Sojo in LeftLion Magazine

I do love LeftLion Magazine so very much! Each issue is bursting with everything that needs shouting about in Nottingham.  They champion awesomeness and help artists like me reach new eyes and ears.  I was so very chuffed to be invited in to LL HQ, along with some of Nottingham’s finest illustrators to discuss a new, mammoth collaborative project!  Let me tell about it…

The Goose is Loose

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See the whole cartoon

For each issue of LL magazine a new version of ‘The Goose is Loose’ would be taken on by a different illustrator (or illustrator/writer team).

Our brief was this…

You know that goose on the goose fair round about? Well he’s gone missing. Now make a cartoon about it. Make sure the first frame is two people in a pub discussing the fact that he’s missing.

My Sojo version was mostly made on my iPhone 6, with a cracked screen, using an app called Adobe Sketch. It hit the streets of Nottingham in the September issue, which of course is the big run up to Goose Fair.

And now that the Goose is actually back, I thought it was the perfect time to share a little Sojo post all about it.

I hope you all enjoy it.

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Kids Tell the Best Stories!

kids tell the best stories flyer.jpgI’m on a new mission.  I’m collecting stories.  Spontaneous stories told by children.

I am animating a few of them too!  Plus, once the animated series is out I will publish a beautiful book through Sojo Publishing Mouse, so you guys can read the stories every night!

Here is story number 1, written by a 3 year old called Morris.

“The Baby, the Sound and the Bird”

Hop Island @ The Curve: A crafty experience for the whole family.

hop island The Spark Arts have invited me along (wearing my ‘visual artist’ hat, rather than ‘animator’) to contribute to a Family Day at The Curve on Saturday 23rd May 10am-6pm.  There will be lots of wonderful workshops happening throughout the building so pop it in your diary! For those of you that know The Curve, you’ll be aware of what a gorgeous, BIG space it is and I will be taking over a lovely chunk of the mezzanine to fill with some seriously crafty, Sojo fun for the whole family to happen upon and enjoy. Let me tell you more… HOP ISLAND! Mr Dedalus and his son Icarus are trapped on an island.  Can you help to make the island a more exciting place? Families are invited to get seriously crafty and add something tricky onto the model Island for Mr. Dedalus and his son to encounter. You can create ANYTHING!  Perhaps a grumpy bear in a cave or a rickety bridge, a secret maze or a talking tree. What will you add to Hop Island? Take a snap of your crafty addition and it can be added to our online #HopIsland gallery for all to enjoy.  If you have any advice or special tips for Mr Dedalus and his son, to help them pass your obstacle, you can share it on our ‘Tips Board’ for all to see. Pop along at anytime throughout the day to join the fun. Suitable for all ages so bring the whole family and loads of imagination 🙂 This activity is loosely linked to ‘Hop’, a poetic physical dance theatre production for children aged 4+ and their families.  Performances of ‘Hop’ are on Sat 30 May and can be booked by clicking right here.

Lakeside Arts at Cantrell Primary School

DCIM100MEDIA Last week I was invited to run a Sojo Animation workshop alongside the Lakeside Arts learning team at Cantrell Primary School in Bulwell.

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The kids in year five have been thinking about ‘persuasive arguments’ and have been using the book ‘The Great Kapok Tree’ to explore their ideas.  What a cracking idea! Hats off to the teacher that thought of this. In the book the animals try to persuade a man not to cut down their tree. thegreatkapoktree Rachel from the Lakeside Arts learning team transformed the class room into a rain-forest the evening prior to the workshops, ready for the children to discover in the morning. When I arrived at the school even the reception staff were full of smiles and excitement about how fabulous the room looked. I was in a less rainforesty (made up word alert!) room, but armed with a projector.  The children animated their rain forest animals in ONLY 2 FRAMES (that’s extra tricky) and then handed over their freshly snapped jpeg files to me, to take away and compile into one, quite frankly, BRILLIANT animation. Well guys…I promised you that your characters would come alive in seven days so here you are. 🙂

You should all feel extremely proud of yourselves.  I was blown away by your creativity!   DCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIA

Sojo Animation and Lakeside Arts @ Woodlands School for a ‘World Book Day’ themed Workshop.

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Tomorrow Sojo Animation will be joining Lakeside Arts at Woodlands School to run a World Book Day themed workshop. We’ll be diving into the world of Roald Dahl and creating some of our own particularly horrible characters! I feel very proud to be involved. Thanks to the West 8 Education Improvement Partnership, which aims to: Raise standards of literacy. Increase parental involvement to improve school attendance and raise standards of achievement. Raise aspirations of children, young people, and their families in the community. Further develop the extended schools and and services in the area.

Update:

Wow! What a lovely day.  I met some wonderful kids this morning, who created some fantastic characters.  I wish I could share with you the presentations the children gave when sharing artwork with the group. Agh well… Here are a few pics…

This is a 35 year old lady who works with children and has 198 of her own children.   She has red eyes, but not because she’s evil.

These dogs were all drawn by the same child.  You wouldn’t believe how quickly he could create these sketches. I was completely blown away.

This was an evil platypus who was able to plug himself up to a conductor and harness the energy from lightening to do terrible things.

So it turns out that Woodlands School, a special needs school in Aspley, is full of the most incredibly brilliant children.

Thank you for having us.

‘Finish me, colour me!’ T-shirts: Are they a good idea?

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Everybody loves a good scribble on their clothes, right?

…Just me?

Well it was my birthday last week (Valentine’s Day actually, incase you want to pop it into your diaries for next year) and we had planned a great big family walk and play in Rushcliffe Country Park

Bro and M :) followed by a pub lunch.

Now here’s something every sneaky mama knows…if you’re taking the kiddos to a restaurant, bring fun stuff to do at the table. Standard.

I thought this would be a fabulous opportunity to test drive a new Sojo product idea I’ve been toying with…

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…”The No-headed (but potentially 3 Headed)Monster- Finish me, Colour me, T-Shirt” and a bundle of lovely fabric pens.

Ok, the name needs a bit of work.

Anyhoo, everybody LOVED them (apart from my little girl, who was “…FAR too hungry to draw monster heads, are you crazy mummy?!”)

Here are some sneaky pics I took of the lunchtime madness 🙂

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The 4 year old’s approach: First things first, let’s swishle (new word) some colour all up on this Tee.

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6 year old’s know their stuff when it comes to designing a monster.  Easy peasy!

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My 9 year Old hard at work.

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The 32 year old’s approach: Serious. Very serious.

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Tadaaaah!

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Tadaaaah!

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Tadaaaah!

So tell me, what do you reckon…Should I go for it and develop these bad boys into a  crafty product?

Is it the type of thing you might consider buying?

What age range would most enjoy it?

Tell me, tell me 🙂

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‘Boo’s Nativity’ is to be screened @The Beeston Film Festival.

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What a wonderful start to the year.  ‘Boo’s Nativity’ has been selected to be screened at The Beeston Film Festival. Look at the lovely laurels! Click the link to find out more!

I am a lot a bit excited about this!