Have you ever wondered how to break the ice and get more audience participation at your illustrator event? Rita Lazaro, an artist and SCBWI member based in Bath, has some great ideas to get things started! Part II of a series.
(Part I)


What you need: 

A4 paper


Give each participant a piece of paper and a pen. Ask everyone to scribble something. It can be a shape or just a line. Do it quickly without much thinking. Pass that paper to the next participant on the left. Now they need to work on your scribble. Give them 10 seconds and everyone must pass the paper to the next person on the left. Continue until your own scribble returns to you. (Good luck spotting it!) 

Spend some time talking about what each drawing represents. Can any of those scribbles be a character in a book? Was it difficult to finish other people's work?


What you need: 

Paper cut into small pieces
Two jars/boxes/bowls
Writing and drawing tools

Every participants writes down a few nouns and throws them in the “Noun” jar, then they do the same with adjectives and throw them into the “Adjective” jar. Then everybody picks one piece of paper from each jar and draws the result. Hopefully you end up with some interesting prompts - like 'depressed apple', 'friendly chair', 'square triangle', or 'spicy elephant'. The two jars can be prepared in advance to cut down on thinking time. 

Advanced version 

Use one pair of words per couple of illustrators and compare your interpretation of the prompt. Can you come up with the story for these characters?


What you need: 

A4 paper
Drawing tools
At least three participants

This is one of the oldest officially recognised drawing games, dating back to 1918 and the surrealists André Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Joan Miró.

Take an A4 piece of paper and fold it into three parts. Everybody starts by drawing a head of your hero/protagonist. Indicate the hero's neck by going slightly over into the next part of the paper. Pass the paper to the left, but first fold it so that the next person can’t see it.

Now everybody draws a body by following from the neck line, and again going slightly over the last bit of paper. Pass it to the left so that nobody can see your drawing.

Now everybody draws legs following the clues from the previous part. 

Unfold the paper and see what have you come up with.

Advanced version

1. You can agree on one type of character, like just animals, just humans, just monsters, etc.

2. You can divide the paper in more sections and pass it around, still allowing the next person to see only the last row.

Rita Lazaro is a visual artist based in Bath. However, she has been admiring illustrators for a while and even curated an illustration exhibition as part of the Fringe Arts Bath festival. After a year as a member of SCBWI, she might soon be ready to bring her own picture books to the world, but for now, she is busy bringing illustrators and picture-book enthusiasts together as a Network Organiser for SCBWI South West.

You can see Rita's work here.

Twitter: @RitaLazaroArt 

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