Thursday, May 29, 2008

Elementary School Visit

My Aunt is a teacher down in American Fork UT, and she invited me to come and talk to the first grade at her school about being an illustrator. It wasn't a paying gig, but I wanted to do it to get some experience for some day when I have a big trade book to promote. It was so much fun!!! Talking to kids is WAY more fun than talking to adults (no offense adults).

I started my presentation talking about how you don't have to wait until you are a grown-up to be an illustrator, and how the only way to get good at drawing is to PRACTICE! I showed the kids some of the books I made when I was around first grade age. They were pretty funny. Then I showed the kids illustrations that I did when I grew up- I told them that I am still practicing. I love the reaction you get from kids- they are just so excited about everything. I read them my book Allie's Bike. That was tons of fun because kids have such great reactions when Allie is flying off her bike and when she wobbles into the garden. I told them how I like being an illustrator because I can work from home and be with my family. I showed them my paints and paint brushes and pictures of my studio. Then I drew a picture for them. I asked the kids for suggestions on what animal we should draw. We finally decided on a shark. I started drawing a shark, but it looked like a dinosaur (I forgot that sharks have pointy noses), so we made it into a dancing dinosaur with a tuxedo and a tutu. I would have liked to draw a lot more details and funny things but I ran out of time and only had about two minutes to draw. Bummer. But it was tons of fun.

A couple weeks after my presentation, I recieved some letters and drawings and books in the mail. I loved every single one of them. I had so much fun looking at the pictures and reading the letters, and afterwards my self-esteem was ten times better. :) Kids have such a sweet way of giving sincere complements. The kids drew a wide variety of pictures- I wish I could include them all. But I have decided to just include a couple of great dancing dinosaurs. Their dinosaurs are WAY better than mine. Enjoy!


By Brynlie

By Kristin


Vhrsti said...

I love to present my books at shools! (And love also you cute illustrations.)

Jennifer said...

That is great Shawna, I bet that was a blast, and it looks like you taught them a lot from their drawings! Also your video of your daughter is so funny! That's perfect, she's totally caught the art gene! p.s. are you planning on attending the byu illustrators conference in june or july, I don't remember? It would be fun to see you guys again. I haven't decided if I'm going or not, we'll see.

Cristina said...

Shawna! I was pleasantly surprised to see your comment on my blog. Thanks! I love your blog. That's great that you are so into illustrating. My dream is to write children's books someday. And I agree, children are way more fun to talk to than adults.

Jen said...

I found your blog through facebook- WOW- YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!!!! So amazing!! You have some serious talent!

Bethany and Thomas said...

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to watch you present... I know that if I was a kid I would have eaten this up, especially the dancing dinosaur. You never know- you may have inspired a child to be an illustrator!