New York Times Bestselling Author Visits Santa Maria

Gavin Aung Than, a New York Times bestselling cartoonist and creator of cartoon blog Zen Pencils, paid a visit to the College this week.

Gavin spoke to our Years 5 and 6 students about how his love of scribbling led to a career as an author and illustrator.

He also taught students how to draw some of his characters and revealed his creative process for making graphic novels.

The girls absolutely loved it, which made for a fun Q&A session to wrap up the afternoon.

We asked some students to share what they most enjoyed about their time with Gavin. Here is what they had to say:

I learned that you have to start drawing simple shapes and poses when you’re creating a picture. I liked learning how to draw the characters from Gavin’s books like Fly Girl and Goo. It was really fun learning about how he came up with his story and character ideas. Isabella 6.9

In the session, I enjoyed listening to his story and how he became an author. This was unique because most people just start writing but he had a background story on how he wanted to become a full-time scribbler and never gave up on his dream. His characters were funny and creative and I found drawing his cool characters easy and fun to do, especially with the tips about using simple shapes as a sketching base. I’d love to read his graphic novels. Layla 6.6

5.4 and 5.4 were asked to choose my power, they selected kung fu. Gavin asked me to do a kung fu pose and he drew, ‘Kung Fu Ella’. He started the drawing with basic shapes then he used it as a guide to draw the rest of me. He was so quick and it looked amazing! Ella 5.4

I was ‘Mastermind Millie’ and my power was lightning. Gavin said I could choose any pose I like, so I decided to stand holding a lightning sword. He spoke us through how he did the drawing, he didn’t start with detail just basic shapes. He added the detail later. Gavin wrote, ‘Zen Pencils,’ using quotes. ‘The Super Sidekicks’, was inspired by watching Marvel movies with no Australian heroes, so he decided to create them! Millie 5.4 

On behalf of the College, we would like to thank Gavin for taking the time to come in and speak with our students. His story will hopefully inspire our girls to stay true to themselves and follow their passions.

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