I gave a couple of 'illustrator talks' yesterday. It wasn't the first time I'd done it. Last time it was to a group of pensioners and it left me wondering if I could ever bring myself to do it again. Watching a hundred pairs of eyes glaze over is not exactly encouraging.
Yesterday's talks were different. These audiences were 5-8 year olds, who already knew me. It was fairly impromptu. The Teacher-Librarian had realised when she planned her lesson on book illustrations that she had a resident 'expert' on hand, so asked me if I'd talk. Of course, having been a teacher, I'm used to talking to kids, but I must say it was a far different experience than with the pensioners. The eyes in these audiences didn't glaze over. They got wider and wider and their mouths did the same. At the end, their questions were really interesting. They were fascinated to see that the pictures in the books had once been real paintings.
The funniest thing was when the Year 1-2 class lined up to meet their teacher at the door. As she appeared, the kids all started talking at once, trying to tell her what they'd just learned. Then one little voice piped up. "Did you know, Miss, Mrs Stewart is really good at colouring-in!"
Yep, that's what I do. Super colouring-in!