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 or involves me doing crowd control.
I will occasionally do workshops or run games, but generally not for large groups of children.
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 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.
There are many illustrators and writers who thrive on doing crowd events. 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, quietly make more things in my studio.
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 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 will attend art events and do workshops or run games there for adults and families as long as someone else is taking care of crowd control – if you book me for an event, you will have to keep my back free and not let me get overwhelmed, and I will deliver a good show and give attention to everyone.
I do actually teach illustration at university, so schedule permitting I may also give talks as visiting lecturer, including drawing demonstrations and question time.
If you aren’t sure whether your event is too wild for me, get in touch and ask. It might just be too exciting to resist after all (I would join a dance event in the Science Museum, for example…)
Thank you for your understanding, and have fun with the things I make!