Ottilie is an illustrator based at Phoenix. She has been running her popular Graphic Novels and Real Life Stories courses at Phoenix for the past few years.
What’s your background?
I studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art, and have always loved drawing and writing. This is the second year I have been teaching my Graphic novels Real Life Stories course at Phoenix, and before that I taught in many different settings. In 2017 I fulfilled my dream of publishing a graphic novel (“Talking to Gina”, Myriad editions.) Now I’m working on a graphic diary.
What should participants expect from your Graphic Novels and Real Life Stories class?
The class is quite structured, and you will work, drawing and writing, in a sketchbook (provided). We begin by trying different media and getting to know the other group members, and each week we look at lots of amazing graphic novels and talk about them together, which is inspiring. I try to make the class stimulating and fun, with drawing games and activities set each week, all working towards developing your own ideas for graphic stories. There is a weekly homework task, sometimes quite small, which participants seem to find enjoyable, and we sometimes have outings to draw. As a group we have exhibited work together, and the intermediate group is currently working on a self published collection of graphic short stories, resulting from a drawing trip to the Theatre Royal. Two students have gone on to further study, one on the M.A. Sequential Design at Brighton University.
What kind of person would especially enjoy your course?
People that come on the course are from all different backgrounds, from those with a lot of drawing experience and a clear idea of what they want to get out of it, to those who haven’t drawn for years, or with more writing experience. The main things that seem to unite participants is a curiosity and willingness to explore their ideas and their lives visually, and an interest in graphic novels. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t that confident at the start, as long as you are willing to have a go, the class is a safe place to begin your journey.