I have been very honoured to be asked to be the demonstrating artist for the Aspect Art Show in Goondiwindi, Southern Queensland in May this year.
I will also be running some manga and drawing workshops for school students there, a great chance to share the magnificent obsession that is figurative drawing with the next generation in one of our most famous rural towns (remember the “Goondiwindi Grey”?)
A wonderful aspect of this event is that I have been invited by a friend and one of my past art students from almost 10 years ago, Julie Reardon, and her sister Kate.
I also had the pleasure of teaching their grandmother, Joy.
So the trip will be a reunion of artists as well as myself getting to play a small part in the cultural life of Goondiwindi.
Here is a link to the Aspect Art Show blog and this link is to an article about the demonstrating artist currently known as David Lovegrove and the art of Manga!
Those of us who love drawing and especially those who draw a lot have usually toyed with the idea of drawing with their opposite hands. Back in 2002 when I was completing my Masters degree in Visual Art I was questioning everything about drawing – I was looking hard at my classical drawing education and questioning its continuing validity in contemporary art ( it IS still very valid – my conclusion ) and I was searching for new ways to draw.
One bored night I started drawing with my other hand ( my left) and filled half a sketch book with ‘lefties’.
I was suprised how good it felt and how it seemed to balance my mind. Not so long after I got the notion of trying drawing with two hands at the same time.
I was inspired by the idea of the inkblot or rorshak test pattern and found that I could get my left hand to mimic the movements of the right hand quite easily.
I had in fact been doing something like this for a long time in other spheres- I am a percussionist and for most of my life had been using two hands together. Since 1997 I had been practicing an ambidextrous Chinese martial art called Wing Chun Kung Fu in which we learn to face our imaginary opponent in a symetrical front on stance and use both arms at once.
I started demonstrating my double handed drawing idea ( which I call Ambidexter) to schools and libraries all around Sth East Qld and further afield as part of my manga and concept art character design workshops.
I draw, usually on a whiteboard, and then ask the students to tell me what they see. Then I work into the abstract symetrical shape and ‘nut out’ creatures and things I can see or imagine.
Not that there’s anything wrong with staying abstract and just playing with design. This approach can produce very beautiful patterns and designs.
Not so long ago I had one of those inspired ideas – I was thinking about the two handed drawing idea and suddenly thought -” Why not try drawing with 10 fingers!”
So I bought 10 markers, taped them with masking tape to my fingers and gave it a go.
I will post a lot more about this experimentation here soon. For the moment you can check out these two short clips on youtube of me giving a demo at Newington Grammar, Sydney -http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BrT_2nxykLU
This is my very first video of me drawing with 10 fingers and 10 markers at once
Last year Michelle Walker from Curious Minds invited me to a fantastic group meeting of some of Australia’s top facilitators and graphic recorders to share with them my new drawing ideas and the ambidexter approach was a big hit.
Late last year Michelle and I got together at her beautiful property at Stoney Chute and we collaborated in creating a two person ambidexter work. It was a lot of fun and very inspiring for me to see how a very experienced artist like Michelle ran with this new idea and created a beautiful work quite different to mine. I hope to collaborate with other artists along the way, something I have always wanted to try but haven’t often done.
To see Michelles blog article about our artwork go here-
Just got back from a terrific art experience – teaching a “Manga, Comics and Graphic Novel Creation” course at the McGregor Summer School, USQ in Toowoomba.
I had a class full of very enthusiastic students indeed ranging in age from teenagers to
a wonderful lady who once was the real Moneypenny in the British Secret Service!
In 10 days we covered a lot of artistic territory and in the last couple of days produced
the art for the first “McGregor Manga”. A brilliant effort from the group and I believe
that some major new talents are brewing in Toowoomba and Biloela!!
I had a brilliant time billeted at the McGregor accomodation and basked in the unusual pleasure (for me) of enjoying artistic conversation and friendship with some grand men and woman of Australian art! Can’t say enough good about the McGregor experience, hoping to be asked back and looking to promote my classes and the Summer School further.
One last thing – make sure you take the time to visit Toowoomba and for fans of things Japan the incredible Japanese garden at the USQ campus. SUGOI!!!!
“Marsden State High School library in Logan, Queensland, is celebrating the National Year of Reading with its Crossing boundaries with Reading program of activities to promote reading, creative expression, and digital literacy among Year 8 and 9 students. The project, which is funded by a QUT Engagement Innovation Grant, involves a partnership between Marsden SHS teacher-librarian Shirley Birrell and teachers; Logan City Libraries; the School Library Association of Queensland; QUT academics and students; and QUT Library. It builds on a close existing relationship between Marsden State High School and Logan City Libraries, and a flourishing Manga Club at Marsden SHS.
For the launch in August, 70 students participated in a full day Manga drawing workshop led by Manga artist David Lovegrove, and more recently Marsden students crossed educational boundaries at an on-campus day at QUT Kelvin Grove. They participated in design and technology workshops presented by academics from across the university; interacted with QUT student mentors from Education and Library and Information Science courses; had some hands-on practice in the library games lab; and experienced lunch in the student canteen. Forthcoming highlights also include a three day workshop during the last week of term 4, featuring National Year of Reading ambassador and youth author Tristan Bancks. The closing celebration at Marsden public library on 13 December will showcase the Manga artwork and stories that students have created through the program.”
For the fourth year in a row I had the honour to be invited to run a Manga workshop for the Consulate General of Japan, one of the highlights of my year!
For the previous three years we have met at the University of Qld campus but this year our workshop was held at the beautiful Bleeding Heart Gallery, 166 Ann Street, Brisbane.
Manga Workshop at the Bleeding Heart Art Gallery, Brisbane CBD
David Lovegrove demonstrating principles of drawing Manga eyes
The workshop was fully booked and the enthusiastic manga fans and artists were of all ages. Thanks everybody for coming and a special thanks to the Melissa Lawler from the Cultural Affairs section and to Consul Harashima San.
Check out the Consulates website which regularly posts very cool Japanese events etc at
Also thanks to Kade Morton, one of the editor / publishers of the supercool Ashcan comics (and the exciting upcoming Iron Style manga imprint)
Check them out at http://ashcan.com.au/
Zia, Ailesh and Shonelle from Lismore Library stoked about Manga !
On the 13th September I ran a packed Manga Workshop at the huge Council Library in beautiful Lismore. The young artist’s ranged from 5 to 15 and everyone agreed that they had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks to Lucy and Shonelle for their great organising skills (and to Zia and Ailesh for their enthusiasm and help) and for the yummy Pizza and drinks at ‘half time’!
"LUCY FLEUR" - digital painting based on my white board scribble
I did one of my scribble drawings and it turned out to be one of those ‘keepers’, you can see her on the board beside the girls above – a young artist from Trinity college named her Lucy and the name stuck. This is my digital painting based on the scribble -
Last Friday 25th May 12 I flew to the lovely town of Bundaberg, Queensland, at the invitation of St Lukes Anglican School to do three presentations showing students my manga art and demonstrating my drawing techniques and philosophies.
The three sessions were run in the schools large state of the art auditorium and I really felt like being a performer on stage, with large groups of incredibly enthusiastic kids from years 7 to 10 in attendance.
As I drew for them on a number of occasions the boys and girls broke into spontaneous applause which i found touching – they are a very sincere group and it is wonderful to see drawing appreciated in the same way music or other performance might be.
Darlene Hill (Teacher Librarian) and her staff did a fantastic job organizing the day for me, and it was an honour to be part of a bigger celebration of artforms and technical skills held over a number of days.
I would like to thank St Lukes once again for the terrific reception I was given and for accomodating and looking after me so well.
I hope to see you again in the not too distant future!
On the 5th May I travelled to the beautiful city of Toowoomba (west of Brisbane) to run a day of Manga workshops for the very keen young manga and anime fans there.
It was a terrific day organised by the Toowoomba Library by Angela Morgan (Young People’s Services Assistant) and Liz Derouet (Young people’s Librarian).
The response was terrific with all three classes filled and the very enthusiastic young artists paying full attention, drawing feverishly and many staying to ask questions of me afterwards.
Toowoomba is experiencing a huge new interest in Manga and Anime and the libraries’ terrific collection of related books and DVD’s is a tremendous free resource for everybody interested in these fascinating works of literature and art combined.