Category Archives: Illustrators

Social Media & StoryArts – please get involved!

Blogging, and Social Media, at StoryArts Festival 101

Social Media Accounts:

StoryArts Festival is moving with the times, and we now have an active presence on Social Media.  And we would love for you to join in.  The more the merrier as they say.


Twitter – @StoryArtsFest

Instagram – @StoryArtsFestivalIpswich


***to the StoryArts Blogging Team, please read all the way to the bottom of this post.  And if you are not on the team, feel free to read the instructions and submit as per instructions***


Please use the following StoryArts hashtags and tags.  Please also feel free to also hashtag and tag your favourite author, illustrator, presenter, or book.

You can also tag us on Social Media, as well as your favourite author, illustrator, or presenter.  Just search for them on the Social Media Platforms that you use.

















No photos are to be taken of children, unless it is of their heads, from behind a large group, with no identifiable children in the picture.  Pictures of authors and/or illustrators with their books are the ultimate pictures.  However, pictures of presenters working their magic are also great.



Feel free to do a ‘write up’ of any session you attend or present.  Technical edits will be done on your submissions.


Send to:

Please send all blog submissions to:

And if you can, please let Sam S know about it.



There is no guarantee that your submission will be published as there are editorial guidelines that must be adhered to.  However, we welcome submissions aplenty.

StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2015 – partial program release, & bookings opening soon!


We are pleased to announce the release of some of the Program details for this year’s StoryArts Festival Ipswich!

Bookings will open soon for the 2015 Festival, being held from 6-16 September 2015.

There will be a number of programs this year: Schools, Families, and Adults.

You can check out the Families’ Program HERE!

And for all teachers, teacher-librarians, aspiring and emerging authors and illustrators, and even parents, check out the Adults’ Program HERE!

The Children’s Program is so absolutely jam-packed with awesomeness, that you will have wait just a little bit longer before you see all the marvellous things that we have in store for the children at the 2015 StoryArts Festival Ipswich.

Watch this space!  And make sure you subscribe to our blog to receive all the news hot off the press!  (You can subscribe in the top left corner, just below the Festival banner).

Yours in Children’s Literature,

The StoryArts Festival Team

StoryArts Ipswich Weekend Workshops

Lucia header HR2 profile pic

In alternating years to our festival, the Ipswich District Teacher-librarian Network organises a weekend of workshops where The Arts meets Literature.

Create a character

Sounds Spooky Characters

Saturday 29th March
Venue: Ipswich Community Art Gallery, D’Arcy Doyle Place, Ipswich
Time: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Cost: $77.00 (incl GST)
Tea and coffee provided. BYO lunch or drop into an eatery in the mall or at D’Arcy Doyle Place.

This is a hands-on modelling workshop with Sarah Davis who will show you how to create a character using sculpey polymer clay. This is the technique she used to create the characters in Sounds Spooky which was on display at Ipswich Library during the StoryArts Festival Ipswich in 2013. The exhibition then travelled to Marks and Gardner Gallery at Mt Tamborine.

Numbers for the workshop are limited to 20. Costs of basic materials are included. Sarah suggests you bring along any interesting fabric scraps/fake fur/feathers/wool etc… any material that you might want to use to create clothes and hair etc for your character.

Visit to see samples of artwork.

The Facilitator

Sarah Davis used to get into trouble for doodling in class, but now she can scribble to her heart’s content and call it “work” – she can hardly believe her luck. Sarah won the CBCA Crichton Award in 2009 for her first picture book, Mending Lucille (written by Jennifer Poulter) and since then has illustrated more than 20 books and had her work recognised by many major awards in Australia and NZ. Sarah illustrated the hugely popular “Fearless” series, written by Colin Thompson, and Anna Branford’s “Violet Mackerel” books, which are becoming well-loved Australian classics. Sarah is a versatile artist who works in many mediums and is constantly experimenting with new ways to create visual stories. She has an honours degree in literature, and her love of language plays an important part in her process, with the interaction between text and image being paramount.

Sydney Story Factory – What we do, how we do it, and how you can do it too

Sydney Story Factory

Sunday 30th March
Venue: Studio 188, Brisbane Street, Ipswich
Time: 9:00am – 12:30pm
Cost: $55.00 (incl GST)
Tea and coffee provided. BYO lunch or drop into an eatery in the top end of town.

The Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, Sydney. Trained volunteer tutors offer free help to write stories of all kinds. Programs target marginalised young people, and those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to everyone.

Find out how the Sydney Story Factory was set up, what it does and a bit about what has been happening in London and other parts of the world. Matt Roden will share the history of the Story Factory, and what it has achieved in the 18 months since its doors opened. He’ll discuss the many varied workshop programs that the Story Factory runs, share some of their outcomes and discuss how their workshop programs are designed. After answering questions about the Story Factory, Matt will assist those in attendance in constructing their own 2 hour creative writing workshop for children. The group will share the ideas, discoveries and hiccups they encounter when trying to instil students with a love of creative writing.

The Facilitator

Matt Roden has worked as a writer, designer and educator in Sydney and London. He was a Creative Projects Manager at the Ministry of Stories in London, and has assisted in the opening of the Sydney Story Factory from its early days, and now works with the team as a Deputy Storyteller, programming and running workshops and facilitating volunteer and fundraising projects. He has worked on education and arts packages with the NSW Reconciliation Council and Underbelly Arts Festival.

From page to stage…

The Tuckshop Kid at Studio 188 Ipswich

The Tuckshop Kid at Studio 188 Ipswich

30th March
Venue: Studio 188, Brisbane Street, Ipswich
Time: 1.30 – 3:00pm
Cost: $22.00 for session 2

THAT Production Company offers a practical journey of finding the potential of a story or book to be brought to the stage. Participants will learn practical techniques and develop insight into the art of developing a play. THAT Production Company is an independent theatre company based in Ipswich, Queensland. They produce classic and contemporary texts and cultivate theatrical experiences that resonate with our quest for understanding the world around them. They collaborate with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. Their work varies from Frank Wedekind’s German Expressionist classic Spring’s Awakening and Eve Ensler’s world-wide phenomenon The Vagina Monologues to Edward Bond’s drama Saved and the Australian premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined (Ipswich Festival, 2013). Our new works have included a stage adaptation of the children’s book The Tuckshop Kid by Australian author Pat Flynn (StoryArts Festival, 2013), and the suburban-apocalyptic drama Thursday’s Child (Anywhere Theatre Festival, 2013).

The Facilitator

Cass Ramsay is a writer, performance maker, arts administrator and creative producer for THAT Production Company, which she co-founded. She has a Bachelor of Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Applied Theatre, both from Griffith University. She worked on her first full length play, Actually Alice, as a part of JUTE Theatre Company’s award winning Enter Stage Write program. Her work was then read at the National Regional Playwrights and Theatre Makers Conference. In 2013 Cass wrote Thursday’s Child for the Anywhere Theatre Festival, Lost & Found: The Quiet Carriage for Spare Change Collective, co-wrote an adaptation of the children’s book The Tuckshop Kid by Pat Flynn with Timothy Wynn for the 2013 StoryArts Festival, and co-devised Envelope as a part of the performance collective The Vertebras, for Metro Arts 2013 Season of Independents. She also attended the Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio for emerging playwrights, and was the project journalist for Crack Theatre Festival 2013.

Download all the information hereStoryArts Ipswich Weekend info

Download the Booking Form and Tax Invoice hereinvoice for sessions

Daily Sessions – Dave Hackett a.k.a. Cartoon Dave

A snippet of one of the daily sessions for children at StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2013 featuring Cartoon Dave.

Watch the video below to witness the total amazingness that is Cartoon Dave.  Watch him draw at supersonic speeds, boggling the minds of the children in the workshop.

Video Trailer for StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2013

Our videographer Peter Allert has been hard at work again.   Check out this adorable snippet of scenes from StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2013.  We very much look forward to seeing you all again in 2015.


Mark Carthew & Mike Spoor

I started this session chatting with a young boy about how he reads “the Moose is Loose” by Mark Carthew to his little brother every night at story time.  The boy told met that his little brother cracks up with laughter every time.  It’s moments like these that make Festivals such as StoryArts seem so worthwhile.

As the kids poured in, Mike did a charcoal drawing of a witch, the kids loved it.  He works so quickly that it boggles the mind!

Mark showed some portraits of himself and Mark at work, some of which were quite funny.  It was be great to see an exhibition of these images ;).  Both Mike and Mark talked about the books they have worked on.  Mark has worked on over 120, Mike on over 350.  I have a lifetime of work to do to catch up with these 2.

Mark told a story for which the kids had to provide the sound effects.  It was about a little old woman who had lost her hairy toe.  He got halfway through the story then told the kids to look up the ending on the website, the kids were disappointed, but I thought it was a great incentive to keep reading beyond the Festival.

The kids joined Mark in a singalong, singing “Skinnamarink” complete with actions.


Mike drew a picture from Romeo and Juliet, though I don’t know what Shakespeare would say about it….


Mark told a few jokes from one of his books, and Mike talked about how he does his illustrations with charcoal.  Mike taught the kids how to make heads out of shapes, and to add eyes, a nose and a mouth.  He showed them how to draw emotions and different hair styles.  Mark explained that Mike is one of the world’s best illustrators, telling the kids to listen intently and practice drawing as all authors and illustrators started out as kids too.  Mike did some great illustrations that the kids were in awe of


Mark told the kids that he loves working with Mike as they have the same sense of humour, and Mike draws really funny pictures.  Mark continued to tell jokes, as Mike drew and drew.

Next up Mark sang a song called “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”.  He had found the lyrics somewhere in Canada and then wrote the music.  He played the song from the CD, and got the kids to pick out a very cool sound effect of a rocket splitting up.  In the meantime, Mike drew a great picture of a rocket with a very interesting type of astronaut.


The kids joined Mark in singing “Galump went the little green frog” whilst Mike did a drawing of a little green frog.


Mike is famous for his illustrations of dinosaurs.  He gave a demonstration whilst sharing interesting facts about these extinct animals that every child seems to love.


Mark told us how he got the idea for “The Gobbling Tree”.  He was inspired after some children got their things stuck up in a tree in the playground where he was teaching.  He read the book to the children with them providing the sound effects, they thoroughly enjoyed this.  Getting kids involved in reading activities is crucial to keep them interested in reading.  Mark is really good at interacting with kids, so if you need a great author to visit your school or library I recommend booking him as soon as you can.

Mark drew a great interpretation of the Gobbling Tree as Mark read, it shows that Mike likes to use humour in his illustrations.


To find out more about Mark’s books and music, click HERE.  To see some of the 350 books that Mike has illustrated click HERE.

Leila Rudge on illustrating and learning to draw

Leila began her presentation by telling the kids she was the youngest of six, the kids were amazed.  She told the kids that her Mum read to her and her siblings.  I hope this encouraged the kids to read more.

“Worried Arthur – the Big Match”, written by Joan Stimson and illustrated by Jan Lewis, was the most important book for Leila as a child.   She told us how illustrator Jan Lewis was a family friend and that Leila and her siblings always drew when they visited her.  Leila was inspired by Jan, and realised that being an illustrator was an actual job.  So by the age of 11, Leila had decided that she would be a children’s book illustrator when she grew up.

Leila explained that her ideas start from little things such as sketches of characters.  Her book “Ted” began with a drawing of this little fellow


Leila wrote the story and submitted it to her publisher.  Her editor liked it, but returned it with a number of changes.  Leila explained the editing process, the to’ing and fro’ing between her editor and herself.

She gave the kids an insight into how she develops her characters.  For “Ted” she researched everything there is to know about dogs.  Her partner and her even offered to look after a friend’s dog for a weekend so Leila could practise sketching dogs.  The kids enjoyed telling Leila about their own dogs.

Leila went into great detail about developing the character of Ted, right down to what colour jumper he should wear and why.  The kids got to learn about storyboards, and how Leila thinks about the visual communication of pictures across the page.  A teacher asked why the storyboards were so small.  Leila answered that it was so the illustrator doesn’t get too precious about the images, it’s more about working out the layout of the entire book.

We saw examples of her rough sketches, and then the final product.  The kids leaned forward on their seats to get a better view

Leila showed the kids a picture of her studio after a hard days work, what a mess!  They loved it, I guess most adults they know pretend that they are not messy.

Leila told the kids that the process of illustrating a book involves doing scribbly drawings, working the pictures up, putting them onto watercolour paper, and then scanning them in and perfecting them on the computer.   She makes it seem so easy!

She asked the kids if they liked writing or illustrating, most of them did.  I was wondering why they were such a receptive group.  She shared some top secret good news with them which I can not share, but I think the kids felt pretty special being let in on the secret.

Next up it was the kids’ turn to draw.  Leila showed them a really simple way of drawing a dog.  She taught them how to draw really lightly with a pencil for this stage.  First the kids had to draw a rectangle, then draw a circle overlapping the top left hand corner.  A cone shape was added to the left hand side of a dog for the snout.  Ears were next, they could be pointy,  fluffy, long and dangly.  The tail could be small & feathery, big & shaggy, or long & waggy.  Legs were added as long rectangles, the kids could choose the height of the dog.


The kids were then encouraged to press down harder with their pencils to come up with their own unique dogs.   They had to choose a piece of clothing for their dog, some of the suggestions were a bit cheeky.  The kids absolutely loved creating their own wacky dogs, I wish that I could have had a go too.  They could not stop talking, giggling and asking Leila for feedback, which she gave freely.  I always thought I was a lost cause when it came to being taught to draw, but I definitely learned something in Leila’s class.