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SCHOOLS

"Cathy provided inspiration for budding artists and illustrators, writers and graphic designers - all in one friendly package!"
Katie Hill, Librarian, Oakwood School 

Cathy Brett does talks...
Hay Festival Scribbler's Tour 2012
workshops...
Thanks to Mrs Wright, The Howard of Effingham for this photo
 live drawing...
©Andy Newbold Photography
 festival events, talks to book groups, creative writing seminars
...and could even be your Writer/Artist in Residence

Cathy Brett’s talks and workshops are crammed full of creativity. As a successful artist, designer, writer and teacher, she knows exactly how creativity works and how to inspire it in young people. She’s passionate about books and reading for pleasure but also about storytelling through art, illustration, animation and interactive platforms. Her previous career in the design industry opens doors on an exciting world of creative possibilities for pupils and encourages them to explore their ideas and imaginations through a range of media.
Cathy’s talks and workshops always begin with a visual biography then segue into themes inspired by her novels – ‘superhero powers’, ‘ghosts and monsters’, ‘drawings that come true’, ‘texting teenagers 100 years ago’ – and end with an activity session that combines talking, writing, drawing… and lots of fun.

Cathy Brett is an illustrator who also writes, which isn’t unusual in children’s books but, until recently, has been quite a novelty in young adult fiction. Ex-fashion designer, ex-theatre designer, ex-fragrance packaging designer, ex-jet-setting cool-hunter, ex-art and design teacher, Cathy Brett turned to writing and illustrating books for teenagers after decades of day-dreaming and being easily bored. Now, all those hours staring into space and doodling in the margins during long meetings are being put to good use in her thrilling, funny, poignant, super-cool and quirkily illustrated YA novels. 
Cathy has appeared at the Hay Festival of Literature, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Bath Children's Literature Festival and many other festivals around the UK. She's also a regular contributor to the Hay Festival Scribbler's Tour. She can be booked through Authors Aloud UK.

"The workshop unleashed their creativity and, in some cases, transformed their views of books and reading."  Anna Hughes, English Teacher, The Howard of Effingham School 

"Her ideas are fresh and original.  Students found it very inspiring as did the teaching staff."  Davida Hall, LRC, The Priory School

Thanks to Mrs Skene at GHS for this great photo

and thanks to Mrs Illife at Hove Park for this one

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Jumping at my desk about Ember

It seems my first ever book is still being discovered and enjoyed by new readers. This makes me very happy indeed, as you can probably imagine.
This week I was sent a 'Book Report' by a chap called Dexter (aged 9 and 3/4) and was delighted to see that he had chosen to write about Ember Fury. Turns out Dexter is a pretty good author himself. The report was really well written and I was pleased to hear that all my favourite bits of Ember Fury are Dexter's too. Instead of focussing on Ember's attention-seeking fire-starting or the crazy desert car chase with Finn, Dexter chose the scene where Em gave the chauffeur the slip and ended up in the comic book store as his fave (which was, incidentally, the best scene to write).
His favourite character was Ned, whom I ADORE too, almost more than Ember (shhh, don't tell her!). Dexter also liked my drawings and said they were 'amazing' which made me jump up and down at my desk (Dangerous as I'd just made a hot mug…

Another Door Closes...

I completed a two-year MA this week (Illustration and Book Arts at UCA, Farnham). It's been hard work studying part-time while keeping illustration commissions ticking over, but it's been worth the effort. I never truly went away, but now feel I'm 'returning' to my career reinvigorated.



MA Project exploring my grandmother's memoir and photographic archive

I've already re-focussed my brain on a new book, so thoroughly in fact that, when asked at the private view to talk about the my final MA pieces, I actually couldn't remember what I had done! Here is some of it...


From the final project, WHAT IS HIDDEN - a part work inspired by Hitchcock's' Rear Window'
The new book, a graphic novel, is currently just an outline and a sketchbook of ideas. It has a slightly older target audience than my previous work - YA and adult cross-over - and will develop visual themes I've been playing with for the last two years. I can't wait to show it to you.

Rubber Stamping

We were only 4, because of the snow, but Saturday's rubber stamping workshop was a huge success. I invited friends to be my guinea pigs so I could test timings and smooth out technical details. The results were great.
Peter made his own logo stamps and printed them on a book bag, while Lisa and Dorothy created wonderful designs which we printed on kraft paper greetings cards.

I'll be running the smoothed-out version of the same workshop during Surrey Artist's Open Studios in June, so check back here for details in a month or two. More workshops are planned for the summer, too, including Cyanotype Printing on Fabric and Making Your Own Folding Hardcover Sketchbook.
Thank you Lisa Boyce for the photographs.