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school visit information

The main focus of my presentation is the thought process involved in the creation of an illustration.  I discuss my background and my creative process as an author and illustrator. I touch briefly on the business of publishing. My PowerPoint presentation focuses on my own creative process specifically, and generally on what makes any illustration an effective device for telling a story (it should be noted that because of the nature of my work, many of slides are quite funny -but don't tell the kids that, let it be a surprise), I demonstrate with volunteers from the audience how people pose as models for my illustrations. In closing I draw some cartoons for the audience. If we can get the kids some clip boards with paper (or their notebooks) I can lead them in some fun drawing activities.

$ 850 for a full day (ask about how to receive a $100 discount)
$ 975 for a single full school day, if air travel is involved
$ 1,600 for two days, $750 per day for 3 or more consecutive days. Team up with a neighboring school to save moneyand share expenses!
$650 for a full day if you are within 60 minutes of Brattleboro, VT.
$500 for a half day (half day equals two presentations). Generally, I only work half days in addition to a full day.
$300 for a single presentation (only local).
$150 for an evening session after the school day
TOO MUCH? Talk to me, I can work with your budget.

For an additional $150 you can buy one of my original book cover illustrations to hang in your library. Most of the covers I still have in my attic, just taking up space. So, give me a few of your top choices and I’ll see if I can find them.

I request 25-45 cents a mile for mileage, depending on the current gas prices. If it gets too expensive we can cap it. The host school picks up the airfare, and rental car (if needed). If your school is more than 90 minutes away I request accomodations the night before. I'm not picky, but I do insist on indoor plumbing.
K & 1st, 45 minutes
2nd & 3rd, one hour
4th, 5th & 6th (and up), one hour and ten minutes.
pre-K, 20 minutes, in their room (no PowerPoint)

I understand that sometimes grades are grouped together certain ways within the school, so I go with what works best. I also understand that sometimes scheduling is difficult, so please be aware that I'm very flexible. I adapt the content and the length of the presentation to the age of the audience, and the time allotted.

K-6th is preferable, but I’ve done older groups too. I adapt my presentation to the age of the audience. I can't emphasize enough the fact that I'm very flexible, I'm the Dad of two teenagers, so I'm accustomed to a certain amount of chaos.


How many presentations can you give a day?
Fill up the day however you want. Schedule every minute, just allow ten minutes for transitions and give me 20 minutes for lunch. Four presentations combined with one or two workshops is typical. So is three presentations and three workshops. Ideally, I like to speak to older students in larger groups for longer periods of time (example: I would rather have the entire 4th and 5th and 6th grade together for 1 hour and fifteen minutes, rather than each grade separately for 45 minutes.)
The younger the audience gets, the smaller I prefer the group. But usually the day’s structure is determined by the particular school’s scheduling needs, so I just go with the flow.

 What materials do you need?
A digital projector and an easel. I might need a microphone if its a large group, depending on the acoustics of the space.  For the workshops I need a whiteboard or chalkboard, regular copy paper, and pencils and erasers.

 Do you teach any workshops?
Yes. A few work with large groups, the rest are for small groups of 30 students or less.

Large group Draw-Along  I lead a group of students in drawing a “mystery cartoon”. They draw exactly what I’m drawing, and it is a mystery what we are drawing until the last stroke of the pencil. This is always a crowd pleaser. I need either a large easel and pad, or an “elmo” projection system.
I like to include this activity, if possible,  at the end of the presentation. But it can also be scheduled as a separate session, 15-30 minutes. 2nd grade and up is best, but I have done it with kindergarteners and first graders.

Small Group Activities
I teach a variety of fun cartoon activities, adaptable to ages k-6th graders. In Funny Faces I teach the kids to bring more expression into their cartoons. In Match the Caption the kids draw a cartoon to fit an assigned caption. In Character/ Setting/ Story! the older kids create a story by designing a randomly assigned characters and putting them into a randomly assigned setting. Pass the Caption is kind of a cartooning version of the old “telephone game”. I also have a Caricature Drawing workshop in which I teach older kids some of the basic fundamentals about drawing faces.

If you tell me the age of the students, and how long the session will be, I'll come up with the best suited workshop.
The only supplies needed are basic copy paper, pencils and erasers (and a chalkboard or whiteboard for me to demo on).

Digital Painting Demonstration:
I will use my wacom tablet and stylus, which is connected to my laptop, which will be connected to your projector to create art digitally in Photoshop.  I can draw a color caricature of a student (or principal) or I can paint a landscape painting, or we can come up with something else. Best suited for older, art minded students. Allow 20-40 minutes. Your projector needs to be half-way decent in terms of picture quality.

What if we want a workshop for the older students, and the presentation for the younger students?
If you need to choose between a workshop and a presentation, definitely go with the presentation, regardless of the age. Remember, the presentation is varied to suit the age of the audience, and it is brimming with information. The workshops are supplemental to the presentation. It would be like watching the "extras" on a DVD, without watching the movie.

Will you sign books?
Yes, and you can order them from me if you want.