I had an exciting email land in my inbox the other day. It was from the BBC Bitesize team, enquiring whether I’d be available to feature on their BBC Bitesize roadshow.
The roadshow travels around various parts of the UK, stopping at schools in the area and giving them an insight into what jobs could be available as a freelancer once they leave school.
The BBC Bitesize panellists
I was joined by two talented other panellists on the day; Chelsey Baker, a marine biologist from Southampton, and Sophie Phipson, a Production Apprentice at BBC Manchester.
The event was hosted by the very talented Kathryn Wilson. She ensured the whole event ran smoothly and that the questions from a room full of teenagers were kept appropriate!
The day was split into four sessions, with a different age group featuring in each, from ages eleven to fifteen. The students would be seated and were given a short presentation from each of us, detailing what we did. This gave me the opportunity to share some of my time lapse videos and explain a little about my process and the software involved.
I was then asked a series of questions from the students about my day-to-day duties as a cartoonist, which other skills are important and what my favourite things were to draw (it’s dinosaurs every time, isn’t it!).
This all made me feel a bit old, as some of the techniques I used when I first started my journey with pen and ink have been surpassed by digital iPads. Of course, the students all found this very amusing, and probably very glad of the modern age of a quick click of ‘undo’ when a mistake is made!
It was important to highlight the good points, but also the other responsibilities of being a freelance cartoonist – such as no sick pay and having to source your jobs and work.
Live drawing and cartooning talks Wiltshire
All-in-all, a well-received and popular day, with lots of great engagement and everyone involved was very kind and welcoming. Certainly, something I would be very happy to do again, possibly with a live drawing exercise or similar – get in touch if this is something I can help you with!