Katy Dynes

I work as a professional Illustrator (and soft toy prototype designer) and for the last 10+ years, I have also had the fantastic opportunity to offer bespoke Art and Illustration workshops to primary and middle Schools, clubs and various events.

My workshops are fun, inspiring and engaging and all focus on inclusivity, positivity, building self esteem and confidence and promoting personal development.

The workshops include: working with many aspects of Illustration, including character design, hand drawn techniques, mark making, storyboarding, writing, card making, sketching and internal and external murals (working with students, staff or on my own).

I offer morning / afternoon or full day workshops – working with groups of children, with or without a given topic or theme. I have discovered that illustration workshops can be ‘used’ in many ways, providing a complimentary, creative and visual way of teaching ‘challenging subjects’ i.e Literacy.

I am also often asked to come into Schools with Authors to take part in readings, book signings and illustrating the children’s reactions to a story/author/piece of writing.

In 2014, I was selected by the Borough Council to work on a ‘Reach for the Stars’ project, focusing on ‘aspirations and self esteem’. I worked with over 120 students from 5 different Schools, culminating in an exhibition at the Borough Hall, curated and organised by myself. The Mayor opened the Private View and the exhibition was open to the public in June-August 2014.

In 2016, I was one of 10 selected Artists running workshops within Schools for the Harpur Trust 450th Anniversary Competition, with artworks being exhibited at The Higgins and other venues in and around Bedfordshire.

I also, with three other amazing professionals, founded and organised Bedford’s FIRST Book Festival in 2014 and in 2015, I asked Chris Riddell, the Children’s Laureate, to visit and speak at the Festival (by request, he also very kindly came to open the new Library at Cauldwell School in February 2016).

“After two terms worth of structured planning, the Year 5 pupils at Goldington were thrilled to be given a creative opportunity to link in with their writing. They thoroughly enjoyed creating imaginary characters with Katy, viewing her smashing portfolio and being involved with a creative approach to Literacy. The stories they went on to produce were of good quality, clearly influenced by their experience. Thank-you Katy!”

Sophie Collins, Teacher and Art Co-ordinator, Goldington Academy

“It was wonderful working with Katy. Katy not only inspired the children to achieve their goals and discuss aspirations they never knew they could have- but she also made me more determined to provide more opportunities like this, for our children. It was great to see the children’s eyes light up when they saw their work framed and valued by others.”

Claire Woodford, Class Teacher (working together with Year 5 on the ‘Reach for the Stars’ Project), PSHE and Healthy Schools Co-Ordinator – Putnoe Primary School

“We had the pleasure of welcoming Katy Dynes to help us along the way with this project. We met before she came in to work with the children, at this point I knew we would have a great time working with Katy and that she would inspire the children to produce some fantastic pieces. She was truly inspirational and the children had the most fabulous time working with her. The staff were very impressed, not only by her work but by the way she motivated the children. We hope to be working with Katy again in the future, which is testimony to how impressed we were! Thanks to Katy and the Harpur Trust for this opportunity, which was enjoyed by one and all.”

–  Vanessa Coleman, Head Teacher, Pinchmill School (working with the School for the Harpur Trust workshops)

“Katy D interacted wonderfully with the children. She got them to engage well with the work and really inspired them. She offered The art tutor (me) a lot of support and built confidence. She has since returned to school to support other arts-related events. Katy’s visits were inspirational. She shared some of her own work with us. The whole experience enabled us to feel able to move on our art enrichment lessons after school each week – to be more challenging.”

Helen Harbron-Applegarth, Learning Support Year 6 & After School Art Tutor, Cauldwell School