Courses and workshops

I teach courses in graphic novels and comics for all levels at the Royal Drawing School (previously The Prince’s Drawing School) in Shoreditch. These courses generally run over ten evenings during term time or for one intensive week in July. Past students have been shortlisted for the Cape/Comica/Observer Graphic Short Story Prize and Laydeez Do Comics Prize and have also gone on to be published by NoBrow and Avery Hill in the UK and Top Shelf Comix in the USA.

In addition, I teach workshops for adults, children and teenagers around the UK. Previous venues/clients include Great Ormond Street Hospital, House of Illustration, Saatchi Gallery, Edinburgh Book Festival, Bradford Festival of Literature, Hay Festival, Jersey Festival of Words, Barnes Children’s Book Festival, Greenwich Book Festival, UCL Medical School, SOAS, St George’s Hospital, Kingston University’s National Art & Design Saturday Club, E17 Art Trail, Kentish Town City Farm and the Royal Drawing School’s Foundation Year and Drawing Clubs. Please contact me if you would like to arrange a comics workshop for your school, workplace, festival or activist/community group.

One-to-one tutoring/mentoring, consultation and editing on your graphic novel or picturebook project is sometimes available in person or via Skype – find out more here.

Upcoming Courses and Workshops:

Drawing Comics and Graphic Novels
10 Weeks, Monday evenings, 23 September – 25 November 2019, 6.30-9pm
Royal Drawing School Shoreditch | Studio 3
£175 / Book here

This enjoyable and highly structured course is equally suitable for beginners and those with more experience. It is an inspiring introduction to graphic storytelling, offering guidance on everything from generating ideas and structuring narratives, to inking and choosing tools, in a safe and encouraging environment. Those with some experience in the form will have an opportunity to reconsider both style and process, receive feedback and experiment with technique. *Please note the course content will be the same as in Drawing the Graphic Novel 1*

Drawing the Graphic Novel 1
10 Weeks, Thursday evenings, 26 September – 28 November 2019, 6.30-9pm
Royal Drawing School Shoreditch | Studio 2
£175 / Book here

This enjoyable and highly structured course is equally suitable for beginners and those with more experience. It is an inspiring introduction to graphic storytelling, offering guidance on everything from generating ideas and structuring narratives, to inking and choosing tools, in a safe and encouraging environment. Those with some experience in the form will have an opportunity to reconsider both style and process, receive feedback and experiment with technique. *Please note the course content will be the same as in Drawing Comics and Graphic Novels*

Where Drawing Meets Words
I co-teach this course with brilliant artist-poet Sophie Herxheimer
10 Weeks, Tuesday daytimes, 24 September – 26 November 2019, 10am-5pm
Royal Drawing School Shoreditch | Studio 3
£385 / Book here

How do you stimulate the imagination? Where do ideas come from; can you go out and look for them? How do you respond to other people’s imaginative worlds, whether visual or literary? This course is taught by an artist/poet and an author/illustrator who both inhabit the place where words and pictures collide. It is suitable for fine artists who want to explore the role of story in their practice, illustrators who want to abandon formulas, writers who want to put pictures with their words, or anyone new to image-making who would like to build a visual vocabulary in relation to narrative, poetry and the sequential image. Through a range of experiments in drawing, collage, listening, looking and printmaking, we will consider how to create exciting tensions and harmonies – between words and pictures, tone and colour, texture and ideas, working towards developing fluency in our individual practice. Throughout the term there will be opportunities to draw from life, both inside the studio and on location in London, as well as from our inner worlds, and in response to writing. Each week, time will be set aside to work towards a personal project in which we can bring our visions to life.

What I’ve learned about writing and illustrating a children’s book
11am-1pm, Saturday 26 October 2019
Laydeez Do Comics Professional Development Workshop | Westminster Library
£TBD / Bookings opening soon

Lots of people have an idea for a children’s book but don’t know where to start… Or they like the idea of making a children’s book but don’t know where to look for or how to develop ideas. Come and join me for a mixture of talks and practical exercises, where I’ll show development drawings and share the insights gained from making my multi-award-shortlisted debut picturebook, The King Who Banned the Dark. I’ll also answer questions on the entire process from pitching to publication and beyond! You’ll leave with a jump-start on developing and selling your own story and illustrations, as well as tips on what to expect once you start working with a publisher. This workshop is open to all levels including complete beginners. If you’re already working on a picturebook idea, bring it with you – if not, a notebook, pencil and an open mind will be just fine.

Drawing Comics and Graphic Novels Summer School 2020
5 Days, Monday 20 – Friday 24 July 2020, 10am-5pm
Royal Drawing School Shoreditch | Studio 3
£325 / More information and booking

Here is what some past students have said about my courses:

“Just wanted to say what a truly wonderful experience it has been.  Your teaching came from such a fun, intelligent place – I really appreciated you sharing your super nuanced understanding of comics and their language – I feel it’s completely opened up the  medium for me.  And also it’s been really empowering – I no longer feel that my drawing isn’t good enough, or that there’s a right or wrong way of doing things, I just feel I can have a go and try and use whatever I need to service the story.  There are so many brilliant things that I’ll take with me. I feel my entire experience of comics (as a reader and fledgeling maker) has completely transformed. I also really enjoyed how group orientated and ego-less it all was, I loved the whole group experience.  Thank you for making such a lovely fun and safe space for us. “

“Thank you *so* much for the excellent course you taught a couple of weeks ago. It opened my eyes to so many approaches to making comics that I had never thought about, and you made it all seem easy and fun. It was amazing to have you share all your experience and skill with us, I feel like I have levelled up. I’m even making a new comic for the first time in ages, and have lots of little bits of paper stuck to my desk while I rearrange them. Thank you for thoughtful and insightful teaching and comments, and thank you especially for helping me get creatively unstuck.”

“I came to Emily’s Drawing the Graphic Novel 1 class as a beginner, not having taken drawing classes previously, and I have come out of it with the confidence to express myself through drawing. Drawing now brings me pride, calm, and joy. Emily’s course taught me about structuring work on a project to harness and develop one’s innate creativity. She helped me find my own style and unlock my ability to tell a story graphically. She has a calm and reassuring teaching style, tailoring her approach and instructions to the needs of each learner.”