Friday 19 February 2021

Hamsters & Sausages In Space - art centre classes + rave reviews

 The third week of February was a busy week for Comic Art Masterclasses - in a month where I have more days of classes in 2021 than I had the same time in 2020 when, you'll remember, there was no pandemic or lockdowns! It was also a week of a fascinating experiment, seeing if art centres and libraries could bring in a bigger audience for my Comic Art Masterclasses than I could by myself. Reader, I can report that, yes, they surely can.

The week began with a class organised by Acorn Arts in Penzance, for which they'd managed to round up a respectable class of fourteen, some of which came from Cornwall, but others came from as far afield as East Anglia and Glasgow.

North Wall Arts in Oxford attracted a class big enough to fill two back covers, effectively a sellout. And it was with these two classes that I initiated the offer of sending the original artwork for the caricatures back to their parents. All I ask is that they buy me a virtual coffee on my newly-installed Ko-Fi page here, and I'll stick their pictures in the post. At £3 a pop to them, 99p for postage, 50p for the envelope, and 34p to Paypal, I'm netting a neat profit of £1.17 for every single one. I think I'm onto a goldmine.

Wednesday's class was organised by North Yorkshire Libraries. Because the tickets were free, they had no problem selling it out. And, because it was free, a handful then didn't turn up, meaning I could, with a little jiggery-pokery-squeezery, fit all 28 of them onto the back cover of one comic. I shall be doing that in future, it saves time and emailing. For this class I also started selecting a new background based on their location and have them guess where I was supposed to be. The answer, the picture you see at the top of the page, was Keighley Reference Library.

My fourth day of classes was organised by Arts Depot in Finchley who won the week by selling out a morning and an afternoon class. In their instance almost every kid came from their local area of North London, whereas the others had all included kids from further afield. Finchley ran the class as Pay What You Want, so I have no idea what they actually paid. Acorn in Penzance was also Pay What You Can, North Wall Oxford was £5 a ticket, and North Yorks Libraries was free.

Here's me pretending to be in the Wallace Collection - which the kids at the Arts Depot morning class got on the second guess, by the way! And as if those kids weren't impressive enough, check out these words of praise that parents sent into the art centre afterwards:

Thank you very much for the picture and for organising the masterclass. My 9 year old absolutely loved it! I think it's the most fun she's had in ages. Please pass on my thanks to Kev F Sutherland - I thought the way he ran the class was great.


Thank you so much, Kev was totally amazing, gave my kids such a lift, they enjoyed this so much.


My daughter really liked the workshop today! It was brilliant, funny and very creative! Thank you for organising it.


Thank you for the drawings of the kids. They are very impressive. The kids wanted to say thank you for the class.  They thoroughly enjoyed it. 


This was by far the best session my (creative) daughter has attended. It was absolutely AWESOME and I really hope you do it again and again and again. Kev F Sutherland is just brilliant - absolutely brilliant. Please let me know where else I can review and sing the praises of this session as I’d be delighted to do so. And thank YOU for making it happen.


My daughter is a dyslexic learner and this session spoke to and celebrated not only her abilities but her understanding of the world. She was given time to communicate her ideas, she listened to otters and she produced work she was proud of - this extraction is all down to the the most enthusiastic human - Kev F Sutherland. From the bottom of my heart, please thank Kev as his feedback on my kids work will be imprinted on in her brain acting as a resource the next time she gets a knock at school - which she does. I only wish I had recorded the feedback to relive 😃 This was by far the best session my (creative) daughter has attended. It was absolutely AWESOME and I really hope you do it again and again and again. Kev F

The celebrities these five groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip (and, by the way, I'm now using the Chat function in Zoom for them to suggest the comic titles and to name the celebs, all of which streamlines things greatly) were Ed Sheeran, JK Rowling, Simon Cowell, Boris Johnson, and David Attenborough.

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Next Comic Classes, open to the public:

Sat Feb 27 - Chesterfield

Sat Mar 6: Bento Class 

Sat Mar 20:  Zion Bristol

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