Leanne Barrett

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ideas Jar - Loving the Salamander!

Wow what a change a few days can make.

When I first found out that I was going to have to draw a salamander I totally recoiled. I have now sketched a salamander for the last 4 days and I'm loving this little guy or gal.

Since the terrible first sketch I have drawn my salamander  7 times. Here is a sneak peek at some of the sketches.



Friday, 13 April 2018

Sketching Ideas Jars - Why a salamander?

One of  my goals for 2018 was to draw every day. I haven't yet been successful with this daily practice. So this week I joined a new group, Sketchbook Revival Online Workshop, it will begin in late April. I hope by doing this workshop that it will help me with my daily drawing.

How did I find this group?
Nina Rycroft highlighted this workshop at the end of her blog How to use your sketchbook practice to find your illustration style. In Nina's blog I read about Idea Jars. Idea Jars are filled with words to help inspire you to draw. I now have 3 jars labelled; animal, objects and actions, and in these jars I have 380 words.

I bought a new sketchbook for the workshop and decided that I needed to conquer my fear of how bad or good my drawings are in this book. It's about practice, ideas and opening yourself to creativity. 'But I don't want to ruin my new book!' I heard my inner child say to that horrible inner critic. I reminded myself that if I can do what ever I want in my Intuitive Art Journal (Sylvia Marris) no judgements, then I can do the same to my drawing sketchbook! Today I drew out the word the animal - Salamander.
My inner conversation went like this.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Creative Kids Tales Writers Festival 2018 Wrap Up

Georgie Donaghey asked the attendees of the Creative Kids Tales Writers Festival 2018 to be 'Prepare to be inspired!' and we were definitely inspired.

The hand of hope is needed in the story. - Suzanne Gervay
Write something memorable. - Suzanne Gervay
Do things in a positive light. - Georgie Donaghey
Take the germ of the truth, then lie and be good at it. - Wai Chim
Go to lots of talks and gleam ideas. - Tristan Bancks
Write the story that only you can tell. Your heart story. - Sue Whiting
Authors please leave space in your manuscript for the illustrator. - Sarah Davis
Illustrators are like film directors, they choose the cast (characters) and the set for the action to occur. - Sarah Davis

Friday, 9 March 2018

Canberra Children's Illustrators March Coffee and Pictures

To meet, share and chat is an opportunity that is too precious to miss. It warms my heart that people keep coming to each meeting.

I know that everyone who wants to come can't always attend because somehow the rest of life manages to get in the way. But when you are able to get together it is special.

These meeting's are scheduled a bit randomly. We try to get together at least once a school term, while trying to work around many other literary events on the calendar.



This month we met at Bookplate at the National Library of Australia. We talked about all things illustration. We discussed: painting techniques, pencils, parchment paper, the brand of watercolours we use, light pads, mechanical pencils, sculpey modelling clay, pens and copic markers.

Danielle has been on the book launch trail.
Jess is busy making clothes.
Kelly and I are loving Nina Rycroft's Picture Book Illustration eCourse.
Tania showed us some of her botanical illustrations, just divine! You can find Tania's illustrations on her Facebook page.
Catherine is working her way through the Character Design Weekly Challenge themes.
Stephanie gave us a seek peek at a map she is drawing for an upcoming book.
Suzy showed us some beautiful small illustrations that are reflecting her stages of pregnancy.
Genevieve is busy with William Brambleyberry, her beautiful family and growing baby number two.

Everyone that came received a two page list of upcoming booky events in the Canberra region. This list also included some online courses, plus a couple of illustration competitions people might be interested. See the list at the bottom of this blog for more information. 

NEXT MEETING:

We discussed the next meeting and thought a trip to the Australian National Botanic Gardens might be a lovely location, plus we could do some sketching of plants while we are there. At the May meeting we will chat over coffee for the first hour and then wonder along some of the pathways and sketch for the other hour. As usual children are welcome.

Canberra Children's Illustrators Coffee Pictures & Sketching
Date: Saturday 12 May 2018 (please note date change as the Sunday is Mother's Day)
Time: 2 - 4pm
Location:  Pollen located at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT
RSVP: Please message me for numbers

Thursday, 1 March 2018

CBCA Notables Books Wrap Up

In Canberra on Tuesday night (27 February) CBCA ACT Branch and Harry Hartog hosted the CBCA Book of The Year Awards Notables List Announcement. See the complete list here.

It was a glorious night catching up with authors, illustrators, teacher librarians and other book lovers.

We were delighted that two of our local authors' books were long listed.

Tania McCartney's book Merry Everything, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, was long listed for the Picture Book of the Year Award.

Cate Whittle's book Trouble and the New Kid, illustrated by Michael Stephen King, was long listed for the category of Younger Readers.

There were so many wonderful books chosen this year and as per usual some books that you hoped would make the list but didn't.

I was fortunate enough to have reviewed the following Notable Books for Kids' Book Review.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Rewarding My Inner Child

Last week during my Artist Date I took my inner child on a rewarding trip to the art store and bookshop. These are the two places that I can lose all sense of time passing.

In the art store my creativity comes to life as I browse the shelves choosing pencils, paint and paper.

While in the bookshop my imagination is fostered by the brilliant stories and engaging illustrations. On this Artist Date I was looking for illustrations that made my heart sing.

My inner child soared with delight at the colours, textures, characters and words. Now that my inner child is nourished she can activate my creativity.
I sure need my inner child to let help me let loose my creativity now that am participating in the Nina Rycroft Picture Book Illustration e-Course. The course is stretching me in ways that I didn't consider. It is giving me new insights to the process an illustrator goes through to create illustrations that will complement and add to a manuscript.

However the hardest part is the critic that is in your head yelling louder and louder that you cannot possibly create characters for a manuscript. My morning writing pages are working overtime to stop these Monsters that exist in my head. Monsters from my past that crushed my inner child, the child that liked to dream.

So HOORAY to places like the art store and the bookshop that help set my inner child free from the monsters.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Book Launch: Marvellous Miss May

A fabulous book launch at Harry Hartog (Woden) with Stephanie Owen Reeder for her new book, Marvellous Miss May, published by The National Library of Australia. 

Stephanie read the book to an enthusiastic crowd. Clowns and a ringmaster were there plus preforming jugglers.


Like any great book launch there were colouring in sheets,lollies and cake. You always need cake for a book birthday!




For a book review by Shaye Wardope from Kids' Book Review see here