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At the weekend some of the GDP family went to see this year’s big graphic arts event, Pick Me Up, at Somerset House. I’ve been doing a lot of study lately about collaboration and connectivism – networking and creating with others. So, Pick Me Up fitted (as usual) right into this ethos. I don’t always personally love all of the art on display, but what I do like each year is the friendly atmosphere of people working with each other. Many of the displays are put on by small collectives of, mostly, young creative illustrators, printers and graphic novel makers. The benefits of working in small groups is clear financially and support-wise, but it just seems such fun too!

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What we had gone for on that specific day, though, was for Lu (11) to participate in a workshop with one of our favourite illustrators, Sara Fanelli. The GDP projects often refer to her quirky collage work for inspiration and information and she is perhaps best known for her award winning book explaining how flight works. She has just released a new book, The Onion’s Great Escape, which on the face of it looks like it is for small kids, but is actually full of brain-aching philosophical questions. The onion also pops out to escape at the end. “What can you draw but not touch?” “Air,” says Lu, “or memory,” and he and gets to work drawing air blowing out of a trumpet, and Sara later draws him an onion which he will treasure for ever!

This book, I think, would be ideal for conversation starters with homeschooled children and adults! The conversation went on quite a time and then continued on the train home. Logic was a blur by the time we arrived. What a lovely person Sara Fanelli is and how able to challenge children to use their imagination and to consider all kinds of mind tricks, philosophy and ethics. See her website at www.sarafanelli.com.

 

The images below range over the  Ideas Machine to Coffee Club collective, Nelly Duff and general views of Pick Me Up in full flow.

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