My Manga “Daruma” 8 Heroes in a painting for PLC

DARUMA-8-HEROES-lo-resA low resolution version of the painting “Daruma – The 8 Heroes” which I was commissioned to paint for the library of Presbyterian Ladies College, Burwood, Melbourne.
It was a real honour to be asked to be part of the libraries terrific collection of art.

The painting depicts the eight major “good guys” (4 female 4 male characters) from my upcoming manga graphic novel “Daruma”, set upon by ninja agents of the “bad guys”.
I won’t reveal more right now but will let the girls of PLC know more of the plot when I officially present the painting to the school early this year.


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Merry Xmas / Yuletide 2013!

Well the end of another year is here and it’s time to put up the tree and set up our lights and painted Santas, elves, snowmen and assorted other creatures out the front of our house. This year will be the grandest yet with a new painting of Santas house, lots more spotlights and hopefully more fake snow!
Great fun for the kids and all the Xmas lights’sightseers ( and for us of course!)
Thanks so much to all the wonderful schools and libraries who have asked me to visit this year! It is a great honour to share the love of art,story and creativity with so many and the enthusiasm of all involved keeps me enthusiastic!

Three special highlights for me since I last posted-

First-A day of manga at St Stephens College Coomera, which was just sensational. Year 9′s from St Stephens and two other schools filled the large auditorium, we had Japanese teachers dressed as ninjas and traditional Japanese ladies and a very responsive group of young Nihongo students!

I was also dressed in traditional gear and we did lots of different manga drawing exercises and out-there concept art experiments. The highlight for me was when the native Japanese teachers gave us a demonstration of authentic accents ranging from super sweet girls to rough working class ‘blokes’. Great fun and very funny! Many thanks to Danielle Goucher and staff ( and thanks for the lovely Japanese lunch too!)

My second highlight was being commisioned to paint a manga themed painting for PLC ( Presbyterian Ladies College) Melbourne. I painted it in acrylics on Arches hot pressed watercolour paper and couriered the finished painting to Melbourne last week. I will post images of the work next.
Excitingly PLC has invited me to come back to Melbourne early in 2014 to present the framed work to the school ;)
Special thanks to Genevieve Lynch, Head of Library Services PLC ( a truly impressive library about which I have raved previously).

Third- A really great day at Churchie, the prestigious Church of England Grammar School, in Brisbane. My first workshop was for the boys studying Japanese, a very keen group who knew quite a bit of the language and who enthusiastically drew all the characters I presented, especially Naruto ( their age!) and my double handed and scribble concept art.

In the afternoon for the first time ever I ran a kung fu workshop for the studnets of Chinese at Churchie. We had a great time, I talked about the history of kung fu and it’s history in Australia, we drew ‘Kung Fu Panda” characters and then I demonstrated some of the style I am experienced in- Wing Chun Kung Fu.

The boys loved it and all 70 of us ended up outside performing the advanced Bil Jee form! Big thanks to May Kwan and Winnie ( and the other terrific language experts)for all your good work organizing this unique event!


Once again Merry Xmas and A Happy New Year!

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David’s August update

Hi folks, haven’t updated my blog for..ulp…two months! Lots of great things have been coming my way since I last posted starting with the final event for the “Crossing boundaries with reading ” project at Marsden State High School, a day of fun creating stories and manga style art based around my theme ” If you were survivors of an apocalypse ( a Zombie one of course!) how would you rebuild your comfortable modern world?”. The Marsden students attending got right into the spirit of this and came up with some pretty fantastic stories and art, and of course we all agreed that a library would be the first place to go to learn anything we needed (no electricity, no internet, no wikipedia folks..sorry!). It was a blast. Thanks again to Bernadette Powers and staff and the lovely people from QUT.

Early in August I was a guest at Robina State High for their Yr8 Japanese Culture Day, teaching and demonstrating Manga and Anime techniques. It was a really special day and one of the very best I have attended over the years, which is no wonder as Robina High is a Japanese language immersion school with quite brilliant teachers. I love running my workshops, the kids were very well behaved and enthusiastic, and the other Japanese presenters were superb – Koto masters, good Kendo, Japanese baseball pro’s and yummy Nihon gohan ( Japanese food) for lunch. A feast of culture for the young participants.
Many thanks to Sellina McCluskey ( Head of Japanese and International Programs) and her amazing staff of fluent Nihongo speakers!

Me in Yukata (looking somewhat like a bald Zen priest) teaching Manga style at Robina State High Japan Day


Next I was a guest at the prestigious Glennies School in Toowoomba, one of the most classic old Queensland style timber schools (beautiful and huge!), for their literature festival. A great day with tremendous enthusiasm shown by the girls ( it’s a girls school!). I love Toowoomba and its always a treat to be invited there, the Glennies School really treated us very well and the staff were very warm and helpful.

Last but not least I was invited to Melbourne to run a lunch time manga workshops for the very enthusiastic manga/anime lovers at the Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC).
A wonderful school, one of Australia’s premier schools and the Library was breathtaking! Genevieve Lynch, Head of Library Services, took me on a tour of the Library and it was more on the scale and intellectual depth of a University’s holding. I was particularly impressed by the Art section which really thoroughly covered art history and gave equal weight to traditional art as well as more contemporary movements ( including comics and manga of course!).  The PLC Library also has a terrific archival section of very old and rare books and manuscripts. Library heaven!
The Manga / Anime group were a great bunch of intelligent young ladies who really knew their stuff and I acquainted them with my Daruma manga characters and they are looking forward to seeing the published work soon. They drew some fine work in the session and I encouraged them all to really use the schools’ magnificent library to educate themselves about all aspects of art and to consider pursuing artistic and literary careers. Thanks PLC for a great day!

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David Lovegrove interviewed by journalist Harriet McInerney at VibeWire, Sydney

Journalist Harriet McInerney interviewed me whilst I put the finishing touches to my large ambidextrous charcoal on canvas work ( that started as a demo at the end of my FastBreak talk at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo, Sydney.

Interview with artist David Lovegrove 

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Guest speaker at Powerhouse Museum FastBreak breakfast

I flew to Sydney recently to be one of the guest speakers at VibeWire’s
( ) monthly inspiring breakfasts held at the famous
Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo, Sydney. (Learn more about Fast Break - )

VibeWire’s article is here

The theme of the breakfast was “Story” and I related the story of my own serendipitous journey into the world of Art. Here’s the You Tube link -

What is Fastbreak?

Welcome to fastBREAK showcase!

Produced by Vibewire and the Powerhouse Museum

fastBREAK is a power breakfast of insights, innovation and inspiration – it’s food for thought.

Since launching in 2010, the fastBREAK innovation series has sent a buzz through local creative and entrepreneurial communities, injecting life, inspiration and a flurry of fastBREAKing conversation into the Powerhouse Museum. At each month fastBREAK session five sharp young industry leaders from various sectors tackle big questions and topics with five-minute responses around themes of creativity, commercialisation, collaboration, connections and conversation. Innovation is the staple of the fastBREAK menu.

The fastBREAK program showcases a diverse range of fresh perspectives from within the creative industries, including technology, design, media, science and education. Following the five back-to-back talks, participants are invited to share ideas over a delicious breakfast by Black Star Pastry, Newtown.

With a focus on intergenerational exchange and dialogue, fastBREAK is a unique opportunity for conversations outside the ordinary – an opportunity for emerging young masterminds from a range of disciplines to be heard at to brush shoulders with decision-makers from corporate and non-profit organisations.


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Manga workshops for Gold Coast Art Gallery (Qld Pop Culture Week, Evangelion Exhibition)

Sat 27th April, Manga workshops at Gold Coast City Art Gallery (QPOW,Evangelion Anime Festival)

Manga character creation based on random scribble

A random two handed scribble by a young artist

A quick tweek and its an alien veedubb!

Enthusiastic young artists turned out in force to attend the three manga workshops I ran for the Gold Coast City Council Art Gallery as part of QPOW (Qld Pop Culture Week) and to coincide with their fabulous  Evangelion Anime Exhibition.
We drew classic manga eyes, cute characters and explore story telling techniques used by manga and comic book artists.
I demonstrated my ‘legendary’ two handed drawing technique (for inventing unique characters) and the kids took to it like ducks to water.
Huge thanks to Jodi Ferrari (GCCC Art Gallery Programs Coordinator) for inviting me and for her organizational skills and exceptional knowledge of artistic skills and thought processes!
Thanks also of course to all the young artists attending and to their keen and devoted parents!

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Super Hero workshop for CanTeen at Camp Toukley

On the 26th April I flew to Sydney as a guest of CanTeen to run a super hero drawing workshop as part of their cool Super Hero themed camp at Camp Toukley on the beautiful Central Coast (on Lake Macquarie).
The teens were amped and the workshop went really well thanks to their enthusiasm and the help of the terrific staff from Canteen, particularily Chye Toole (Recreation Officer) and Polly the Division Manager.
Thanks guys, hope the rest of the camp was a blast and hope to see you again!
CanTeen website

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Zombie workshops in Sydney Libraries

In April I flew to Sydney to run 3 x 5 hour Zombie themed art workshops for young adults for three very hip libraries – Narellan Library, Woolahra Library and Ku Ring Gai Library.

What amazed me was how switched on to the Zombie theme all the young participants were and I learned quite a bit from them actually. I was shown photos of Zombie parades held locally and in the centre of Sydney.
We spent the 5 hours learning some human (and not so human!) anatomy and how to draw humans and zombies, how to recognize zombies and represent them in pencil and ink and colour plus learning about the fine art of creating movie posters (using some classic zombie posters as guides).
Despite some adult reservations about the obvious grossness of the theme it became clear that drawing Zombies and their potential victims is a great way to interest young artists in figurative art skills.

The artists each created their own Zombie movie poster and then we had an exhibition at the conclusion for parents and family.
A big thanks from me to the cool Youth Librarians who organized my visit – Michella McIntosh from Woolahra, Amy Swan from Camden and Shoba Abraham from Ku Ring Gai.

My Zombie poster for Zombie workshops, April, in Sydney

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Manga workshops in Goondiwindi

I was very honoured to be asked to be the demonstrating artist for the Aspect Art Show in the Outback town of Goondiwindi, Southern Queensland in May this year.
I also ran 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 was 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 was 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!

Will post pics soon!

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Two handed drawing

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 -

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-

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