Saturday 9 March 2013

Travels with my art (in Yorkshire)

It was International Womens Day so, before today's Comic Art Masterclass in Ripon, I drew this flipchart page.

It's been quite the busy week for me and my Comic Art Masterclasses, before each day of which I try to decorate a flipchart page like this if I can (though this had an unusual length of time to work on, with me getting a free half hour before my class started). Because Thursday was World Book Day, a number of schools were arranging special events for their pupils and, having been invited by Ripon Grammar School in Yorkshire to work there for two days, teaching kids how to do what I've been doing for a living since 1989, word spread and I found myself spending Monday to Friday with my friends in the north.

There was a fair bit of travel involved. Monday morning I left the house in Clevedon at 5.30am to drive to Doncaster, arriving in time to start teaching at 9.00. The next day's school was in Knaresborough so, in order to stay within budget, I stayed overnight in Leeds, but the next overnight stop proved more problematic. As a result of a small sporting event in Manchester on Tuesday (Man Utd v Real Madrid at Old Trafford) my quest to find an affordable hotel within an hour of my next school in Chortlton Cum Hardy was harder than usual. I ended up staying in Huddersfield.

Wednesday, wake up in Huddersfield, drive right the way across Manchester in rush hour traffic and arrive at school in Chorlton half an hour late, then after a fine day of classes I head for my next hotel, which is in Wakefield, the nearest affordable hotel I could get within an hour of Ripon. As ever I am unstinting in my praise for the website which helps me to find places to stay and keeps we well informed about what to expect. I knew Wednesday night's hotel in Wakefield was to be unusual, but by golly was it cheap. Twenty five quid for an en suite room with free wifi, parking and breakfast was too good to be true surely? As it happens it was slightly too good, as the breakfast turned out not be available until half an hour after I left for work, but who's complaining? And my biggest thanks go to Sally & Neil, librarian and family from my last school who put me up in their lovely Yorkshire country cottage for the final night of my travels.

I shudder to think how many miles that was, but it was certainly great fun to work with 10 groups of school pupils, producing 10 brand new comics containing approximately 260 comics strips and caricatures by the kids in the classes, the evidence of which will be coming up on this blog soon. In the meantime, enjoy me grinning cheesily in front of that flipchart.

If anyone wants me to come and show their kids how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades in my patent Comic Art Masterclasses, drop me a line, a comment, a Twitter, smoke signals, the usual methods. Click below to see more, including video and contact details.

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