I spent the last couple Saturdays showing young children how to make accordion books at the Mini Maker Faire in San Luis Obispo and at the Paso Robles’s ArtFest. It was a delight to be working with these young kids and talking with their parents. Give them a piece of paper and a crayon and kids jump right into the creative process. Many of the children stayed for fifteen or more minutes working on their books, even the younger ones. They were focused and intent on their creations.
I loved to see how their minds work, their choice of colors, their choice of topics and how they approach the creative process. Some took our butterfly and heart stamp outs and put them all over their books, others wrote a story and drew illustrations, and two young girls decided to copy a page from one of my books with their own art work. Each child approached their project in their own unique way with many creative results.
I also find that watching children’s at work helps me develop my stories, illustrations and marketing ideas. What are their interests? How does each age group relate to my books? How do they and their parents respond to my book display and the covers? Which books do they pick up first? Do they read the book through or thumb through the illustrations? If I give them a brief summary of the story, are they more likely to buy the book? What questions do they ask? Will they pick up my brochure and business cards? Are they willing to sign an email list?
They were both long days, but well worth the experience. I sold some of my books, talked to a couple of parents and teachers about school visits, passed out flyers for my upcoming classes at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles and gave out flyers listing where my books can be purchased.
Most of all, it was enjoyable relating to my young audience and their parents.