I recently visited a couple of primary schools, both in the Surrey area, to deliver cartoon workshops to schoolchildren.
At one school I had 55 Year 1 pupils (5-6 years old) all at desks in the school hall for a 2 hour session (with breaks for the kids, me and the four teachers/teaching assistants). Their topic was comics. At the other school I ran two separate 1hr20min cartoon workshops, each to 30 children (5-6 yrs old) in their own classrooms, whose school art topic was superheroes. These were the youngest groups of pupils that I have worked with.
The joy of doing school visits is that the children always enter into the spirit of the activity with enthusiasm and imagination. There is always a wide range of ability and talent. Some pupils need encouragement and validation whilst others race ahead with ideas and already-developed skills.
I have a general delivery format that I can adapt to the needs of the year group and I work in coordination with the teachers of the classes involved so the students are working towards a curriculum target in a fun way. I work on a whiteboard or large flip chart at the front of the room and I usually start with face shapes and expressions then move through body shapes and actions, animal figures, backgrounds, character creation and simple animation.
The kids’ results are always varied and entertaining and it is definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of my cartooning work.
As Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”