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International interest for academic’s online cartoon classes

26 August 2020 @TeessideUni

 

Online cartooning classes led by a Teesside University academic for a regional arts education resource have attracted international interest.

Julian Lawrence, Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels, in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies, has been working with The Start Studio to run a series of online cartoon lessons.

The summer series, which is now is its second session, has proved increasingly popular, with Julian’s most recent classes attracting interest not only from children across England, Ireland, Scotland, but along with much further afield in Florida and Texas.

Julian said: 'I began the second session by asking participants their names and where they are from. The first two, sisters, said they were from Middlesbrough.

'Most of the students were local, but we were all pleasantly surprised to find out that kids from around the world had signed up for the online cartooning lessons.

'Two boys from Florida regaled us with tales of alligators, and Jewel told us she lives in Houston, Texas. On top of that, aspiring cartoonists came from all across the UK and Ireland.'

Sara Calgie, who runs the Start Studio, said: 'We have always been a local community art organisation, but during the lockdown we have seen engagement from much further afield, from all over this county and overseas too. The session led by Julian was brilliant to see so much international interest.

'At the Start Studio we want to support schools, families and individual educators to develop their creativity for skills, learning, to develop intrinsic value and engagement. We want everyone to share their learning, use it in the community and find value in art.'

The cartooning classes led by Julian are one of four new The Start Studio sessions with local creative practitioners which have been supported by funding from the Arts Council England’s National Lottery Community Fund. Funding was given to help run classes aimed at children adversely impacted by the current pandemic.

Sara added: 'We're also helping families who have been displaced during lockdown to create together and offering BSL signed Zoom classes.'

Find out more about The Start Studio