GTPulse: Father-Daughter Duo Provide Illustration Guide for All Ages

If you were quarantined with a parent, how has your time been? For Lydia Woodruff it’s been nothing short of a fun and collaborative art project, Drawing Adventure, with her father that teaches anyone how to draw depictions of Northern Michigan, creatures, nature and more.

Tom Woodruff is a local children’s book author and artist who has been drawing most of his life. 

“I was always fascinated with it as a child, what you could create with just lines and paper, and I had a lot of opportunities to develop my skills. I come from a creative family,” he said.

Tom has given his daughter the same creative upbringing. Lydia is an artist and model who would have been spending a lot of time traveling because of her work had everything been normal this past spring. When quarantine began, she happened to be home with her father in Northport and home is where she has been since.

“This is her homebase, but it was very fortuitous that her schedule had her back here right before this all happened and we’ve had a great time collaborating on these videos together.”

Tom spends much of his working time as an artist that travels to Michigan schools for speaking and art instruction engagements. COVID-19 has quickly changed his work life and he’s adapted by starting a series of instructional videos that kids and adults can follow along with to pick up some sketching skills. 

“It was interesting, my daughter came up with the idea. You see, March is my biggest month. March is reading month in Michigan and Michigan schools so all of my scheduling throughout the winter was gearing up for a full, February and March stretch of time. So, I was basically out of livelihood and income. My favorite time of the year with the kids is really the big loss. My daughter suggested maybe we could do something with videos, and she’s very tech-savvy.”

Getting her father to be able to instruct from a digital platform has been something Lydia wanted to do before the pandemic.

“This is something that he has wanted to do and I’ve been wanting to get this going,” she said. “He’s so passionate about it and he’s getting older. Normally I’m traveling all around the country, but now I have the time. This all brought me closer to home.”

Tom handles the instructing, and Lydia handles the filming and editing. Her dad might be getting his work out there through the videos, but Lydia has wanted to learn video editing for a while and this was a perfect chance for her to spend time with it. 

Tom is known for his children’s books that detail Great Lakes history with illustrations. Although he spends much of his time traveling to schools downstate to visit schools and teach children about drawing and Michigan history, he would like to spend more time with northern Michigan schools and is working on a class format where he would teach kids about sketching local wildlife, field guide style. 

Whatever he decides to do, he has the support of his fans and his daughter. The videos run anywhere from a few minutes to almost an hour, and there are more than a few to pick from now. They’re posted every Saturday on Tom’s YouTube channel. The artwork is fun to see come to life, and the video editing does it justice.

“He has an incredible way of putting his knowledge out there in an understandable way. It’s been really awesome to be home and spend some time with him and work on something together.”

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Categories: GTPulse