Events / Shoe Lane Library Comic Workshop

Today we are speaking once again with Laura Newsome, the organiser and founder of the Shoe Lane Comic Forum, which meets on the 5:30pm – 7pm on the first Tuesday of every month at Shoe Lane Library. But this month she’s also branching off into doing some other types of comics events of her own!

When is the event taking place and where?
The Comic Workshop is taking place on Saturday 17th March 11am until 2pm. It’s a great, centrally located starting point for the rest of your weekend! The session is going to be a very informal drop-in style workshop, with artist and designer Joe Stone on hand for inspiration and guidance. All the materials you might need to get going will be provided, as well as displays of our extensive graphic novel collection to encourage the creative juices to flow.

Why did want to host this event?
Shoe Lane Comic Forum has been running for 9 months now and it is going really well. We meet up on the first Tuesday of every month at Shoe Lane Library from 5:30pm and discuss what we’ve been reading, what we want to read, and what we wish we hadn’t read! I wanted to develop this into holding the odd “stand alone” event throughout the year, to give people the chance to be involved with comics in new and interesting ways. Then, back in January, I attended the S.M.A.S.H event organised by the LGNN as I had been asked to take part in one of the panels. Joe was hosting a workshop there and we got chatting about a possible collaboration in the future.

Shoe Lane Library lends itself really well to the workshop format as we have plenty of space, tables and comfy seating. I’m also really intrigued to see what the appetite is like in the Square Mile for an event of this nature – particularly at the weekend!

Laura Newsome (Shoe Lane Comic Forum) @lollymoosome

Why did you aske Joe Stone to lead it?
The workshop he ran at Artizan had a really good vibe. After the event had finished I took his Twitter details (@Joe_stone) and was impressed by his design and comics illustration. He was really enthusiastic about doing more workshops around London and I think it will be great for people to meet him and get inspired to create!

Check out his work and various projects here: www.joe-stone.co.uk

Joe Stone (W.I.P. Comics) @joe_stone

Why a drop-in session?
I’m keen for this event to be relaxed, informal and super chill so people are welcome to come and go as they wish. I’ve done various events in libraries before and I tend to know what kind of format works for a particular set up.

Will you do more events like this in future?
I’m not expecting hoards of people to turn up for the workshop, but as long as the feedback I do get is positive and I have successfully engaged people in the right ways, I would definitely look into doing further events like this in the future.

What other events would you want to do?
That’s a very good question! I would possibly like to organise a mini City Comic Con with the help of the other libraries, but I’ve never voiced that idea until right now – you’ve got yourself an exclusive there…

Has Shoe Lane Library been used as a venue for events like this before?
Although the library hasn’t been used for an arts workshop of this nature before, we are really expanding our services and promoting the space as a perfect location to host events in the City. We are currently running a programme of events called Dragon Café in the City which runs fortnightly on a Thursday (the next session is 8th March). It’s a whole day dedicated to offering free events promoting and encouraging good mental health. We even have free massage appointments!

More details can be found here: www.dragoncafeinthecity.com/

Who are the target audience?
Anyone and everyone. Pick up a pen and draw stuff!

What does your library think about the event?
I’m lucky to have a very supportive manager, and she is happy for me to try new things. The library network is also very co-operative particularly with regards to promoting events, and that is useful when trying to get the word out. The success of the previous S.M.A.S.H events have also been key to laying the groundwork for holding comics events in libraries.

What do you think of Get Creative and how do you think it could help?
The Get Creative Festival 2018 runs from 17th – 25th March and is a nationwide programme of free arts events. The Comics Workshop is just one of many events happening in London alone, and it’s going to be a great time to explore your city and get involved with something new. It has been a fantastic way of further promoting the workshop, and it is always rewarding to support a positive and engaging campaign such as this.

Click here to find more information about the festival and find out what’s going on in your area: www.getcreativeuk.com

For more information: laura.newsome@cityoflondon.gov.uk

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