Outcomes of ‘Once Upon A Time’ Children’s Art Project at The Customs House South Shields

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The young artists who participated in this six week project worked very hard to write, storyboard and make their own illustrated books.

Week one we looked at the exhibition “Once upon a Time” a exhibition by The Materialistics textile art group based at the Customs House. Children learned a two pencil drawing technique and produced a range of high quality observational drawings.

The second week we developed a themed visual research board based on either fantasy, jungle or domestic animals. Amazingly everyone selected Fantasy as their theme.

We produced a range of designs for our main character and used a writing framework to devise a short story.

The storyboard helped us plan how we would illustrate and break down our story into eight pages.

Each child made their own stitched book and worked hard to realise their plans.

The outcomes were incredibly original, creative and highly skilled.

The stories included:

Mr Cheesy Poofy Cat (married to Mooey a beautiful cow) who has an allergic reaction to eating a mouse;

Crogan a frog who falls asleep after too much fly juice and his picnic becomes much more eventful than he planned. The starting point for this story was a great drawing of a knitted Jeremy Fischer;

Sparks a female genie who battles evil (inspired by Aladdin);

Mr Tibbles a greedy sweet gobbling monster who bites off more than he can handle inspired by The Gruffalo;

Rob the Rainbow Gingerbread Man who wants to find a safe home (inspired by the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel); Soul a wild flying wolf searching for a new pack (the second book in this young artists series!);

Leonard a champion lilypad leaper whose athletic outfit is mysteriously not in his top drawer


Jennifer a young girl who has an extraordinarily strange adventure (inspired by Alices Adventures in Wonderland).


Useful links

The Customs House  is a theatre, cinema and gallery that offers a range of fantastic activities that suit all ages and abilities in South Shields.

Ch-arted  is a new, accessible, exciting and engaging website where you will find a range of free and paid for educational tools, projects, class room activities and much more!

Explore further…

If you liked this post you might like my page on “Workshops an Drop-in sessions”because you might like me to plan and deliver a project for your community group, school or business.


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