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More About - Presentations
The ultimate reason for writing children’s books is to see the response of the children and adults who enjoy the book. For that reason, I feel visits to schools, civic organizations, libraries and book circles are wonderful opportunities to hear from my audience and to talk about Inclement, my books, my art, and the importance of art education to everyone.
All age groups can have a fun, informative experience when I speak about Inclement, Bug Summer, and the people who live there. For instance, when I talk to first graders, we spend time reading the book, and then, with very little prompting, the children ask all sorts of questions, mostly about how I did the drawings and the photography. I show them some of the drawing techniques I use, as well as my photography equipment, and they naturally have so much curiosity and enthusiasms that my presentation flows easily from book design to what kind of books are coming in the future. We talk about the Inclement kids, about what they are doing and what life is like in Inclement, Iowa. My goal is to inspire these children to read and to create on their own! We might draw simple bugs together, and work on basic art technique. At the end of the visit, each child receives a bookmark and some Bug Summer stickers, along with a book order, so that they and their parents can choose to purchase a signed copy if they like.
As children get older, visits include a reading of the book, but we will spend more time on actual technical aspects of drawing, digital art creation and photography. I continue to encourage upper elementary and middle school students to pursue art in their spare time, especially because it is during the adolescent years that many kids give up practicing art because they feel their work isn’t good enough.
I have done a visit to a careers class full of high school juniors, and we spent most of the time talking about the types of art careers that are out there, as well as the importance of the creative thought processes in all jobs, even those that are not overtly “arty”. My goal is to encourage these young adults that are about to move into a new phase of their lives to appreciate the varied opportunities that exist for them in creative positions in all sorts of companies across the United States.
And when I speak to adults, well, that is just a great opportunity to not only share my work, my art, and my vision, but to inspire these people to see to it that art education is available to all the children in their communities. I answer questions about all phases of the work I do, show my art processes, and hopefully delight the grownups in my audience so that they can remember the fascination and freedom of childhood.
All of our visits can be tailored to a specific time frame, but keep in mind the attention spans of very young children—anything much longer than 30 minutes for very small children can be difficult for them. Many times, a school system will have us come in for a block of time a few hours in length, and I will do several different presentations for varied age groups during that time period. We do ask that we be allowed to send home order information with students and teachers.
We do charge to come to schools and share our books, art, and creative perspective. Fees are determined by the distance that we must travel, the amount of time we spend in the school, and the number of children and/or adults to whom we present. We also take into account any activities for which we bring supplies-such as blank books and art supplies. We are very excited to share our creative philosophy with administrators, teachers and staff offering unique in servicing opportunities for your school. When you contact me, please let me know how extensive and intensive you want your visit to be, and we will give you a quote on our fee.
Book signings often accompany these presentations, and we will offer special rates to schools that make the effort to help us promote our books through signings and pre-sales through book orders. One interesting way to structure our visit is for us to complete our presentations during the day, and then after school, I can offer a short program for adults and their children, with a book signing immediately following. This also includes the parents in our perspective on creativity, which the child might have a difficult time explaining on his or her own.
All of our visits and presentations are educational and fun! If you want me to cover a specific area, such as photography, drawing, or the book publishing process in more detail, please let me know when you book your date, and I will be happy to address your subject matter in more depth.
Please feel free to contact me, Mayor Tracy Lovett at 712/520-4772 if you have questions or would like to set a date for a visit at your school, library, or other meeting or function. You may also email me for more information.
Interacting with the public, sharing my work and generating enthusiasm for the arts, is something I really love to do. And, incidentally, the folks living in Inclement just love it when I get out and chat them up!