Because I’m mobile I’m able to offer my time anywhere in New Zealand, if travel expenses are covered. Ideally North Island, but I’m not opposed to travelling south.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I’m a cartoonist/caricature artist but have studied multi-disciplinary arts from drawing and painting to carving and animation. Most of my experience in animation is around 2D animation. I have drawn cartoons and caricatures since 1996, and spent many years travelling to primary schools around New Zealand teaching teachers and students the skills and processes of cartoon drawing and visual arts. Because I’m deaf, my workshops include NZSL, giving students an opportunity to participate by full immersion in New Zealand’s only 100% visual language, NZSL. I spent five years marking visual assignments through the ‘Creative processes’ summer school paper run at Massey University. I studied all forms of art through an advanced Dip in Art and Creativity (Hons) in Wellington. I’m also a qualified primary teacher with a BEd, DipTchg from Waikato University. My whole world is based on visual art and communication, and I’m available to come to your school and teach students and teachers valuable visual art skills that you can’t learn anywhere else.
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
You may contact ex-principals who have run my workshops a number of times, and are willing to be referees. I travelled and ran my own business drawing caricatures and running cartoon workshops in schools all over New Zealand since 1996. Working with teachers and students in visual arts and language I have completed training and achieved BEd, DipTchg, advanced diploma in Art and Creativity (Hons).
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I started teaching adult community classes in my parents' shop/workshop in crafts, patchwork, stretch sewing and soft toy making, when I was just 18, back in 1984, and have a certificate in adult teaching, and ESOL adult teaching. I was a nanny for 10 years caring for children from 0–13 years in New Zealand and Japan. While I was in Japan I learnt the skills of cartooning, and manga drawing. I started university in 1993 and compiled my education degree in 1998. I worked for two years at a Hamilton school working as a teacher aide for deaf students from 5 years to 12 years. During my teacher training we had teaching practice, and I also helped to run after-school care at a local school. I worked for one year in a classroom, before deciding to take my cartooning workshops on the road, and taught thousands of primary-aged students cartoon drawing and 2D animation. All over New Zealand for approximately 20 years.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I believe my workshops are relevant, exciting and unique for school-aged children, but funding is always a difficult process to work through. This programme gives me an opportunity to go into a school and share the many skills I have acquired over a lifetime. There are many preconceived ideas about people with disabilities, and there is a tendency to focus on what we can't do, rather than what we can do. I love this opportunity because it doesn't just give me a chance to normalise New Zealand Sign Language, it gives me a chance to hook into kids' visual awareness and change their attitudes towards deaf people forever. This opportunity also provides a super valuable experience for kids who are visual/tactile, who often miss out on learning opportunities that don't cater for their learning styles at school. Finally I hope that my workshops may inspire more kids to learn NZSL, and more people to work in the field of NZSL interpreting and visual education, which is a huge need in the Deaf community. I see it as a win/win/win for all parties, and that excites me.