Presenting in front of screen

School Visits

I enjoy visiting schools to talk with students and teachers about illustrating and writing picture books. School visits provide a wonderful opportunity to interact with children and to shed light on how a book is created. It is very satisfying to hear from a teacher that after my presentation, her students couldn’t wait to return to their desks to write a story and draw a picture!

Presenting to an Elementary School audience

Presentation content: The focus of my presentation is the process of illustrating a picture book. Each step is examined:

  • reading the manuscript
  • using the most important tool I have —my imagination
  • creating a storyboard
  • reference and research
  • doodles to dummy book
  • revising  (“What do you mean it’s not perfect?!”)
  • final artwork

A PowerPoint presentation illustrates how a doodle evolves into a completed painting. Roles of the author, editor, art director, and illustrator are explained. Cooperation of those involved in the creative process is stressed, as well as the notion that in order to excel, practice and perseverance are essential. I wrap up the presentation by answering questions and drawing a picture.

Presentation length: Each presentation is 40 minutes + 5 minutes to answer questions and draw a picture.

The audience: I enjoy speaking to kindergarteners and adults and all ages between. Because I adjust my presentation to fit the audience, I prefer to address groups of similar age if possible. I do not limit how many people can attend one presentation, but generally speaking, smaller is better.

Materials I will need:

  • A computer connected to a projector. I will bring my PowerPoint presentation on a flash drive. (Please have someone familiar with your projector available to assist with set-up, including adjusting focus & keystone distortion.)
  • A USB remote so that I may advance the “slides” from my speaking location.
  • A screen (The bigger, the better—especially if the presentation takes place in a gymnasium)
  • An easel
  • Drawing paper (19 x 24 in. is a good size)
  • A table at the front of the room
  • A microphone, if necessary (I prefer the lapel-type…I talk with my hands!)
  • Drinking water

Venue: The room you select should comfortably accommodate the audience and be conducive to viewing projected images. It’s a good idea to do a trial run in advance to be sure the room can become sufficiently dark and that all of the equipment is in working order.

Schedule: I will perform up to four presentations in a school day.

Book signing: There are two ways to handle book signing. One is to have the children present when I sign their book. This can be done between presentations or after the final presentation. The other is to collect all of the books and schedule a block of time when I can sign. In either case, please place a sticky note on the title page with the child’s first name (or for whom the book is to be inscribed). I don’t sign scraps of paper (or shirts, arms, shoes, etc.). I am not an autograph snob, and would gladly sign autographs freely, but in the school setting, there simply isn’t time to sign something for everyone. I provide a signed bookmark sheet that you may copy and distribute to the students.

Honorarium:

  • $500. per presentation, for up to 4 presentations during the day

If you book Brad for 3 or more days…

  • $400. per presentation, for up to 4 presentations during the day

Travel Fees: If I drive to your location and you are located more than 100 miles from my home in Prairie Village, KS, there is a mileage fee equal to that allowed by the IRS. If flying to your location, I will make airline reservations (direct flight, if possible). The host will reimburse me for the cost of airline tickets at the conclusion of the visit. If an overnight stay is required, the host is responsible for reserving and paying for lodging. Honorarium and fees are due at the conclusion of the visit. Once we’ve arranged a visit, I will mail a packet including book ordering information, my photo, and a letter of agreement.