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Creative ID: 039

Art form(s): Community Art, Digital Arts, Literature, Visual Arts, Craft/Object, Design.

Based in: Auckland. 

When I'm available: Most week days as I work from home.

Where I'm available: Anywhere in Auckland.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I am a published author/illustrator of children's books. I'm happy to make books, paint huge murals, make craft objects, make sculpture from recycled plastics with young people of all ages. In the past I've taken workshops with young people: making poetry books, collages, painting murals and making craft objects (from felt or old socks and gloves). Using words alongside images, my focus is on being imaginative and being authentic – using creativity as a key to understanding ourselves and subsequently – our world.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

I have been writing and illustrating children's books for about 10 years. One of my books won the NZ Children's Book Award and my recent book was a finalist. Here's a list of awards I have received for my books.

  • Finalist, NZ Children’s Book Awards
  • Finalist, NZ Booklovers awards
  • Finalist, Children’s Choice – NZ Book Awards and NZ Book Design Awards
  • IBBY Honours Book Award (International) for Illustration
  • NZ Children’s Book Awards – Best Picture Book and Overall Winner
  • White Raven Award (International)
  • LIANZA Award for Illustration – Best Picture Book
  • NZ Book Design Awards – Best Picture Book and Overall Winner
  • Finalist, NZ Children’s Book Awards
  • NZ Book Design – Best Educational Book 
  • Storylines Notable Book Award

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

As a children's book writer/illustrator I have visited many schools and spoken to hundreds of kids, throughout Auckland and other parts of NZ (and beyond). Although most picture books are intended for years 1–3, my books generally appeal to a broader age group (as the humour can be appreciated by older kids) so when I do school visits I usually engage with the entire school. I have taken workshops with various age groups as well (primary to intermediate). In 2017 I was sponsored by NZ Book Council to attend Bookaroo Children’s Book Festival in Malaysia (I took art and craft workshops). Through 2016–2018 I worked with schools for the 'Writers in Schools' programme run by the NZ Book Council. In 2015 I was sponsored by NZ High Commission to attend Bookaroo Children’s Book Festival in India (I took art and craft workshops, making and writing poetry books). I also teach illustration at Unitec (part time) and have taught digital design at Whitirea, Auckland (for three years). These are tertiary-aged young people.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I love working with young people, inspiring them and encouraging them to be creative. I feel a sense of honour to represent a multicultural ethnicity and I'd like to be a mentor for young people who feel like 'ousiders' as minorities. Through creativity young people can find a means of communication and a better understanding of the world around them.

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