I perched on a little chair and read The Lavender Blue Dress in a cosy room above the bookshop - crammed with parents and excited kids; answered questions about my processes, career and illustrations, and signed a few secret copies for Christmas presents!
I thought it would be a great idea to get the children involved in the creativity and hold a little character design workshop after the book reading. So I pitched the challenge for everyone to draw a friend for the book's main character Mabel, and then that friend's family and pet - roughly following my own process for creating characters and storytelling.
Some of the children were a little shy with their confidence in drawing people; so I took to a flipchart and covered it in bold, simple shapes and used those as a starting point for creating characters. They were really inspired by that challenge, and it was great to see some of the shyer kids coming up and really sparking their imaginations with what sort of character each of the shapes suggested (well, we do have one tree as well!). I found this to be a really good method of breaking down the creative process to its simplest form, giving a bit of an insight into the professional side of things, whilst being fun and accessible for everyone!
It was so nice to see all the drawings at the end of the workshop, I wish I had some of them to show you (if anyone who was there is reading this and wants to send one in, please do!), and it was particularly humbling to hear that some of the children were hoping to be artists and authors when they're older!
You can find out more about The Lavender Blue Dress book events across the country on the Cargo Publishing website here.