Cristy Burne


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Entries closing soon: 2018 Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists

From an oncoming aeroplane to a more loving planet Earth, the winning artwork from the 2017 Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists was awesome. What will 2018 hold?

Which young artists will be brave enough to enter? Whose artwork will spark our imaginations and capture our hearts?

2018 is the 16th annual Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists. If you’re in Years 1 to 12 and go to school in Western Australia, you’re in with a chance! Entry is free, but you need to get your pencils out quick-smart: entries close 4pm on Monday 21 May.

Interview with last year’s winners…

1. My Earth Dream by Rishitha Venkatesh.jpg

My Earth Dream, by Rishitha Venkatesh

Rishitha Venkatesh, 11, won 2017’s Upper Primary category. She says her pen-and-watercolour artwork, ‘My Earth Dream’, is one of her most outstanding achievements.

“It is mainly about how I want the Earth to be right now, and for the future generations,” she explains.

“I knew that the message behind the artwork was very important, and that I really like animals.

“The message I am trying to communicate through the artwork is that, after what we have done to our planet, it is up to us to save the animals and plants of Earth. We need to rewrite our wrongs,” she says.

Don’t be intimidated….

Intimidation by Cameron Bills.jpg

Intimidation, by Cameron Bills

Cameron Bills, 9, won the 2017 Middle Primary category with his piece, called ‘Intimidation.’

“It’s an Airbus A380 passenger aircraft thundering down the runway ready for takeoff,” Cameron explains. “My picture gives the viewer an experience of seeing the aircraft head-on…

“[It] was more dramatic than I had expected, and became more than just a picture of an aircraft. I was proud of myself when I showed my parents.”

Cameron was inspired to try drawing an aeroplane after flying in one during a holiday. “I really like vehicles, and the only vehicle I had not drawn was an aircraft.”

Artistic process

Rishitha and Cameron both knew what they wanted to create, but it didn’t always come easy.

“I had a rough idea how I wanted it to turn out,” Rishitha says. “In my first attempt, I wasn’t too satisfied… so I tried again.”

Cameron agrees: “I drew the picture once, but used an eraser lots,” he says. “I planned some of it, because I knew that some of the wing would not fit on to the paper.”

The Young Artist awards are designed to inspire creativity and imagination, and Rishitha says they certainly achieve their aim: “Just participating in this amazing event is a privilege. Everyone should have a go!”

The awards are run by the City of Subiaco. This story first appeared in Crinkling News.


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Artist Patrick Lee

Artist Patrick Lee worked with kids from seven schools at the 2013 Geraldton NAIDOC Sports Festival.

Kevin Burgemeestre facepaints for NAIDOC festival

Author/illustrator Kevin Burgemeestre joined in with spontaneous Antarctic face-painting…

Woo hoo!

Just back from Geraldton, where I’ve had a terrific week with gorgeous authors and illustrators Sally MurphyKevin Burgemeestre and Den Scheer (who has also done a great write-up of this event).

Together, we did meet-the-author school shows and writing and illustration workshops across three days and seven schools, and it was FANTASTIC.

I trialed heaps of new jokes, met lots of great people, and had stacks of fun. Yee ha! (And thanks for laughing at my jokes :-))

Cristy Burne, Den Scheer and disembodied head

Me, Den Scheer and the disembodied head.

Awesome Aboriginal dance troupe

We saw an awesome Aboriginal dance troupe, made up of Year 9 students. Very impressive!

Thanks to the Children’s Charity Network for supporting the event, to artist Patrick Lee for his amazing talent and generosity, and to Marg Maxwell and her team (including Ken and the cat) for their brilliant hospitality. Hugs to you all (even the cat)!

Young Australian Art and Writing Awards

While I’m on the subject of the Children’s Charity Network, they run some exciting award programs for young authors and artists.

I was (am?) addicted to entering competitions of this kind, and even won a couple when I was still at school (the old Canon Young Writers of the Year was a highlight…my first trip to Sydney! Yee ha!).

We all know how hard it is to be a writer, how much you need to believe in yourself if you’re even going to put words on a page, and awards like this can give young artists a real boost, right when they need it most. It sure helped me!

So, if you know a young writer or talented artist (or if you suspect you might possibly be one…), check out the awards, and the OzKids in Print magazine.

I’ll leave you with more images from the NAIDOC Sports Festival…it rocked!

And a special bonus for reading down this far? Check out A MONSTER HOUSE by Zac R from Room 13.