My availability for events is limited.
I will not do school visits nor readings nor story-times, puppet shows nor anything that calls for a children’s entertainer.
I will very occasionally do workshops, but generally not for groups of unaccompanied children or for large groups of any age.
It is a wonderful thing for children to meet artists, and it is also a wonderful thing for artists to meet children – or any other interesting human being, animal or bit of culture or nature for that matter – BUT it is not a wonderful thing for me, personally, to meet groups of people, no matter what age they may be.
I am an introvert who loves to draw and write and meet few people one at a time. Dealing with groups of people drains me – it may not seem so at the time, as I actually get on well with children and enjoy talking and drawing with them. But I lose at least a day before and two after each event for preparation and recovery, and I can’t expect to be paid for four days when I am only working one, and even if I were paid to spend those days fretting and drinking soothing herb tea on the sofa, I would not want to because I love doing my actual job – making books.
There are many illustrators and writers who love doing events, and who need to do them to support their income. Please book them instead. The children will be just as happy with them as they would be with me, and I will get to happily make more books.
WHAT I WILL DO
I am always happy to answer questions – I will generally answer all fan mail, even if it’s from a whole class of children, and I will do so honestly and with respect.
I will happily take part in panel talks and question times.
I will attend interesting art events with other artists (depending on the event).
I will do book signings, and draw pictures and answer questions at those signings – I enjoy queues of people, queues aren’t crowds but interesting individuals in quick succession!
I do actually teach illustration at university, so schedule permitting I may also give talks as visiting lecturer, including drawing demonstrations and question time.
Thank you for your understanding, and have fun with the books!