My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
As a published illustrator and designer my main area of of interest is children’s publishing and developing illustrated educational resources. I have worked in educational and children’s publishing for over 20 years. I believe my strengths are a reflection of my visual interests and obsessions. My personal projects, and the jobs I am often commissioned for, are heavily populated with adventure/explorer characters and themes. As a mural artist I’ve been employed to create heavily detailed scenes in which a passing audience can see something new with each viewing, and this chaotic energy in my work was used to illustrate the hundreds of theme cards and packaging for a card game from the Ministry of Education.
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
My first illustration job was as a cartoonist for Tearaway magazine while in high school. I went on to illustrate for over 30 MOE publications including the School Journals and Connected magazine, and I’ve been a cartoonist for North & South, Upstart, and the Wild Things magazine for Forest & Bird. My book with another author received a Storylines Notable Book award. Other books with my art currently in stores include the two Annuals and an upcoming fairytale publication. Beyond published work I’ve created murals for early education centres and businesses around Wellington, and through my former gallery in Island Bay I produced popular tea-towels and prints. In the animation industry I have worked as a production designer, creating settings and characters for an Australian kids show. The MOE card game, with over 230 of my illustrations, has won first place in multiple national and international design awards.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I’ve worked with schools as a visiting author/illustrator engaging students in art workshops, such as “Make my own monster friend” and helping students create their own picture books. Currently I’m working with a class at my child’s school on a picture book.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
As a father of two kids in early education and school I am engaged on a daily basis with our local school community. My interest in the programme was sparked by a wish to expand on the projects I’ve already been involved in locally, and to see more arts-focussed opportunities at our school.