Leigh Hobbs workshop …

We are thankful for the extension to our submissions for the Shadow Judging. Here is a brief account of our experience and a few photos …

We have loved exploring the amazing literature as part of our flexible and remote learning and having the pressure eased off should hopefully enable us to delve deeper into our responses to and appreciation of the glorious picture story books that we are judging.

Students in 4B had the thrilling opportunity to ‘meet’ Author Illustrator Leigh Hobbs (of Mr. Chicken, Horrible Harriet and Old Tom fame)!

Our Zoom session consisted of learning, step-by-step, how to recreate the characters Old Tom and Mr. Chicken, to give them ‘life’ and expression and how these individuals came into existence, then developing characters of the children’s own design.

Leigh Hobbs Zoomed with us from his self-professed “messy” beach-side artist’s studio and kept the children enthralled with his anecdotes on his journey from artist to illustrator, then to author/illustrator, with Leigh explaining that he was ‘inspired to create his own characters as the ones he envisaged as illustrations for the stories other authors had written, often didn’t look like what he thought they should!’

In addition to the brilliant Illustrating workshop, students were fortunate enough to be able to question Leigh on various topics about his work. Leigh’s response to the children’s curiosity was just gorgeous, and he was very generous with his answers. We learned that he draws inspiration from his own travels (Leigh has been to London over 25 times!), that Old Tom was ‘born’ with vision from only one eye and that Mr Chicken’s size in ‘real life’ depended entirely on how confident he felt at any given time. “He can fill an entire bus when he’s feeling larger-than-life and very confident- you know the feeling of confidence don’t you kids?! Like you can do or achieve anything…well Mr chicken’s size is proportionate to his level of self-belief! Sometimes he feels quite small and insignificant too…

While Leigh’s character ‘Old Tom’ (an orange, moth-eaten, feral monster) is his most famous creation, he is in fact allergic to cats and much prefers dogs, especially Blue Heelers. We were fortunate enough to be introduced to his two ‘Blueys’ Lulu and Snowy during our chat.

To top it all off, we had the exclusive opportunity to preview two of Leigh’s books ‘Horrible Harriet and the Terrible Tantrum’, and the top-secret location for the next instalment of ‘Mr Chicken’…

What a wonderful experience to inspire young readers and writers!
 
For a taste of the guided workshops on how to draw some of Leigh’s loveable characters, follow the link provided: https://www.leighhobbs.com.au/thats-me-film-series/.

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