Thanks a Million Kids

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Today I went to the Melbourne Zoo and taught 25-50 delegates of the Threaten Species Summit How-To-Draw the threatened Quoll.

It was great fun and we’ve been on twitter non stop! It’s always a pleasure getting adults out of there comfort zone and drawing again.

The other great thing was I got to talk to The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, at Question time to put some weight behind my “Thanks a Million Kids” Proposal. It was also nice to be heralded as one of “Australia’s bestselling wildlife and children’s book authors” and the “Sir Joseph Banks” of modern books.

Below is the like to the “Thanks a Million Kids”.

www.bushcreatures.com.au/thanks-a-million-kids.

So in front of both state and territory ministers, relevant business leaders, scientific and conservation experts, non-government organisations and others helping threatened species I got a really nice response and conversation how online media and crowd-funding matters.

“Thanks a million kids” will deliver tangible results and initiatives to protect animals and plants at risk from extinction by generating a bucket of money that is sustainable.

I have the skills and the passion … probably NOW …  just need a little seed funding.

Threatened Species Summit – Quoll Drawing Class

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Tomorrow I’m going to the Zoo to teach 250 delegates of the Threaten Species Summit How-To-Draw The Threatened Quoll.

It should be fun! It’s always a pleasure getting adults out of there comfort zone and drawing again.

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, will host the Threatened Species Summit and it will be chaired by the Threatened Species Commissioner, Mr Gregory Andrews.

Bring together both state and territory ministers, relevant business leaders, scientific and conservation experts, non-government organisations and others helping threatened species conservation. The summit gives, all present, a forum to discuss the issues and help raise Australia’s conversation on conservation matters.

It’s about raising our national profile on threatened species and their conservation. An opportunity to explore solutions and promote practical and effective ways of tackling the threats to Australia’s animals and plants. Speakers ranging from local communities and scientists in the field to business people and government representatives will share their experience, plans and solutions. It will deliver tangible results and initiatives to protect animals and plants at risk from extinction.

• The summit will reinforce the new national focus on threatened species
• Highlight the important role of Gregory Andrews, Threatened Species Commissioner.
• Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, will launch a Threatened Species Strategy at the summit.

For the first time ever, threatened species will have an Australian Government policy framework with hard and measurable targets.

Attendance at the summit venue will be by invitation with a live webcast so that anyone in the community can participate and interact. Follow the Threatened Species Commissioner on Twitter for the latest updates: @TSCommissioner

picture: Jonathan webb

A New Publication

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I’ve just completed work on the new paperback version of An A-Z of Australian Bush Creatures. It’s a trimmed down more sleek version of the original. With pages trimmed to bleed for a whole new look and feel.

An A-Z of Australian Bush Creatures (ppbk) has been sent to the printers as a NEW 85% sized paperback version. This edition will be called the ‘Trade Edition’ and it is designed for entry into the mainstream market of the likes of BIG W and other department stores. These stores seem to prefer or like a certain size of book at a certain price point so we have tailored this to the smaller format.

This version will be trimmed and the image will “bleed” so when I took off the “white border” or “White Frame” around my images I had to explore the extensive photoshop layers around the edges. It wasn’t easy casting my over every edge and most images having 360 Plus layers of detail and being 12GB in size made for a little bit of time. Although I carefully peeled back the white layers to see where the image ran out and found some really cool stuff on some images and difficult fixes on others. The ‘Bleed’ was a great exploration as even though my book was 85% the size of the first edition the tim and bleed expansion meant the images were only reduced by 98% in some cases and 95% at worst.

So I guess you have the original book in paperback that is nearly the same as the first only different. The magic, I think will be seeing it as they say … trimmed and to bleed.

It will bring an exciting dynamic to the NEW book and I hope the department stores pick up on the accommodations made to get a round peg in a square hole for their internal buyers.

I hope people like this version.

Sprd_Kk_27x35This is the original art without the White frame. I get some extra bits and some of the leaves end Quite abruptly. Notice the bright branch limb below the Karak (Red Tailed Black Cockatoo) Bottom Centre. It goes nowhere! This was hidden by the frame and now I have to hide with trim or rejig layers.
ABC-KkHere is the finished trimmed piece. The trim just clips the branch so that we can assume that the branch twists down below the Karak or Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.

Alphington Storytelling Workshops

alphingtonI’m amazed by how much fun you can have devising stories out of thin air. I’m also happily surprised at the invention and imagination of our young.

Just last month I visited a lot of places. Mainly for Local Councils and Libraries, but schools as well. The Drawing workshops have been running hot this summer with many kids getting outdoors and sketching up a storm. Yet Alphington Primary School elected for a couple of “Storytelling Wildfire Workshops” as they developed characters, their heroes and villains, created settings to come up some super-dooper storylines.

In the workshops we explored so much. We developed an idea, choose a hero, created a Villain. Then started to work up our plots. We had to have some magic power or object and the hero and villain were opposites. Both stories ended up being about super heroes saving the world from fantastic fresh villains. Both had amazing potential.

The first Class, decided their hero was a child-sized bunny named Evie with super powers. Evie could out jump anything with her bunny feet and this came about when she swallowed a magic gem embedded in a carrot. They wanted a risque titled book with attitude and thus “Evie the Bunny that Kicks Butt!” Was born. Evie had a sidekick – a Ninja Gorilla and some pretty cool moves herself. They quickly find themselves saving the world from a the Great White Hunter who wants to “ensnare” the world in his magical nets. Evie gets trapped once and if it wasn’t for her sidekick she’d be doomed. But after the world is caught in the Great White Hunter’s master plan and everyone is doomed. Evie’s 400 strong bunny brothers and sisters discover the net is made from carrot flavoured rope. Starving after days in the net they eat their way out. Evie and her Sidekick quickly find the Great White Hunter, Kick his butt! Then they artfully turn his own weapon on himself and entrap him for eternity. Which sounds like a long time in rabbit years! The end!

The second class, created “BOB Stormmaker and the Evil Seal” A penguin named Bob who has a very special power -he can control the weather! Is forced to save the world against the evil “Jabba the Hutt” sized Seal and his schools of evil tuna fish. Seal has a fantastic new toy – a satellite that will bring on global warming and melt the ice caps and his penguin friends will all die! Before he loses control of the weather Bob creates a black ice mirror on the ocean and reflects the heat wave back into space taking out the satellite and spoiling Seal’s evil plot. Yet the Seal creates another invention to heat the ocean and again this forces a showdown. Bob creates a storm so high and vast that it lighting strikes Seals new invention and the waves are so angry they take out all the evil tuna fish and wash them as pre-made sushi rolls on all major beaches.

But instead of killing Seal he decides to freeze him in a special ice block and keep him as a living example to others that try and mess with Bob Stormmaker! This sounds like a series that could go places and the class was already onto their next villain.

What I love about doing this workshop is that the whole class participates in developing a story and they all get to toy with ideas and plot turns and twists. It’s like progressive brainstorming and effective in teaching kids the building blocks to classic storytelling.

I ended each session with a Storytime, but I had to be quick as the bell was about to ring for some well deserved morning tea and by mid morning – lunch!

A big thanks for Alphington Primary School for their undivided attention and enthusiasm.

 

Sketching in the Street.

Collins SketchingCollins Booksellers Presents Sketching in the Street With Myke Mollard

Two exclusive events just for locals after school. It will sort of be like Busking but kids and adults can join Myke in some quick and easy How-to-draw classes every 15 – 20 minutes or so. So get out your sketchpads and break out some pens, let’s go sketch with Myke and his friends.

Wednesday February 26, 2014 – 4PM – 6PM
and also on
Wednesday March 12, 2014 – 4PM – 6PM

Yes! After school do something novel – do something cool! Sketch in the street outside Collins Croydon with author/illustrator Myke Mollard. It will be loads of fun for everyone, so to celebrate art, enjoying or local community and Maroondah Art Gallery’s “Draw me a Story” exhibition. Please register your interest or just join Myke in the street, as he goes through the process of drawing things every 15 minutes. Sketch up anything you like or follow Myke’s lead. It will be whole lot of creative afterschool fun.

Pencils, board and paper supplied. But welcome to bring your own too.
Register your interest in Collins Bookstore, Main Street Croydon.

Summer Sunset Sketching

1926297_714942748550181_1778291404_oCroydon Library and the Maroondah City Council, had me sketching at sunset to a modest crowd of 47. It was to promote getting back to the library after holidays or summer vacations, and appreciating our local parks and community services. It was also a time to promote “Draw me a Story” exhibition that the local council have put on for the kids to highlight some talented illustrators and authors and their children’s books.

Maroondah Sketching Feb21_A5As a children’s book author I talked about drawing books, local wildlife and did a huge skills-building workshops to a very happy bunch of parents and excited kids.

The day was pretty rainy all day and the weather looked like cancelling the event. But late afternoon the sun came out, the storm could be seen racing up the sides of Mt. Dandenong and we had a fantastic evening of sketching.

It was nice to see some familiar faces and the drawing quality was excellent. Both kids and parents got some great starts to visual journals and some awesome drawing in as we eat a picnic dinner and celebrated a gorgeous evening under the trees outside the Library and council offices, and every now and again we had the screeching hullabaloo long billed corellas.

20140221_193919<<  My Boys trying to play DJ while we were packing up.

Finally, DJ Ben Courtney played some excellent drawing music from Australian Classics to some upbeat modern trance that keep every artist focused and keen for more drawing lessons. It all was nice to see the two hours slip by and met some lovely locals.

Final Thanks to Janet, from Eastern Region Libraries for all the tireless promotion and her commitment to community events.

If anyone would like to see more drawing and storytelling. Head to “Draw me a Story” The Maroondah Art Gallery. There you will see more amazing drawings and more of your favourite books come to life. >>  Enjoy for Now!  >>

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Australia Day a Sketching Success

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Australian Bush Creatures on Australia Day! Wow you can’t get much better than this. The weather was perfect we had hundreds out in Aussie colours the big band playing, people receiving there citizenship and getting Australian Flag Tattoos on each cheek. Then they all popped in to learn and hear about Australia’s wildlife.

It was great teaching kids to draw, but also educating them on some fascinating facts about these creatures. The kids went wild and sketched up a storm. Some stayed for hours others just breezed in an out. All in all I had a ball. So thanks to the Maroondah City Council for organising all the events at Ringwood lake, this was a huge success. I think at last count there were plenty of fantastic artists and well over 50 visited the stall where I held 15 minute sketch classes for over 3 hours. We drew; an Emu, a few Kangaroos, Kookaburras, a couple of Wombats, a Koala, a Cat (there are wild cats pre-colonisation), Eagles and a Frilled-necked Lizard.

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“It was such a pleasure having your learn-to-draw workshops at our Australia Day Event. To find a local artist of such talent that is focused on both inspiring the creativity of children whilst adding an educational piece is a huge add to our event. The ease and casual approach in the lead up made working together really easy. So thank you Myke.”

– Renée – Maroondah City Council, Events Officer.

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There was one issue that seemed to grab everyone’s attention – I didn’t have any books to sell. I told the people asking that I was here to draw not sell and I put a lot of energy into the kids when I am teaching. I’m glad people noticed and were supportive. It’s actually best they go to bookstores and buy my books there, as i get little long-term benefit from selling direct to the public. I have a publisher and am building a good reputation with the trade and so going to a bookstore and asking for me is the best support and service the public can pay me.

In hindsight, I did hand out over 100 bookmarks and gave away over a dozen prizes to the best artists, or to the kidbuts for “merit”, or for just having “a big heart and lovely smile”. Honestly it was a great day can’t wait for more local community workshops.

Plus the Maroondah City Council used two of my An A-Z of Australian Bush Creatures (Hard Cover) for “Best Dress” prizes for some of the kids whom attended the event. I believe, young Chloe (pictured above) won a book which I personally signed.

So I hope to see you all out and about between now and Easter. I have quite a few schools and council gigs booked so I am around.

Until then … Get sketching and start having a “Red Hot Go Kids!” That’s the Wildfire Workshop way and I hope to see you for my Summer Sunset Sketching (Croydon Library, February 21) and Summer Sunset Sketching in the Park (St.Kilda Botanical Gardens, February 22).

Enjoy!

Myke Mollard.

A Fine Art – Cairns Region Gallery Fundraiser

I was so proud to be invited to join in this wonderful event. Each year the Cairns Regional Gallery has a major annual fundraising event, Start Collecting Art! The Affordable Art Auction, and it’s one of the most popular fixtures on the Cairns arts calendar.

Described as the cornerstone of the Gallery’s annual fundraising activities, Start Collecting Art! is a two-stage event: “an exhibition of dynamic artworks” by some of Far North Queensland’s most exciting contemporary artists, and “a fundraising auction” that allows you, our supporters, to acquire works from the exhibition for your own art collections – without breaking the bank!

The art encompasses paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, photographs, original artists’ prints, and more, reflecting the wonderful diversity of artistic practice.

This is how it all works. very work in the exhibition is available for purchase. If you would like to acquire a work, all you need to do is submit a silent bid for it; then, on the closing night of the exhibition, you will learn if your bid has been successful. Also on closing night, a number of works (those that have attracted the highest bids) will be auctioned in an open auction.
To assist you with your bidding, this brochure lists the works in Start Collecting Art! in four pricing tiers, with price estimates based on artist recommendations.

Unlike other galleries that are fully funded by local government, Cairns Regional Gallery is an independent institution. As such, it receives only around 55% of its annual budget as funding from Cairns Regional Council and must therefore raise around 45% of its own funding each year. By purchasing an artwork people are enabling the Gallery to continue to both build its Permanent Collection and develop its programs. Patrons will also be supporting an artist participating in our fundraising exhibition. While there is an option to receive fifty per cent of the proceeds from the sale of their these works. I generously donated the full proceeds of my work to the Gallery.

Below is my contribution. Enjoy!

pictures in frame_3Mist Dancers – Brolgas 2013, was one of my favourite drawings of late. It sold of $200 at the recent Cairns Regional Gallery Start Collecting Art Exhibition. Personally I love the lighting effects and the brolgas stance, it was like photography by it’s a kids book illustration.

Originally hand drawn in pencil and ink. Scanned, coloured and prepared digitally using Adobe Photoshop. Then Printed out on high quality paper using high quality
commercial grade colour poster inks. I had two other pieces (see below), which I also donated to the gallery, thanks to my good friend Rob Koppel, at Pumpkin Digital who helped me print and ship these amazing pieces. These two weren’t auctioned, but I believe became part of a art bundle raffled off at the auction night.

pictures in frame_2The Avid Collector – Satin Blue Bowerbird  2013,

pictures in frame_1The Brood – Cassowaries 2013,

 

 

Had a “Wild” Time at Maroondah Festival, Croydon Library.

myke_croydon LibraryCroydon Library Goes Wild Drawing Up A Storm!

Drawing wildlife is a passion of mine.
I love imparting knowledge tricks and lots of stories that engage and keep kids interested in what they are doing. I noticed at the Croydon Library, on the Maroondah Festival we had 28 -30 kids and there parents arrive to have a red hot go at my Wildfire Workshop! That ballooned to over hundred across the hour … and parents! Yes “Parents!” got right into my simple tips and easy to follow instructions as we move through drawing after drawing.

There were some smashing results. I think everyone surprised themselves. We started with a Kookaburra, then a Blue-tongue Lizard, before diving into a Platypus going vertical for some crayfish and finally (picture above) a “speed drawing” of a Bilby!! The kids smashed every one, high fives for all and the parents got right into their favourites.

What I really enjoyed seeing was the connection of Kids drawing with Mum or dad. It was so good to see the generation gap shortened as kids find out dad and mum are a little nervous too. Although, I had a fellow graphic designer in my crowd, as one proud child was quick to point out and expose a very talented illustrator-dad.

Another wonderful surprise was a young illustrator who did some fantastic drawings. Lucas, smashed out some excellent drawings and in particular a pretty great Blue-tongue Lizard and stayed until the end to give me an amazing thank you drawing. WOW – Thank you for that! I really appreciate your effort and passion. Keep practicing and working at it you will surprise youself one day I’m convinced of that now.

All-in-All a great day! Thank you every much Croydon Library, Janet, Rowanne and Sue you always put on great things for the kids and run a fantastic community program. I’m so chuffed to have come and created some wildfire fun on the Maroondah Festival. I had a great time and it was a lovely turnout.

Thank you again.

Until next time – Enjoy! Myke Mollard.

Go Wild with My How-to-Draw Workshop. Croydon Library, Maroondah Festival

Maroondah FestivalMyke’s Drawing at Maroondah Festival this Sunday 10th Nov 2013.

It’s nearly time! Festival Time … and with everything going on I haven’t had a huge amount of time to tell everyone about my local gig at The Maroondah Festival.

Yes! It’s soo cool and It’s FREE!

Eastern Regional Libraries, Croydon have booked me to do this year’s Maroondah Festival. I’ll be running an hours workshop from 2PM – 3PM and talking about wildlife and lots of interesting stuff. But most importantly I’ll run the kids through some valuable skills building.

It will be loads of fun and I know you’ll love drawing some cool, crazy and really realistic Australian Bush Creatures, so I hope to see my local crowd of kids down at the Croydon Library this weekend where the drawing fun will begin at 2PM! Hope to see you then!

Download Event Poster.