Any advice for running children's illustration workshops?

Hi everyone! I am a children's illustrator, quite early in my career and still finding my feet. I have been approached about running a workshop for kids at a local event. Something around the idea of drawing and character design. This isn't something I've ever done before but I've heard that it's a common thing for illustrators to do and I'm keen to say yes to the opportunity.

I haven't got any experience with this kind of thing and I'm not sure how I would start planning for something like that or even what questions I should be asking the event organiser. Any advice for a beginner in this space would be amazing.

I've also been asked to quote how much my running a workshop would cost. I could come up with an hourly rate but is there anything special I should be considering?

Thanks for you help!


  • Hi Helen! I must admit, Vicki has given you a brilliant response for this. So, there's not much to add!

    From my experience, not all children want to follow instructions, step-by-step. So, have an open mind and allow them to explore in their own way. Especially if the workshop is for fun and play.

    That said, I've found children are better behaved than adults at workshops. :-)
  • @vicki opomu Hi Vicki!
    Thank you so much for your reply, that is exactly what I needed. So so helpful. I will definitely be taking all of that info onboard and probably coming back to it a few times! Do you mind if I drop you a message if I have other questions in the next few days?
  • Hi Helen,

    I run creative workshops across the country (Liverpool,Manchester, London). I'm hoping to start it up again. I run adult workshops in Printmaking (Marble Art/Monotype) and jewellery making. I have done creative workshops with kids before and it has been a blast. Kids are the funniest and open-minded. Just go with the flow! Just don't be strict with them.

    Let's hope the parents are there with them? If not, have another staff member there with you, for your protection and the kids.

    I had no experience when I started and was forced to do it. In a friendly way... someone dropped out, I covered.

    Don't let the 'No experience' hold you back. We all have to start somewhere.

    Just stay calm and have fun throughout. You will definitely need a lot of baby wipes!!

    1. The paint will have to be child safe...You can get kid friendly paint wholesale very cheap. Brian Clegg? I spent a lot of time researching on this subject.

    2. Aprons - Do you provide them or your employer/client?

    3. Baby wipes / Antibacterial wipes- life saver!! Good for clean products, kids, hands... etc.
    You can get cheap for £0.59p per pack. They smell nice too!

    4. Time - Clean-up and Early Prep, this will take up a lot of time. It's best to have a list or something.

    5. Plan,plan,plan!! this will take up most of your time!! Therefore, this time should be added to the final cost.

    5a. Plan: Time... is it a whole day? Half a day? Is food and drink included? Or do they (Parents) bring packed lunch? Or your employer/client are paying for food?

    I have been working in the Hospitality sector since I was 13 years old. I provided tea/coffee and chocolate snacks for adults during my creative sessions. To keep them going!! My advice is, let them (employer/client) provide the food. It takes a load off your shoulders, don't offer to do it. If you have to do it, make sure you get the dietry requirements from the employer/client. If that's not possible, just make sure the products are 'Free From' nuts, dairy, etc...

    5b. Cost of materials; are you paying for it? (if so, include this cost in your fee) Or your employer/client are providing the materials? Sometimes the employer/client would want you to get the items on a budget... They may say... Can you provide art supplies for 20x kids, their budget £200. You'll be spending £10 per child ( spend much lower than £10, if you can)
    Or do you have a budget?

    5c. Budget: Your probably thinking, how do I know the budget? Ask how many kids are going to be attending and plan for them.

    I'm thinking of doing a few workshops in Liverpool, hence why I have responded to your message. It's a reminder for me, so I know what I'll be doing in a couple of days.

    Sorry for the big gigantic essay!!

    Please let know if this hepls and if you would like futher help.


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