David O'Connell co-wrote and co-drew our Jampires picture book. Katherina Manoulessou is one of the very first illustrators I met when I moved to London, at the London Artist Book Fair, and I was smitten with a screen-printed booklet she'd made. And Stephen Collins draws a weekly comic strip for The Guardian magazine on Saturday that makes me howl; you can see his clipped-out strips yellowing and flecked with stir-fry on my kitchen bulletin board.
So I was so curious to see what would happen when they all came together! Here's Daniel the technician at the Royal Festival Hall, putting on Dave and my microphone headsets. (Now you know how I look without specs.)
Photo on the right by Katherina
Here's a poet named LionHeart who gave us a wonderful energetic introduction on stage. Look out for his upcoming book of poetry!
Here's a clip of him performing in LA:
I'd asked each of the three artists to pick a character they could teach everyone how to draw, and here are the books they came from:
Dave did a fab short theatrical speech about encountering a Jampire that morning, and led everyone step-by-step in drawing one.
Here's a guide if you missed the event but still want to learn how to draw a Jampire. (There's a more complicated version here on the Jampires website.)
Katherina showed us how to draw a progression of frog from super-cute tadpole to froglet to frog in swimming costume and wellies. I don't have a picture of her doing that, but here's my Oxford University Press publicist's husband's follow-along drawing, which I thought was rather fine!
I was thrilled to get Stephen for his first-ever family event! He has a picture book coming out this autumn, so you may be seeing more of him on the children's book circuit. He could have picked Michael Gove or Justin Trudeau to draw as characters, but he kept things simple and picked ZORGOTH, DESTROYER OF WORLDS. (Which rather excitingly involved lots of scribbling.)
We had the widest-possible range of people in the audience, everyone from babies to grownups, but somehow it seemed to work! It was great seeing so many people concentrating hard on drawing the three characters. Next, we started off a story, with Dave drawing a Jampire on the moon (pictured here).
Tweeted by @WeezyFielding
Katherina took over next, and drew her frog coming to visit, in a spaceship. She took a suggestion from Emir in the audience and had the spaceship squirting a jam potion at the Jampire. Stephen also drew the spaceship and I am not quite sure if this was Katherina's or Stephen's.
We managed to get four drawings into the story with Dave finishing off, and then we got to meet people, see their drawings, and sign and doodle copies of our books for them.
Tweeted by @WeezyFielding
Check out these Oliver and the Seawigs drawings!
A little close-up of Cliff here:
ONE of these drawings is me. :D
We had a wonderful team of publicists working with us! Thanks so much to Phil Perry, Abi Sparrow, my husband Stuart, and Harriet Bayly and her family (pictured here) for coming along to help! And to our Southbank Centre event manager, Rachel Porter, for looking after us.
And big thanks to Foyles for stocking our book! I popped downstairs afterward and bookseller Yael Tischler tried on my hat.
Huge thanks to everyone involved, especially Dave, Katherina and Stephen for having the guts to come on stage and draw in front of everyone! You guys are awesome. :) You can follow them on Twitter, @davidoconnell, @kmanolessou and @stephen_collins.