We are often inspired by the art/illustrations that appear in books and even more so when we get to meet the illustrator or author in person. This was certainly the case when some of our Middle School Visual Arts students, along with some Year 10s, had the opportunity to meet Lance Balchin when he came to present some workshops at GCC in early August.
Lance Balchin has been working in the creative space for over 20 years. His talent with design and illustration has resulted in the wonderful world and work of Mechanica. The students and staff who attended the workshops were impressed by Lance’s talent and his generous sharing of ideas, tools and resources. Students were excited to be shown tools that enable them to create their own ‘characters’ within Adobe Photoshop and were inspired to create by viewing the work Lance has produced in his books Mechanica and Aquatica.
Mechanica won the Honour Book for the Picture Book Category for the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards in 2017 and Aquatica is a Notable book in this year’s Picture Book Category. Being shortlisted attests to the high calibre of Lance’s creativity as over 400 books are nominated each year across the six categories for judging Australia’s finest contributions to the literary world that is Australia’s literature.
We look forward to seeing student designs from the workshop when they complete them during the term and hope to present these in book-format later this year. The opportunity to have Lance work with our students and inspire them to create something new was wonderful and well-received. We look forward to working with other illustrators and designers in the future.
Beryl Morris and Jenny Evans