Thursday, December 9, 2010

the telling room

 As a place where words come out to play, the Telling Room was a fine vessel for a recent workshop I did around Ice Harbor Mittens, throwing images into the sea of ideas, too. There's a shiny wall there with a parade of random juxtapositions, each one ready to talk.

In illustration, words provide me with fantastic places to jump off, dive in, and make a splash visually. We warmed up by passing around a folded piece of paper and drawing a top, or middle, or bottom on one section, but no one could see the whole thing until the end. This game goes back to the Victorian era, when drawing was a common past time. And the dozen kids in this group conjured wonderfully vivid imagery.

Here's a dweeb animated by color and energetic lines:

Love the expression here and the fuzzy legs.

Kids were asked to name their character and say one thing about it. I enjoy the brilliance of Yoda Clam.

And how about this one, with a big-eyed body and bushy tail (photo by Judy Paolini)

I showed some of my sketches, including the preliminary thumbnail roughs I did to plot out the visual sequence for my illustrations for the book. (photo by Judy Paolini)

 I read the part where Josie gets uneasy, realizing the boys are lost. We talked about using a story board page, with 12 panels, to show the images. Everyone brought a mitten with a story to tell.

(Note the eyeballs on the jester shoes on the left above, just what one needs for a different point of view!)

They drew their story sequence, then began to flesh it out in a 12 page booklet format. This meant
concentration! (photos by Judy Paolini)

These kids didn't need any prompting. They're full of stories, just stand back!

My role is showing my process, offering ideas, providing some materials and plenty of encouragement. I love witnessing what emerges from travels with the imagination.

This also takes time. So, never without a sketchbook, I drew a table of artist/authors at play.

The Telling Room is a unique place, a non-profit community writing center where creative skills are strengthened and supported by a league of volunteers and staff. Thanks to Molly McGrath for pulling this together!

It has great light, and lots of space to think and dream.

Nice that author Robin Hansen's story yielded many other yarnish tales. This group of 8 - 11 year olds spun inspiration of their very own.

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