Northern Tasmanian Tour, Sept 9 – 12 – pt 3: Montello Primary School, TAS

Sept 9, 10 & 11, 2013

So after the morning session at Penguin High, I scooted 20 mins down the road to Burnie, to spend the rest of the day cartooning at Montello Primary School, at the request of the wonderful Josie Courto.  Josie had invited me to be artist-in-residence over 3 days, working with Grades 3 – 6, as part of a program she runs in the school called the Creative Learning Classroom.  The program is fantastic and focuses on learning through the arts, gardening (awesome school vegie garden) and cooking.  What an honour to be invited into such a nurturing and inspiring environment!

Every school has its own “personality”, and despite the spring weather’s crazy outbursts, Montello felt like a “sunny” school to me – ie a school that has a healthy staff ecology, embraces all of their broad & challenging demographic, and genuinely focuses on the well-being of their kids.

Which often means that it’s a genuine pleasure to be there!  Another personal bonus was that Josie had asked for the general Cartooning For Kids format, which is spontaneous & unpredictable and helps to keep my aging brain awake…and isn’t that the reason we teach, to keep our brains engaged?  To keep learning?

Day 1 was Grades 3 & 4, and we explored various types of facial features & expressions, and created new characters – check these out:

Some classes Josie also selected one or two prep kids to watch and participate, with some amazing (& hilarious outcomes).  Look at what one prep drew – great command of line & shape, and design sense:


Our classroom was right next door to the cooking room, where delicious healthy meals are prepared for students and staff, and mouthwatering aromas fill the air………all day…………mmmm……….

Days 2 & 3 I worked with Grades 5 & 6, using the Totally Random Stuff format, drawing random ideas from the students.  I had a ball – the students were really appreciative and full of creative energy, plenty of ideas & enthusiasm to bounce off!  We managed to create: a football riding a dolphin, a crazy tomato with a cute book, santa claws, a minotaur, a monkey/angel/grandfather, a werewolf with an eye scream, a zombie dragon……..a pig on a stick……?


And moving right along…….

Here’s the Santa Claws – I love how the variations of size and shape can create such different personalities, even though it’s from the same source:

The source being the dude himself….

fatcat original

But let’s not forget the army of Zombie Dragons!

And after 3 days of serious cartooning absurdity, I was bowled over by a surprise farewell gesture from Josie and the kids – a gift box containing a hand-drawn card & home-(school-) made Beetroot Relish, Pumpkin Relish and Mandarin Cordial, all of which are absolutely delicious and very well-appreciated in my home!  Thanks so much to Josie & the students for such a warm welcome, and also for the 44 fantastic entries in the thINK Festival Weekly Drawing Challenge!