Monday, October 19, 2015


What is a picture book if not a tiny paper theatre?
Drawing upon over two decades experience in picture book making and the performing arts, award winning author/illustrator Viv Schwarz and award-winning theatre designer Ellan Parry present a master class in visual story-telling, exploring the intersection between picture books and performance.kiss-test Whether you are a professional picture book artist, a student or just want to try your hand at making something for your family, this class will give you tools to bring drama, expression and emotional impact to your work. We will bring in creative tools and exercises learned, invented, collected and developed over years of professional practice as well as materials that we would use ourselves professionally. proant_smallWe will show you how to work fast to generate characters and bring them to life, using techniques borrowed from theatre as well as drawing games and storytelling exercises. You will learn how to develop your story hands-on to make a well-paced, engaging picture book. This class includes a portfolio/dummy book viewing and discussion in small, friendly groups in the morning, so we can tailor the afternoon book-making lesson to you, personally.   This is a workshop for adults, although we may consider talented teenagers. We are charging an introductory rate of £50.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lights... camera... autocue?

I am setting up recording equipment at the studio so I can film clips now and then, to supplement the workshops I'm running with The Kraken Studio (That's our studio).
It's fun.
Here's the camera and the studio ipad...

...which is a remote and monitor now. There's a microphone, too, and some lighting, but most importantly...

A video posted by Viviane schwarz (@schwarzviv) on

...the autocue, which is pure ancient open source goodness - plus some duct tape.

Good thing I've been collecting assorted electronics for the studio over the last couple of years!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


My Anxiety web comic has a brand-new home.
I am reposting all the old episodes, edited and tidied a bit, and there are many new ones to come.
So: that's where the new stuff will happen. Go Look There.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Space Cat Portraits

Today I drew people as Space Cats, as part of the Galactic Fete at Creation Space London.
I especially enjoyed drawing families - I asked them to do a space pose. 

I managed to forget my drawing pen, so I had to hack a writing pen by adding a pipette I happened to have in my brush roll as a reservoir for drawing ink. I also cut a nib from a beer can and used some correction fluid and a toothbrush for stars.

Well, that was fun.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I'm having a lot of fun doing portrait commissions.
Here is a matching set of twin girls.
Get a treat for someone while I still have the time to draw these! Once I'm getting into the next big picture book project I'll be too busy...

Friday, July 3, 2015


You can now commission me for portraits, as long as you're happy to be an animal in it.

School visits

I had a few wonderful school visits recently...

In St Christopher's School I helped with a project where the kids made their own picture books. I did a day of tutorials, some sketching and in the end made a whole dummy book on stage.
They had a biology lesson in the gym, handling exotic animals, which was great fun to draw.

 In the Haberdasher's Aske's School for Girls I visited for a day with Alexis. We read them our books and drew monsters together.

Very important to have a party stomach. 
modular beasts.

It was awesome.
Thanks everyone!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

ELCAF: Catifying The Public!

I did portraits of people coming to ELCAF today.
Here are some cool cats who turned up:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Anti Austerity Protest: SKETCHES

I went to the Anti Austerity Protest today and took my sketchbook.
The march started at Bank. Here are some people assembling and wondering if they are in the right place.

Here they worked out that they are in the right place. 

Still at Bank. The streets are closed. The athmosphere is friendly. Drumming, chanting, leafletting.  Every few minutes a sudden cheer goes through the crowd, not sure why.

Lots of families here. The crowd is starting to move.

There's not much police, surprisingly. Much less than I expected. A lot more protesters than I expected... really a lot.

Some surreptitious tagging going on at Bank. There's the first helicopter.
The chap in the background is inviting people to join the Socialist Party, I think.

Moving into Fleet Street.
There's an overwhelming amount of groups. Goths against austerity, Chefs against austerity (here in the foreground). The blimp is tethered to a fire engine crewed by the Fire Fighter's Union. Lots of local groups turned up to protest about hospitals, council housing and assorted public services (there's Haringey).

Here's a cluster of artists, mostly.
And some music.

Someone was asking "why don't they chant back?" Because they are the National Union of Sign Language Interpreters. They are chanting, look.

The Strand is packed. There's a tired child with a CUTS KILL paper hat, she perked up afetr a few minutes of being carried.
Sisters Uncut had an impressive presence, their crowd spanned the width of the road.

Some masked people. Most wore their masks on the back of their heads, like this girl with the princess backpack and the YOUTH FIGHT AUSTERITY placard, and her mum.
That dragon statue is quite alarming from the back.

I've never seen so many people marching together, and I didn't see anyone being aggressive to anyone else. I just watched the news, they did get some footage of "fireworks" (smoke bombs, the colourful sort, I stepped over a pretty bright purple one in passing) and people dressed in black with masks trying to block a road. They didn't try very hard. No point anyway, the city was full of people peacefully protesting.

(This is all scanned with my handheld scanner, excuse any wobbles.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

There's an Opera Flashmob happening in London, and you can be part of it...

The amazing Katherine Kontz devised a new piece for the Tête à Tête opera festival. I drew the poster for it and I'll be participating in some way or other... will you? Sign up if you want to be come a part of the art.

An invitation to bring your rolling suitcase along and embark on a musical journey of boisterous wheels and beatific voices in sunny King’s Cross. Prepare for a dose of flip-flopping holiday fun!
Read more here... It'll be great.

Bath Kids Literature Festival Fundraiser

I just sent off my artwork to be auctioned off for this excellent fundraiser in aid of Bath Festivals:

This is your chance to own a unique piece of original art by one of the UK’s best and most popular illustrators. Come along on the night to bid on one of several framed pieces of art – each depicting the famous Bath Children’s Literature Red Chair.
Amazing artists including including Chris Riddell (Goth Girl), Ben Cort(Aliens love Underpants), Nick Sharratt (The Story of Tracey Beaker),  Korky Paul (Winnie the Witch), Alison Jay (Welcome to the Zoo), Michael Foreman (War Game) and Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo) have all donated pieces featuring their own, entertaining interpretation of the Festivals’ iconic red storytelling chair.
Help secure the future of the Bath Festivals internationally renowned programme of popular Festivals and be in with a chance of acquiring a piece of artwork to treasure for your family, school or business.
An Online Auction of many more Artworks will be launched on the night.
My picture is painted using all materials I have picked for the art lessons and workshops I'll be giving soon via The Kraken Studio - all cheap stuff but really nice.

Go and admire the rest, there are some Mighty Fine Red Chairs to be had.