Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hay!

I'm back from Hay! That was brief. But good.

I arrived in the evening, had a wander through the abundant local foliage and a rest in the hotel bathroom, which happened to be much sunnier then the bedroom, so I stacked all the pillows on the windowsill and read Mojo Magazine (which I bought because it's edited by Tom Waits this issue) and drank instant hot chocolate and wrote things on the hotel notepaper.
Then I went to see what was going on at the festival site (tasty food and Laura Marling in concert, as it turned out).
Then I slept very badly, and when I got up fiendishly early for my event all my hair was standing on end, but I'd brought some hair wax, which is incredibly organised I think. In fact, all went very well.
I had a lot of strong coffee which propelled me through the talk at high velocity - I was a bit worried I'd annoy Grahame Baker-Smith and Anthony Browne with my ramblings, but it all turned out enjoyable. I even remembered to do a quick drawing demonstration in the end. The children present were supposed to enter a competition drawing animals and so I told them if you draw an animal without reference, just try and get the shape right, and that's easiest if you imagine what it feels like to be that animal. Or else, start with a shape and fit the animal inside, but think about what kind of mood or activity would make that animal fit into that shape, and then draw it that way. That got some applause, which was an unusual thing to happen to me over breakfast.
Here's a squirrel I drew to demonstrate squirrel-shapedness. Here I was thinking about what it does with its paws, because that's the bit I can relate to most immediately in my memory of what squirrels are like, and the rest just follows. - Paw cut off in this picture, sorry, but you see it's kind of pointy that way.
Grahame's new book (FArTHER) looks awesome, by the way, and Anthony Browne seems really as nice as everyone says, I wish I'd had more time to ask him things about apes and drawing but I had to run off and sign books and draw cats for people, which was also good.
And after that I was too tired to do anything, so I went back home, even though there was a multitude of brilliant things to see... but I just really needed some sleep.
I did take my camera, but all I photographed at the actual festival was this blanket people knitted at Hay last year (there were several of these).

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