5 Things We Learned from Liz Pichon at Authors Live

Liz Pichon drawing

On Thursday 29 October we were joined by bestselling author and doodle queen Liz Pichon, who told us all about the Tom Gates series and showed us how she creates her fantastic drawings.

We’ve picked out these 5 highlights from the broadcast, but make sure you watch the full event on demand to see for yourself how Liz creates her doodles and how your class can do the same!


Everyone can doodle

I had a big wall in my bedroom and my mum and dad let me draw on the wall

'There's no wrong way to doodle. So don't worry about it, okay? Honestly, don't worry about making a mistake.'


You can doodle anywhere

Tom Gates doodles in all kinds of places in Liz’s books and it turns out that author Liz Pichon is the same!

‘I am a walking doodle! When I was younger I had a big wall in my bedroom and my mum and dad let me draw on the wall. So I did a drawing first and I did a drawing on my wall. I think it was a palm tree and a sea scene or something like that. But yeah, I draw on things I probably shouldn't do quite a lot!'


How to draw a monster

To show us how to get started with doodling, Liz draws a monster based on different suggestions from our live audience, who joined us from Rhu Primary and Sanderson Vale Primary. To see how Liz combines elf ears, tentacles and spider legs to create our Authors Live monster, make sure you watch the full episode.


Great books

'Well one of my absolute all-time favourite books when I was young was The Twits by Roald Dahl… It was always so funny and I still love reading that book even now. And somebody bought me a book called The Bad Speller, because I wasn't very good at spelling when I was younger. And I used to really love looking through that as well. It was like lots of cartoons and it was all spelt in a really weird way, which was quite funny.'

The Twits seems to be quite popular with our Authors Live authors – Danny Wallace mentioned it as one of his favourites when he spoke to us about his book, Hamish and the Worldstoppers.


Ideas change and develop

‘Lots of people assume that you have like a light bulb moment, you suddenly go: bing! But actually it took me quite a few years to come up with the idea. So it started off as a picture book and it was for younger children. And then it took me about three or four writes and rewrites.’

So if you have a good idea, but it’s not quite right yet, don’t give up! Authors often have to work hard on their ideas before they get to the finished version that we get to read. In fact, Liz also has some recommendations on what to do if you’re stuck on your idea, which is often called writer’s block, but you’ll have to watch the full episode to hear about that!

To hear more from Liz, see how she creates her doodles and how the live audience get along with theirs, watch on demand. Make sure you check out the rest of our Authors Live episodes while you’re at it, including Jon Klassen and Nick Sharratt.

You can access our learning resources to go along with this event here: http://scottishbooktrust.com/learning/learning-resources/resource/liz-pi...