Sharing my love of ideas, reading and drawing during school visits is something I cherish doing. In fact, one of my favourite books ever was made by Inu at the Berlin Cosmopolitan School after we talked about stories and making books.
It's called "We love Lions". We discover "they are strong", "they can fight good", "they help others" (although perhaps they are really helping otters) and the brilliant ending "they can hide good".
The Neighbourhood workshop encourages participants, whether they have experience sewing or not, to create characters from simple preprepared bodies, arms and legs, masses of fabric offcuts, buttons and bits and pieces.
Focussing on posing, expression and story, Character Design Workshops put characters through their paces. At the ICON8 Illustration conference participants worked swiftly over 2 hours through a series of exercises designed to push, pull and squish them into and out of shape.
My partner Steve Alexander and I led a group of 15 participants in the Big Bang Workshop – a challenging and satisfying workshop at the Intercross Creative Centre in Sapporo, Japan. Each day a different task was aimed at exploring the fundamentals of creativity.
Day after day the participants saw their efforts modified, added to and erased. Initial preciousness and nervousness were replaced by admiration of the evolution.
This turned to shock when they were asked to gradually paint everything out in white mid way through the ten day workshop – and start again.
By the end, the participants understood exactly why. "It was a process and cycle of being born, growing, disappearing and being born again. It was free, accidental, beautiful and fun." wrote film maker Eiji Shimada.