I have two important events this summer. One is Pop Up 2013 and the other, running parallel to the announcing of the Carnegie Greenaway 2013 Medal Winner, is happening tomorrow, June 19 at Platform on Hornsey Road in North london. Schools have had the chance to look over the shortlist and will be making their own choices for the winners. They will announce them at the same time as the formal announcements are made.
Preparations for both events are underway and they are connected. I have always done events as part of my ‘job’- I’ve treated them like an add-on and not paid too much attention to their importance. Last year at the Pop up Festival, I did a short (20 minute) event for young children which ended up with me becoming one of this year’s festival creators/curators. I have finally realised how good my events can be, without blowing my trumpet too loudly. How many times to we creators miss out on self publicity because we’re just not thinking of the potential business? I will be writing a post about the business of creating very soon. Anyway, these two events mark a change in attitude for me since I realised that events are a big part of what I do as a creator.
I am working with a drama professional, Sylvia Cohen and we have devised a workshop (hopefully the first of many) on finding ideas that will excite, educate and entertain. The brainstorming and teamwork is energising. So, I guess the third event of the summer is the one where we get to plan and launch this refreshed approach.
Would anyone like to know how to present better? Or to run a workshop? Keep watching the Illustrationist.
ps. Here’s a sample of the workshop content. We’re making an e-book which should be ready in the next two weeks. We’re also printing a One Page Book for kinds to take a way.
A3 opb Carnegie-dig
I subscribe to Good magazine and I read a short article called ‘We Should Probably Turn Text Books in to Comic Books‘ by writer Liz Dwyer. In ti the writer points out that the debate about books being physical or digital might actually be a side issue: more important, according a to university study is ensuring that “the academic content within the book is in a format that’s going to help students retain more information.”
It reminded me of a time, decades ago, when I was very enthusiastic about designing educational books and material for young people. I was particularly keen to introduce a comic book look or feel to heavy subjects. PErhaps my skills were n;t honed enough, or the time wasn’t right, but I never managed to convince anyone else that this was not only a good idea but also a beneficial one top the young learners. I didn’t want to create super heroes to describe a mathematical formula or anything like that, but It was clear that children and young people respond very well to comic strips. This is probably because the comics are very well thought out tools of communication with very little wastage of bot words and pictures. Whatever is in these books works very hard to tell the story. Perhaps 20 years ago they were not thought of in this way.
As the graphic novel makes its way into the mainstream, surely this is the future of both printed and digital publishing? It works well on both platforms without adaptation. Could it also be the future of educational publishing for younger children too? It will need authors, experts and illustrators to work from the same script, something which is not always possible. Egos get in the way, as do time and money.
Wouldn’t be great, though? The result would be well though out mini plays, window by window, explaining the mysteries of science and literature to hungry and appreciative young minds.
So my request this week is this; Are you an illustrator, writer, teacher, editor or designer keen to work on such a project? If so, get in touch and let’s start conversation…
It seems like print is on the verge of extinction,in favour of profits and technology. It’s a shocking vision; perhaps we won’t see new books printed, only ‘pdf-ed’ or whatever other platform takes hold of us. But while there are pages in a book and words to capture the imagination, let’s make merry and pray that the future isn’t written in stone (or code). To think that in a short while I will be sketching people on a train reading from a tablet. Funny. Its just not funny ha ha…
It might be time to dust off the old sketchbook, sharpen the pencil and go old school for a few months.