I was thrilled to be commissioned by the good people at Broadmeadows Valley Primary School to create some characters to personify the school's learning values of Achievement, Collaboration, Community, Creativity, Individuality and Leadership.
I was even more thrilled to be asked to do this as artist-in-residence, where I could create the characters WITH the students and they could witness how a professional artist works. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more – them or me!
I had 3 sessions with 3 different groups of students where we focussed on one Learning Value each. With Preps/1s we did Creativity, 2/3s was Collaboration, and 4/5s – the leaders of the school next year – we looked at Leadership, of course.
We talked about: What do these values MEAN? And how would you SHOW that?
Each student designed their own monster character to embody the chosen value, as did I. The ideas they came up with were phenomenal, and many filtered their way into my work. (and I wish I could say I had thought of them!)
Here are the designs I emerged with after the sessions:
Hopefully I've done my job well and you can tell which is which!
- All photos of me with students by wonderful Emmax photography
I would have to say, this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. The students were all so lovely and engaged and creative, and it brought home the reason I do what I do. It's all about THEM. 9 sessions didn't seem enough in the end and I was sad to go. But I did return!
The culmination was an unveiling of the characters at the school's end of year Fete. Banners were made of all the characters – it was amazing to see them life-sized!
And the journey doesn't end there... next year these guys will be made into a picture book as well, and guess who will write and illustrate it? :-)