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Events for Oct/Nov 2019


Oct 7, 9, 11: Crazy Character design workshops (for kids)

Join me for a character design workshop where I’ll guide you through the process of drawing your own unique character!
Learn how simple tricks including shape, colour choice, setting and detail can make your characters come to life.
These workshops are part of the Awesome Arts Festival for Bright Young Things.

WHEN: Monday Oct 7th, Wednesday Oct 9th, Friday Oct 11th
TIMES: 11am-12pm / 1pm-2pm
WHERE: Education Room, Mezzanine floor, State Library of WA, Francis St, Perth
AGES: 8-12 yo
COST: $20.50 per child + booking fee
BOOKINGS: essential. Click here to reserve your place.


Oct 8, 10:  Picture Book in a Day workshop (for kids)

Ever wanted to make a picture book? Join me for a very special workshop. You and a group of young creatives will work together with me to write and illustrate a brand new picture book from scratch!
Your wonderful creation will be taken away to be printed and bound then we’ll notify you when they are available for collection from the AWESOME Ticket Booth.
This is a rare opportunity to work with a published author and illustrator. Book in early to avoid disappointment.
This workshop is part of the Awesome Arts Festival for Bright Young Things.

WHEN: Tuesday Oct 8th (*SOLD OUT*), Thursday Oct 10th
TIMES: 10am – 2:30pm (please BYO lunch/snacks)
WHERE: Education Room, Mezzanine floor, State Library of WA, Francis St, Perth
AGES: 8-12 yo
COST: $100 per child
BOOKINGS: Essential. Click here to reserve your place.


Oct 31:  ‘My Dead Bunny’ Halloween session (for families)


My Dead Bunny cover image***THIS EVENT IS BOOKED OUT***

On this spookiest of evenings, I’ll be at Cannington Library talking about the creepy creation of the picture book My Dead Bunny.

“My dead bunny’s name is Brad;
His odour is extremely bad.
He visits me when I’m in bed,
But Bradley wasn’t always dead …”

A hilarious rhyming tale about a zombie bunny who comes back to visit his owner.

WHEN: Thursday Oct 31st
TIMES: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
WHERE: Cannington Library, 233 Sevenoaks St, Cannington, WA
AGES: recommended for older readers, 8 years and up.

***THIS EVENT IS BOOKED OUT***


Nov 9:  Sally Tinker’s Adventures in Invention (for families)

I’ve written and illustrated some sci-fi comics for kids: the S.Tinker Inc. series. The stories follow Sally Tinker – the world’s foremost inventor under twelve – on her adventures in invention, covering topics such as robots, dung beetles, nanotech, human biology and more! Join me on a deep dive into the making of these books, learning the science facts behind the science fiction. Plus get the chance to do some drawing too!

Suitable for young inventors 8-12 years.

This session is part of  Quantum Words Perth, a writers’ festival dedicated to science, creativity and wonder.

This event is free but bookings are recommended as capacity is limited.

WHEN: Saturday Nov 9
TIMES: 11am – 11:50am
WHERE: State Theatre Centre of WA, 174 – 176 William Street, Perth
AGES: 8-12 yo
COST: free
BOOKINGS: Essential. Click here to reserve your place.


Nov 9:  The Future Machine (for families)

The world is full of problems, pickles and predicaments in need of solutions. How can we make the future a better place? Figure out some fixes and add them to the Future Machine. This collaborative mural invites you to design and create imaginative solutions to real world problems using your own words and pictures. No problem is too big and no solution is too crazy. I’ll be on hand to inspire and assist young inventors to bring the full force of their imaginations to this project.

Suitable for young inventors of any age.

This session is part of  Quantum Words Perth, a writers’ festival dedicated to science, creativity and wonder.

This event is free but bookings are recommended as capacity is limited.

WHEN: Saturday Nov 9
TIMES: 12 noon – 1:00pm
WHERE: State Theatre Centre of WA, 174 – 176 William Street, Perth
AGES: all ages
COST: free
BOOKINGS: Essential. Click here to reserve your place.


Nov 10:  All about Poo

It’s not just five-year olds who are fascinated by poo. Surgeon Michael Levitt, psychologist Nick Haslam and children’s author James Foley (that’s me) discuss our ongoing obsession with all things faecal and farts with Natasha Mitchell of Radio National and ABC Science.

This session is part of  Quantum Words Perth, a writers’ festival dedicated to science, creativity and wonder.

WHEN: Sunday Nov 10
TIMES: 10am – 10:50am
WHERE: State Theatre Centre of WA, 174 – 176 William Street, Perth
AGES: this is part of the public program – aimed primarily at adults
COST: $15 full, $10 concession
BOOKINGS: Essential. Click here to reserve your place.

Brobot in The West newspaper, term 3

Brobot book cover

Sally Tinker and Brobot are coming to the West Australian newspaper’s ED! liftout every week in term 3.

It was a big challenge to reformat the story – I had to edit it down, rearrange the panels to fit the newspaper’s dimensions, AND divide it into 10 episodes.

Your school can get in on the action with an ED! section subscription: full details here.

Win a school visit from me!

Visiting-Author---James-Foley---19-Aug-2015-(18)Attention teachers! Fremantle Press is giving one lucky Perth metro school a free author visit from me.

To win the visit, all you need to do is check out the latest edition of Fremantle Press’ education newsletter, Classroom Express, here – then click on the ‘Forward to a Friend’ button at the top right and send it to your colleagues. The school with the most teachers subscribed to Classroom Express by 30 June 2019 will win the author visit!

But wait – there’s a second prize up for grabs! If you also happen to be a subscriber to the Classroom Express newsletter (you can subscribe here), AND you get the most friends signed up using the ‘Forward to a Friend’ button, then you’ll win 10 Fremantle Press books for your school library valued at $200.

So pass it on! And tell your colleagues, friends, parents and more about the competitions, teaching resources, activities and merchandise that they can get from The Classroom Express.

Both competitions close on Sunday 30 June 2019. The winner for each competition will be notified by email after this date. The winners will be announced in the Term 3 issue of The Classroom Express.

Toffle Towers 1: Fully Booked – cover reveal!

Great news!

I’m illustrating a new chapter book series written by the very talented Tim Harris.

The series is called TOFFLE TOWERS, and the first book is out August 6th.

Here’s the cover …

… and here’s the official synopsis:

Toffle Towers hotel has been run by a Toffle for over one hundred years – and it’s about to be inherited by the next generation.

Chegwin Toffle is only ten years old. But he isn’t going to let that stop him from turning this run-down hotel into a success. Chegwin is determined to transform Toffle Towers from a boring hotel for grown-ups into an incredibly exciting destination for children (and their families).

But running a hotel isn’t easy. Chegwin has a lot to learn, and his tendency to drift off into daydreams isn’t helping.

Chegwin has plenty of ideas. But can he turn his madcap daydreams into reality?

Toffle Towers 1: Fully Booked is published by Penguin Books Australia, and available in all good bookshops from August 6th, 2019!

PRE-ORDER your copy now:
Booktopia (Australia/NZ only)
Kinokuniya (Australia only)
Angus & Robertson (Australia only)
QBD (Australia only)
Dymocks
Readings
Or find your local bookseller

Upcoming events (Feb 2019)

Hello you! I hope your 2019 has been treating you kindly so far. What did you get up to? I spent most of January soaking up time with my wife and son and labrador. We paddled in the river, read books, watched more than a little netflix and had bbqs. I also got to work on some new sketches and picture book ideas that I’m excited about. It’s been great to spend quiet time relaxing and ‘refilling the well’ so that I’ve got the energy for the year ahead.

I’ve got a few great events coming up at the end of this month – the Perth Writers’ Week family day and a teacher/librarian PD in Sydney. See below for details. Hope to see you down the track!

Happy reading/creating/living,

James 🙂

Continue reading “Upcoming events (Feb 2019)”

Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 4: final cover illustration

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I illustrated the front cover.

Step 1: cover design

Here’s my final rough:

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 4: final cover illustration”

Events for Nov/Dec

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Nov 22:  Picture Book Illustration (for adults)

Have you ever wanted to illustrate a children’s book? Join me to find out how. Learn how character design, composition, choice of medium and typography all affect the visual story, and have a go yourself.

Bring your favourite drawing materials and a notepad or sketchbook.

WHEN: Thursday Nov 22nd
TIMES: 6:00pm-7:30pm
WHERE: Victoria Park Library, 27 Sussex Street, East Victoria Park, WA 6101
AGES: 8-12yo
COST: $3 per person
BOOKINGS: essential. Click here to book online, or call the library on 9373 5500.

 


Continue reading “Events for Nov/Dec”

Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 3: cover design

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I designed the robots and vehicles in the story.

Quick recap: Sally Tinker is the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve. In Gastronauts, Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows her latest invention. So Sally and her friend Charli shrink themselves down in a tiny submarine and journey into Joe’s body.

Here’s how I designed the cover.

Step 1: really bad first sketches

Sometimes you get the cover idea pretty quickly and clearly from the start.

This was not one of those times.

I struggled with this a lot at first; I couldn’t figure out how to show the reader that Sally and Charli were inside a sub, inside Joe, and make Sally and Charli big enough so that they were recognisable, without being too big that the scale stopped being anatomically correct.

None of these ideas really work, but I’ve included them here to show you how a cover design process can go. There are usually lots of rejected, fairly ordinary ideas.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 3: cover design”

Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 2: submarine & robot design

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I designed the robots and submarine in the story.

Quick recap: Sally Tinker is the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve. In Gastronauts, Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows an invention called the smartCHIP, along with a bunch of tiny robots called smartbots, and also a tiny shrunken submarine containing Sally and her friend Charli.

Here’s how I designed Sally’s SUB and the smartbots. But:

**SPOILER ALERT***

I’ll discuss plot points for the book, so if you haven’t read the book yet, go do that first, then come back.

All good?

Have you gone and read the book?

Ok, here’s how I designed the SUB and the smartbots.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 2: submarine & robot design”

Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 1: illustration process

My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.

Today I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how I made the illustrations.

Here’s one of my favourite spreads from the book. It’s where Sally leads her friend Charli into the SUB (Sally’s Underwater Boat) for the first time.

I thought it would be easiest to show the insides of the SUB by just drawing a massive cut-away diagram. Here’s how I drew it.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes of Gastronauts, part 1: illustration process”