Monthly Archives: November 2013

Melbourne Holiday Workshops, Sept 2013 – Cheltenham Community Centre



Sept 25, 2013

Another workshop in my whirlwind mini-tour of Glen Eira!  This one came about after a suggestion by Philippa from the Glen Eira Adult Learning Centre, where I was also running workshops this week.  Cheltenham Community Centre run a school holiday care & an activities program, and the program co-ordinator Tammy invited me in to be part it.

It was a pretty sizeable mob of kids, so we broke the day into two separate sessions – little ones in the morning & upper primary in the afternoon.

The little ones were full of beans, very excited and certainly not shy about expressing it!  I began the session with a storytelling that I often do for Prep – 2s in schools – as I tell the story, I draw the journey of the main character, and at the end of the story the drawing “magically” becomes something else once you adjust your perception slightly.  It’s a lot of fun, I act out a range of character voices and sound FX, and the kids are usually engrossed in the journey.  This morning’s group were hilarious – as I began the story, they kept leaping in with opinions of what they thought should happen next!  Well, we had some fun with that for a bit, then they settled into it when they realised that stories are designed to unfold as they are listened to!

They loved the story, and after a break we did some cartooning – a simple version of the facial expressions / emotions format I use in the Creative Communication program.  The kids threw themselves into it in a flurry of energy, and they really ran with the foundations I gave them, creating their own fantastic variations.

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After lunch it was the older kids session, using the Totally Random format.  They were a lively tumble of energy too, as is usually the case in holiday childcare, and we had a lot of fun with their suggestions – Rat On Skateboard, Flaming Skull, Pig, Roboslug, Mutant Hamster, Fly…..all in a day’s work!

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Thanks Tammy for a great day, and thanks to the kids for their lively inspirations!


Melbourne Hoilday Workshops, Sept 2013 – Glen Eira Town Hall

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Sept 24, 2013

Each year Glen Eira Council runs SCHOOL’S OUT, a fantastic youth-oriented school holiday program with a focus on creative skills, thanks to the efforts of Arts & Culture officer Tori Hayat.  Tori invited me to run a day of 2 x 3hr cartoon workshops for the program, as well as create the image for the program (right).

The day was a great success – held in the vast, hallowed halls of the Glen Eira Town Hall, with its imposing sense of tradition & history, the huge room was quite a contrast to the intimacy of the previous day’s workshop.

But the stern architecture did nothing to dwarf the wild imaginings of the kids who came along for their 3hr cartooning intensive, as you can see in the following slideshows.  Opening proceedings was the perennial Evil Bunny combined with Evil Robot:

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What I love about doing these workshops is seeing kids’ brains in action, lighting up as they realise they can suggest any idea that comes to mind, watching connections form as they hear each other’s suggestions and find even more bizarre inspirations – which of course in turn inspires me.  This next one was a combo of Crazy Toaster (which somehow led to Frankentoast!), a Sunflower Crossed With A Fruit Tree (Shooting Seeds), Garbage Can and Strange Car…….

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I also love it when someone bucks the stereotype – in this case, one of the boys was particularly adamant that he wanted a fairy – how could I refuse him?  A few of the other boys (and girls) created some interesting variations…..

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We finished the morning session with some freedraw time and some flipbooks, then after lunch the first request from the afternoon’s group was a Flaming Lemon…….not having ever drawn one of these, I couldn’t resist…..

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This was a combo of Evil Bear (what is it with the “Evil” thing anyway?), Slime Monster, Trash Monster, French Fries…..well, you get the idea…..

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And again we wound down with some flipbooks and finished with one more combo: an Aspidoceleon (mythological Whale With The Earth On Its Back, apparently), Penguin, Dragon & Fairy Floss (couldnt resist the afro connection).  All in all, a very satisfying day!  Thanks again to Tori for organising such a fantastic program!

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Melbourne Holiday Workshops, Sept 2013 – Glen Eira Adult Learning Centre

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Sept 23 & 26, 2013

Thanks to my fantastic co-pilot Jane (aka Wonder Woman!) in Melbourne, I was able to run a couple of holiday cartoon workshops in the cozy quarters of the Glen Eira Adult Centre in Ormond.  The Centre runs fantastic life & work skills programs for adults, especially working with the local migrant community, and GEALC Manager Philippa Caris is clearly a passionate teacher who cares about her students.  Hosting workshops for children was new territory for the Centre, but it was well-received by local kids & the room was perfect – thanks Philippa!

Both days there were around a dozen children, full of enthusiasm and a-buzz with creative energy.

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The theme over both days was Totally Random Stuff, and there was no shortage of inventive ideas from the group, kicking off on the first day with a combo of Sad Potato, Angry Apple & Banana:

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Followed by a Clock Rooster (!), an Explosion & a Duck:


I can’t resist whenever I get a request for a Chihuahua, they really are just born to be cartooned!

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My HipHop-O-Potamus is another favourite, great opportunity to include some clothes technique and a bit of street cool.  Likewise my Rockin’ Horse (a la 80s hair bands!).


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Some other random ideas:  a Duck With A Cold, a Frog With A Top Hat, and my favourite combo of the day – Evil Scientist Budgie and Zombie Chicken (note chicken comb):

frog1duck2 GEALC montage5  budgie1 GEALC montage3

Thanks again to Philippa at the GEALC for hosting the workshops, and I hope we can come back some time soon!

tree doodle turtle