As an artist who spends a lot of time in schools, teaching children of all ages how to draw, the lockdown has meant that illustrator Calvin Innes has had to shift his focus to creating online content to meet the demand for homeschooling resources.
Since the beginning of the lockdown Calvin, whose studio is located in Hull, has been uploading daily drawing tutorials to his ‘How To Draw Stuff with Calvin Innes’ YouTube channel, providing homeschooling resources and activities for those looking to develop their drawing skills.
Calvin Innes has been creating illustrations for books, comics, toys and games for almost twenty years and has spent the last ten years travelling around the UK teaching children of all ages how to draw. His accessible art lessons have seen him visit more than 250 schools, libraries and venues across the UK as he has taught more than 200,000 children how to draw everything from cartoon characters, to people, animals, cars and just about everything else you can imagine.
The prolific artist, who has worked with the likes of Cadbury’s, Wasgij Puzzles, London Zoo and Dr Who Comic has long been an advocate for utilising illustration as a way of encouraging children to express themselves, to build confidence and to explore creative ideas. His TedX talk in 2018 looked at how illustration can be used as a tool to promote mental health and build children’s confidence, a message he continues to promote through his online drawing sessions.
“From the first day of the lockdown I had schools that I had previously visited contacting me and asking if I could upload a few videos for them to use. I had uploaded a few tutorials in the past but not with any real regularity, but there were so many people asking for the videos, I thought it would be a nice thing to provide. I started posting live streaming tutorials every day and uploading tutorials and the response has been great.”
Calvin, who has seen his social media following grow to 5,000 followers on Facebook, 17,000 on Instagram and more than 2,000 Youtube says he will keep uploading the videos as long as people keep watching them.
“It’s such a shame that all of the sessions we had booked in schools have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, but if I can still provide those sessions online then of course I will do. It’s been great seeing so many kids and parents getting involved while they’ve been working from home.”
You can subscribe to How To Draw Stuff with Calvin Innes at : Youtube.com/CalvinInnesArtist