As part of the Bookbag 2017 Initiative, Children’s Books Ireland invited me to do illustration workshop for the lovely girls from 2nd and 5th class at St. Eithne’s School in Dublin.

The theme is “Go girl!” so I talked about my journey to become a children’s books illustrator to inspire these girls to pursue their likes and talents. I also explore the importance of sketchbooks and the way they act as a safe and protected place to put ideas down – written or drawn – there’s no right or wrong and “mistakes” are wonderful things to learn from.

We also explored together how Ná Gabh ar Scoil! was visually created and how it became an actual book.

As part of the workshop, we warm up our drawing skills following the ideas from the Quick Drawing Cheat Sheet …

…and then we dive into a drawing game called Exquisite Corpse. Here are the results from the 2nd class…

And 5th class!

Aren’t they super cool?

I had a great time with these lovely girls and I hope they’ll take home, at least a little bit of the fun we had together!

( I even got some love from Leah – Thank you!)

A big thanks to Caitríona Ní Chadhain who liaised with Children’s Books Ireland to make this visit happen, the teachers at St. Eithne’s who were so lovely and kind, and especially to all the amazing girls who were so incredible and fun to work with!


Bookbag is a joint initiative of Brown Bag Films and Children’s Books Ireland delivered by Children’s Books Ireland.

Bookbag was initiated by picture book-maker Niamh Sharkey during her term as Laureate na nÓg (2012–2014). Niamh campaigned throughout her tenure for a universal book-gifting scheme, which would ensure that every baby born in Ireland receives the gift of a book in their first year of life. For more info on Bookbag, please visit: Bookbag