I truly love teaching people about the bookmaking process.
Whether speaking at a school, library, or conference, I'm happy to provide a warm, inspiring talk with interactive drawing demonstrations. After years of teaching, I'm comfortable speaking in front of crowds of all ages. Though, like my character QUINCY (Little Bee Books, 2018), I do occasionally turn crimson for no reason. Kids of all ages usually find that entertaining. :-)
When presenting, I like to emphasize that every artist and/or writer is capable of learning their craft. No one is born with perfect talent. We all need to develop our skills, to learn how to endure ups and downs in our careers and stick with it no matter what. I try to focus on how mistakes are really important. It means we are still learning and experimenting and growing.
I also focus on how important it is to follow our instincts with art making. By using our imaginations and coming up with silly or bizarre ideas, we break through to new ideas. If we are afraid to fail or make mistakes, we remain rigid and our ideas don't become as exciting as they could be.
Sometimes with visits, I find it fun to have the kids come up with characteristics for a protagonist and an antagonist. I draw what they suggest, and we have a fun time putting our fearlessness to work.
For visits with adults or older school children, I also enjoy talking about the research and history involved in RENATO AND THE LION. I purposefully layered the story to give the older audience something extra regarding art preservation during World War II in Florence, Italy. There are Easter Eggs hidden in the book, which I explain at length. I also discuss the long journey for RENATO AND THE LION–from concept to publication. For talks involving authors and illustrators, I discuss the tips and tricks I've learned over the years–mostly from doing many things exactly wrong.
When my books are available, I am happy to sign copies and personalize them for people.
I am starting to plan for the summer release of RENATO AND THE LION, as well as for the 2017-2018 school year. If you are interested in connecting with me to plan a visit, please contact me at wavepaint at gmail.com. I'm so excited to share with any and every age!