I’m always ready to talk to teachers and librarians, and love visiting schools and libraries to talk about my books and my work writing and drawing books, comics and graphic novels. My presentation content and style works best with groups grade 3 and up.
I can provide a number of different talks, but a standard presentation revolves around the creative process, from idea generation and brainstorming to execution of those ideas in the writing and illustration phases.
The four components of my talk:
1. Making Up Stories/Book Talk – Using my PIX graphic novels as an example, I’ll talk about idea generation, from childhood play to brainstorming and asking questions in pursuit of stories to explore, using pages and scenes from PIX books to support the overall premise and offer an overview of the series.
2. Process – Step-by-step, I’ll show the creation process, from initial notes to layouts to pencils, inks, coloring and lettering…as well as making changes and revisions (as nothing’s perfect the first time out, right?)
3. Evolution – I share artwork of mine going back as far as age 9 through my late teens, showing how practice and putting in the time and hours lead to improvement – a lesson useful to any endeavor even beyond making comics.
4. Demonstration – This can be as simple as my doing a live drawing demo, some drawing challenges based on audience suggestion, or a more involved workshop involving group participation. No matter what it is, this is surely the show-stopper, as it’s always the most impressive display and plays like a magic trick.
Question and Answer – I know kids have questions, and I’m happy to take questions throughout the talk, should questions arise. I’ve found the drawing demo a great time to open up the floor for general questions as well.
Presentation elements can be adjusted for length or not included at all, depending on time limits, age range, your interests, or what best might apply and/or appeal to your students or patrons.
In terms of materials I’d need, the basic best bet would be:
• a video/digital projector connected to a computer into which I can plug a flash drive…or a projector with an HMDI/VGA connection to which I can connect my tablet computer)
• an easel with a large pad of paper and some markers with which to draw (especially if you want a physical souvenir of the visit – alternately, I can draw on the aforementioned tablet)
• if a document camera is available, that’s often a great alternative to the easel/pad, and an excellent back-up option should there be an issue with the tablet connectivity.
• a microphone (depending on the size of the group and the acoustics in the presentation space)
I’m happy to assist with any arrangements for sales of books, before or after the presentation, including providing a pre-order form to distribute ahead of the presentation date. I can and will sign (and personalize) books, accordingly.
Contact me to discuss what you might have in mind and we can sort out what’s possible, discuss fees, etc.
I am currently based in the Atlanta metro area, so any schools and libraries within a reasonable driving distance are within range. But I love visiting other cities, so by all means get in touch and we can discuss!