so to draw their responses to the character based creative brief I had given them. They were amazing, they all produced something and many of them managed to create interesting characters that would be viable.

The students are looking for work experience placements in illustration, design or related businesses, studios or agencies in London. If you can help please contact art and design lecturer Mary Campbell at the college or send a message to me and I'll pass it on.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Character sketches for a story by Rachel Braverman - 100,000 Jumpers

Becca and Oscar rough character sketch by Amanda Lillywhite
Rachel has asked me to create chapter header illustrations for her story for 8-11 year olds. It's about a 10 year old girl called Becca who has just been placed for adoption and is finding it difficult to settle in and trust her new family. Mummy Mo is Becca's adoptive mother, Fallon is her new big sister and Oscar the cat is her new best friend.

At the moment I'm just getting to know the characters by sketching them, my next step will be to start working on ideas for the book illustrations.
Fallon and Mummy Mo character sketches by Amanda Lillywhite

Friday, 16 October 2015

BIG CATS! Comic making workshop at TOMS community outpost in London

As part of TOMS community outpost's big cat initiative I will be running a big cat comic making workshop for children of all ages 3-5pm on October 25 at 5-7 Foubert's Place, London W1F 7PY. All materials are supplied and no booking is required – just turn up and make comics!

Find out about the partnership between TOMS and National Geographic to raise awareness of the decline of big cats in the wild at or on the National Geographic website.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Half term workshop at CYW for 9-13 year olds: Make your own comic!

On October 27 I'll be leading 3 hour workshop for 9-13 year olds that goes through the basics of the comic making process: how to develop a character, a synopsis, a script and then make a comic. I'll be taking along some character examples and story starters to help get the participants going and I'll give them some illustrator tips to help with their drawings. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with!

"Make your own comic" is part of a series of half term workshops organized by Chelsea Young Writers, book a place for your child here. The venue for my workshop is St John's Church in Notting Hill W11 it starts at 1.30pm and finishes at 4.30pm. All materials will be provided. It'll be great fun!
Workshop description: 
Would you like to make comics but don’t know where to start? Have you ever tried to make a comic and then got stuck after the first few panels? Are you curious about how comics are made? Whether you are already an avid fan of comics or have just started to become interested this will be an exciting workshop for you. 
Illustrator, writer and comics maker Amanda Lillywhite will take you through the steps of creating a strong storyline. You’ll learn the basics of developing a main character, a synopsis and a script then you’ll make your own comic.
The skills you’ll learn in this workshop are suitable for any genre of comic and can be adapted for other forms of illustrated writing. 
It’s fun to make comics, come along and join in!

Character work for "Rosie" by Amanda Lillywhite

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Duck and Bear: a webcomic about an illustrator and a writer

Duck and Bear originally appeared in SCBWI's online newsletter Words and Pictures. I'm grateful for the support and input I received from the editors at the time - John Shelley and Jan Carr.

The webcomic had been hosted on a website I was running that has now been shut down. I've found a new home for it and put it back online at Authorville.

Bear is a picture book illustrator and Duck is a middle grade fiction writer. This is the story of their creative process and journey to publication.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

10m long collaborative comic at Carnegie Library for Fun Palaces (in pictures)

One of the first contributors to the comic.

A DHFC fan wrote a poem.
A local horse riding centre got a mention.
Illustrator Katy Hudson added a duck.
The US army dinosaur squad turned up.
Things started to get very busy in the library, but some took time out to contemplate the comic.
Mark Panton added the views of our dog.
Good to see families drawing together.
Toddlers were very keen to have a go.
After they reached the end of the roll, I had to flip a section over to create more drawing space.
There were lots of activities elsewhere in the library. Co-creator of Fun Palaces and writer, Stella Duffy, kicked off the kickboxing.

You can find out more about Fun Palaces at Carnegie Library is in London SE24.