Tips and Tricks

< back to list of questions

Q6: Any tips on running workshops?

‘Meet people on their terms, and work to their interests.’ Ellen Lindner, Mentor.

‘Plan ahead, make sure you are aware of your age group and their limitations. Make sure it is fun’ Isabel Greenberg, intern.

‘Prepare, but be ready to throw half your plans out the window when everything runs over.’ Freya Harrisson, Intern.

‘Its not about the drawing, its about telling the story. A lot of the teenagers we taught had massive hangups over their drawing abilities, which was a shame as each and every one of them had something to say. I was the same, I guess it’s just a stage we all go through. But so long as the emphasis is on story, and you encourage them, they’ll produce something to be proud of regardless.’ Abraham Christine, Intern.

‘Run through a ‘dress rehearsal’ in your head of the workshop before you do it. Pre-empt anything that can go wrong and have a Plan B. Make sure there’s a healthy number of ‘stages’ and time it all, to the minute!’ William Goldsmith, Intern.

‘Plan for everything. If you have a well thought out plan of activities to work with, you can’t go wrong. Even if you end up doing something completely different with the participants, you can always come back to the plan if you get stuck, or have extra time. You should also guide the participants into learning things for themselves, instead of just telling them “This is how you do it.” Instead it’s more like “This is how I do it, and it’s just one way of doing it. There are lots of other ways, and you can even come up with your own!” ‘Jade Sarson, Intern.

‘Something that I hadn’t given much thought to until I experienced it is that unconfident participants may need serious encouragement to put pen to paper. Think of activities that don’t rely on drawing skills to work – think taking turns, add-on games, and interesting materials (and time limits). Beginners may actually prefer highly structured workshops with a specific prompt to get them creating, rather than anything that’s too free – make it so that the choices participants have to make are simple ones. Make sure the activities can still work if more/less participants than you were anticipating attend, and prepare lots of materials beforehand.’ Lily Rose-Beardshaw, Intern.