So, We Are Words + Pictures went to Hay festival last weekend and a super fun time was had by all.
Being a part of the Hayfever festival (aimed at children of from 0-16) we catered to a young crowd which threw up its own set of challenges and rewards.
What’s so great about working with kids is their infinite imaginations. And some of them were so keen to get on with things our imagination fuelling activities were utterly redundant. All of the artists in the room really loved it when kids were so clearly besotted with drawing at such a young age.
However, while everybody obviously knows what drawing is, much of our crowd were quite bemused by the idea of creating their own character. Some revelled in the auteurial position we offered while others sought permission at regular intervals:
“I can have purple eyes? Are you sure?”
“If that’s what you want your character to have, that’s fine by us.”
Nevertheless there was a range of solid work created over the weekend with some of our workshop attendees really taking off with the comics format. Like David below:
Tom, Eddie and Anna were great at sharing hints and tips for making characters look like they’re moving, how to draw ears and adding shading, etc. It was also the first time we’d worked with the wonderful Ted Brandt who was hugely popular among large swaths of children once he’d introduced the exquisite corpse idea to the table he was working with. He also came up with the Judge Sheep that inspired lots of younger kids to draw a sheep (or an octopig) to place in our field.
My favourite part was Eddie pointing out to one girl that she was creating really advanced work (including speech and thought bubbles as well as a narrative voice and a strong story arc) and her just shrugging her shoulders because she’s not really interested in comics. He quickly listed off the names of a few titles she should check out for her mum who promised to pick them up.
We even had a few primary school teachers dropping in to – in their own words – ‘magpie’ our ideas because their kids enjoyed it so much. High praise indeed.
Big thanks to all at Hay especially Sophie and Hannah for taking care of us and making sure everything ran so smoothly.
Keep an eye out on our Flickr page where we’ll post more images of work created shortly.