Leigh Hobbs is a man of many talents: author, painter, illustrator and sculptor. Leigh was SIDE’s guest artist in February working with Year 7, 9 and 10 Art students. He recently completed two years as Australian Children’s Laureate, during which he promoted quality children’s literature.

Mr Chicken, Horrible Harriet, Old Tom and Mr Badger are just some of the memorable characters in his children’s works, some of which have been adapted for television series and stage productions.

As an artist and (former) secondary art teacher, Leigh guided SIDE students through drawing his Old Tom character. Students in diverse locations drew with Leigh via SIDE’s web conferencing application, Saba Classroom, and then used webcams for students to share their work. His message reinforced diversity - there may have been many Old Tom drawings out there, but they were all different and that is cause for celebration. Leigh guided students in drawing some other pieces by focusing on using imagination and skill. As they drew, students were exposed to a range of drawing techniques and tips.

The SIDE Library Resource Centre makes regular posts about its visiting authors and other events on the Resource Centre Blog.