Cartoon Dave a.k.a. Dave Hackett

A local teacher’s aide came to ask if we needed anything as we were setting up for Dave’s session.  With 10 minutes to go, and no kids in sight, I suggested an audience might be a good idea, she giggled.  With 2 minutes to go, we started to get worried.  Better late than never is a good maxim, they rushed in the door a few minutes late, thank goodness.

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Cartoon Dave introduced himself, and got straight into the drawing.  Far out, the man can draw at supersonic speed.  The kids watched on in disbelief.  He completed a cartoon of himself, and then asked the kids to give him some more ideas of what to draw.  The children came up with some great ideas, and Dave’s supersonic drawing powers had their ideas on the whiteboard almost as soon as the words had left the kids’ mouths.  In less than 5 minutes of session time Cartoon Dave has these kids hooked, lined and sinkered.  I knew this was going to be an amazing hour with enough great ideas to fill a grain silo.  At one point, a kid who came up with an idea which Dave swiftly drew, cracked up in uncontrollable laughter. We had to pause the session for the kid to catch his breath.

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Dave gave the kids the golden rule for illustrating – NO RULES.  They loved it.  He continued on showing how boring drawings, such as one of a pencil, can be quickly changed into an amazing character.  And Afro Pencil was born, see below.

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I need to mention at this point that Dave managed to keep the kids in hysterics for at least 50% of the time.  Dave’s humour and his gift of cartoon drawing at supersonic speeds enthralled these kids.  Cartoon Dave is what the world needs to get kids into reading and illustrating.  He is loads of fun, so try to see him at work, and if you are a teacher or librarian, book him ASAP.

Dave taught the kids how to draw cartoon eyes, and came up with a whiteboard full of crazy eyes in the process.  The kids tried their hand at drawing eyes as Dave gave them more and more inspiration.  Dave kept reiterating the rule of cartooning, that there are no rules, and the kids’ drew and drew and drew.

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A frenzy of drawing ensued.  Dave on the whiteboard, ideas from the kids coming in at record breaking speeds, the kids doing their own drawing, and Dave teaching and inspiring the kids, all the while reminding them of the golden rule of cartooning, there are no rules!  Snails were a feature of this cartooning class, check out Dave’s efforts below.

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The next challenge was to draw a fish.  The kids had 47 seconds.  Dave encouraged the kids to think about what were ‘fish bits’, the parts that a fish really need.  It was discovered that essential ‘fish bits’ include skin, scales, a tail and gills.  Dave drew a really boring version of a fish.  A couple of humans (quote) were called out the front to draw their version of a fish.  Dave decided to ‘renovate’ these fish with a new mouth and eyes whilst teaching the kids that most drawing is easy, using simple lines and dots.  As Dave taught the kids, and cartooned at great speeds, the kids continued to draw.  My guess is that all these kids will be cartooning like mad for a long time after this session, Dave is completely inspiring.

Practising colouring was the next activity.  Sadly the fish lost their bodies in the process, but Cartoon Dave saved the day and gave them new ones that included shaded parts.  The kids were filling up their pages with fantastic drawings of some pretty bizarre fish.  But as Dave pointed out, it didn’t matter what they looked like, as long as they had ‘fish bits’.

It was so sad when the session came to a close.   I could have watched Dave, and the kids enjoying Dave’s workshop, all day long.  Mention must also be made of Dave’s sound effects as he draws, seriously funny and appropriate to his drawing style.   To find out more about Dave, click HERE to go to his website.  Dave also gives lessons on YouTube HERE

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