Shut-down students draw inspiration from online art project

Shut-down students draw inspiration from online art project
Will Sliney, the artist whose online art classes have gone global, with his son Tadhg

Children on school shut-downs around the world are drawing inspiration and comfort from an Irish illustrator’s online art project.

Marvel comic book artist, Will Sliney, who also does art work for Everton Football Club’s match programmes, said he’s been overwhelmed with the response to his #wewilldraw initiative on Twitter and Facebook.

He got a few dozen drawings from stay-at-home kids on their first day of school lock-down on Friday. 

But his idea has gone viral and he’s been inundated with thousands of pictures of superheroes and cartoon characters over the weekend.

An art teacher in Tokyo is now encouraging her class to get involved.

He said the volume of work has been so great, he hopes to set up a daily one-hour YouTube live art class for kids later this week and host it for the duration of the school-shutdown.

"It started on Friday morning when someone sent me a photo of a picture their kid was drawing, unprompted, and it brought a smile to my face. It was the first smile I had that day," he said.

"So I decided why not put that call out there to see if other kids wanted to draw."

Will, who drew SpiderMan for Marvel and who now works on their Star Wars comic book series, has posted his images for children to colour in, while encouraging them to also draw their own favourite characters from SpiderMan to Star Wars.

"I thought maybe I could give them an objective, point them in some direction, give them a bit of encouragement, and that it might get a lot more kids drawing. And I thought maybe I’d get 100 responses," he said.

But certainly not the thousands that have been coming in - which has been really really nice to see.

"And it has really brightened up my day, and it seems to have brightened up a lot of other peoples’ days as well."

From his home studio in Ballycotton, Co Cork, his idea has encouraged other artists and authors to do something similar to keep kids entertained.

Dynamite Studios have published some of their images online for kids to colour in and some childrens’ authors said they’ve been inspired to post readings online.

Tomorrow, Hairy Baby t-shirts will pick their favourite drawings from the #wewilldraw entries and print them onto once-off personalised t-shirts for the artists.

Vibes and Scribes in Cork, who are open, are putting together arts and crafts kits and supplies to also keep people going.

Will, who has spent years from working from home, advised people to where possible, work the hours during which they find themselves most productive.

"For me, the earlier I start the more I get done. So I get most of my work done between 7am and 1pm," he said.

Other advice would be to set yourself a deadline every day and stick to it as best you can, and to stay away from video games and Home and Away during your work hours.

More on this topic

Michael Moynihan: Daily arts reports? Careful what you wish forMichael Moynihan: Daily arts reports? Careful what you wish for

Unleash the artist in you - Colour with Crawford Art Gallery  Unleash the artist in you - Colour with Crawford Art Gallery

Theatres, bars and museums: the state of the (Cork arts) nationTheatres, bars and museums: the state of the (Cork arts) nation

Stephen Fry’s fears for performing arts amid ‘dark times’Stephen Fry’s fears for performing arts amid ‘dark times’


More in this Section

Three arrested following Irish teen's death in AustraliaThree arrested following Irish teen's death in Australia

Around 98% of Covid-19 tests showing negative, says HSEAround 98% of Covid-19 tests showing negative, says HSE

Four deaths and 57 new cases associated with Covid-19 confirmedFour deaths and 57 new cases associated with Covid-19 confirmed

North reports one new Covid-19 death and 25 extra casesNorth reports one new Covid-19 death and 25 extra cases


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner