2022-2023 Update: I continue to offer virtual visits for schools who prefer it but I have returned to scheduling in-person visits as well.
Visits & Workshops for kids!
I love talking to kids! And more than talking, I love engaging kids in silly exercises that encourage them to write, draw and embrace their mistakes.
I like to include hands on activities in my presentations to get creativity flowing, so I prefer to work with smaller groups, however, I am happy to do larger assembly visits as well and can modify my presentations to work in a larger group setting. My programs provide an opportunity for the kids to ask questions and for lots of interaction.
Here are a few examples of programs I can offer. I tend to modify my programs to fit with each group or school’s needs and am happy to try to tie-in any relevant topics that kids are studying.
Book Talk Visit – This presentation is focused on one book – you can choose which book I will highlight. I will read the book, and share with kids how it all came together from the very first draft/sketches to the finished product. Students will get a peek into my studio and my work process. We will end with an interactive drawing demo and Q&A.
Illustrator Visit – This presentation is focused my work as an illustrator. I will share how I work with authors to illustrate their words, I’ll share my process of illustrating a book, from the first sketches to the finished product. Students will get a peek into my studio and my work process. We will end with an interactive drawing demo and Q&A. This presentation can be about one specific book or generally across all my books.
Making a Book with Words AND Pictures! This presentation walks through my bookmaking process as someone who writes the words AND draws the pictures. Using A New Kind of Wild as an example, I share with kids the good, bad and ugly of how I made this book. Along the way, I talk about failure and persistence, the importance of keeping a sketchbook/notebook for ideas, leaning on friends for help when you’re stuck, and the beauty of happy accidents.
Brainstorming with Words and Pictures: How do you get ideas for stories? What do you do when you are stuck and can’t think of anything to write or draw? In this presentation I go through all sorts of exercises, both silly and serious that I use to help get those ideas out. We will do a mix of writing and drawing exercises that will encourage kids to ignore that little voice that says “this is a horrible idea!” and keep on going.
Doodle Workshop – In this workshop we focus on DRAWING! We will talk about doodling and then do some doodling! I will share a peek into some of my doodle-filled sketchbooks and talk about how I use doodling in my picture making process, then we will do a series of silly drawing exercises focused on making marks and embracing mistakes.
Something else! – Have another idea or want to steal bits and pieces from different programs? No problem! I can customize my visits based on what will work best for your students.
What if we can’t afford to pay you?
It is especially important for me to be able to reach students of all backgrounds. If your school is unable to fund a school visit and you live in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area, please send me an email. If you live outside of the DC area, I offer a limited number of free virtual visits for Title I or other underprivileged schools, please fill out the contact form on the right for more information.
I also offer a limited number of free 30 minute storytime virtual visits each month. These are short visits that include reading one of my books, a short drawing demo and a bit of Q&A. If you are interested in one of these visits, fill out the form and make sure you indicate that you are interested in a free story time.