Threatened Species Summit – Quoll Drawing Class

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Tomorrow I’m going to the Zoo to teach 250 delegates of the Threaten Species Summit How-To-Draw The Threatened Quoll.

It should be fun! It’s always a pleasure getting adults out of there comfort zone and drawing again.

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, will host the Threatened Species Summit and it will be chaired by the Threatened Species Commissioner, Mr Gregory Andrews.

Bring together both state and territory ministers, relevant business leaders, scientific and conservation experts, non-government organisations and others helping threatened species conservation. The summit gives, all present, a forum to discuss the issues and help raise Australia’s conversation on conservation matters.

It’s about raising our national profile on threatened species and their conservation. An opportunity to explore solutions and promote practical and effective ways of tackling the threats to Australia’s animals and plants. Speakers ranging from local communities and scientists in the field to business people and government representatives will share their experience, plans and solutions. It will deliver tangible results and initiatives to protect animals and plants at risk from extinction.

• The summit will reinforce the new national focus on threatened species
• Highlight the important role of Gregory Andrews, Threatened Species Commissioner.
• Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, will launch a Threatened Species Strategy at the summit.

For the first time ever, threatened species will have an Australian Government policy framework with hard and measurable targets.

Attendance at the summit venue will be by invitation with a live webcast so that anyone in the community can participate and interact. Follow the Threatened Species Commissioner on Twitter for the latest updates: @TSCommissioner

picture: Jonathan webb

A New Publication

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I’ve just completed work on the new paperback version of An A-Z of Australian Bush Creatures. It’s a trimmed down more sleek version of the original. With pages trimmed to bleed for a whole new look and feel.

An A-Z of Australian Bush Creatures (ppbk) has been sent to the printers as a NEW 85% sized paperback version. This edition will be called the ‘Trade Edition’ and it is designed for entry into the mainstream market of the likes of BIG W and other department stores. These stores seem to prefer or like a certain size of book at a certain price point so we have tailored this to the smaller format.

This version will be trimmed and the image will “bleed” so when I took off the “white border” or “White Frame” around my images I had to explore the extensive photoshop layers around the edges. It wasn’t easy casting my over every edge and most images having 360 Plus layers of detail and being 12GB in size made for a little bit of time. Although I carefully peeled back the white layers to see where the image ran out and found some really cool stuff on some images and difficult fixes on others. The ‘Bleed’ was a great exploration as even though my book was 85% the size of the first edition the tim and bleed expansion meant the images were only reduced by 98% in some cases and 95% at worst.

So I guess you have the original book in paperback that is nearly the same as the first only different. The magic, I think will be seeing it as they say … trimmed and to bleed.

It will bring an exciting dynamic to the NEW book and I hope the department stores pick up on the accommodations made to get a round peg in a square hole for their internal buyers.

I hope people like this version.

Sprd_Kk_27x35This is the original art without the White frame. I get some extra bits and some of the leaves end Quite abruptly. Notice the bright branch limb below the Karak (Red Tailed Black Cockatoo) Bottom Centre. It goes nowhere! This was hidden by the frame and now I have to hide with trim or rejig layers.
ABC-KkHere is the finished trimmed piece. The trim just clips the branch so that we can assume that the branch twists down below the Karak or Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.

Summer Sunset Sketching

1926297_714942748550181_1778291404_oCroydon Library and the Maroondah City Council, had me sketching at sunset to a modest crowd of 47. It was to promote getting back to the library after holidays or summer vacations, and appreciating our local parks and community services. It was also a time to promote “Draw me a Story” exhibition that the local council have put on for the kids to highlight some talented illustrators and authors and their children’s books.

Maroondah Sketching Feb21_A5As a children’s book author I talked about drawing books, local wildlife and did a huge skills-building workshops to a very happy bunch of parents and excited kids.

The day was pretty rainy all day and the weather looked like cancelling the event. But late afternoon the sun came out, the storm could be seen racing up the sides of Mt. Dandenong and we had a fantastic evening of sketching.

It was nice to see some familiar faces and the drawing quality was excellent. Both kids and parents got some great starts to visual journals and some awesome drawing in as we eat a picnic dinner and celebrated a gorgeous evening under the trees outside the Library and council offices, and every now and again we had the screeching hullabaloo long billed corellas.

20140221_193919<<  My Boys trying to play DJ while we were packing up.

Finally, DJ Ben Courtney played some excellent drawing music from Australian Classics to some upbeat modern trance that keep every artist focused and keen for more drawing lessons. It all was nice to see the two hours slip by and met some lovely locals.

Final Thanks to Janet, from Eastern Region Libraries for all the tireless promotion and her commitment to community events.

If anyone would like to see more drawing and storytelling. Head to “Draw me a Story” The Maroondah Art Gallery. There you will see more amazing drawings and more of your favourite books come to life. >>  Enjoy for Now!  >>

draw me a story

A Fine Art – Cairns Region Gallery Fundraiser

I was so proud to be invited to join in this wonderful event. Each year the Cairns Regional Gallery has a major annual fundraising event, Start Collecting Art! The Affordable Art Auction, and it’s one of the most popular fixtures on the Cairns arts calendar.

Described as the cornerstone of the Gallery’s annual fundraising activities, Start Collecting Art! is a two-stage event: “an exhibition of dynamic artworks” by some of Far North Queensland’s most exciting contemporary artists, and “a fundraising auction” that allows you, our supporters, to acquire works from the exhibition for your own art collections – without breaking the bank!

The art encompasses paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, photographs, original artists’ prints, and more, reflecting the wonderful diversity of artistic practice.

This is how it all works. very work in the exhibition is available for purchase. If you would like to acquire a work, all you need to do is submit a silent bid for it; then, on the closing night of the exhibition, you will learn if your bid has been successful. Also on closing night, a number of works (those that have attracted the highest bids) will be auctioned in an open auction.
To assist you with your bidding, this brochure lists the works in Start Collecting Art! in four pricing tiers, with price estimates based on artist recommendations.

Unlike other galleries that are fully funded by local government, Cairns Regional Gallery is an independent institution. As such, it receives only around 55% of its annual budget as funding from Cairns Regional Council and must therefore raise around 45% of its own funding each year. By purchasing an artwork people are enabling the Gallery to continue to both build its Permanent Collection and develop its programs. Patrons will also be supporting an artist participating in our fundraising exhibition. While there is an option to receive fifty per cent of the proceeds from the sale of their these works. I generously donated the full proceeds of my work to the Gallery.

Below is my contribution. Enjoy!

pictures in frame_3Mist Dancers – Brolgas 2013, was one of my favourite drawings of late. It sold of $200 at the recent Cairns Regional Gallery Start Collecting Art Exhibition. Personally I love the lighting effects and the brolgas stance, it was like photography by it’s a kids book illustration.

Originally hand drawn in pencil and ink. Scanned, coloured and prepared digitally using Adobe Photoshop. Then Printed out on high quality paper using high quality
commercial grade colour poster inks. I had two other pieces (see below), which I also donated to the gallery, thanks to my good friend Rob Koppel, at Pumpkin Digital who helped me print and ship these amazing pieces. These two weren’t auctioned, but I believe became part of a art bundle raffled off at the auction night.

pictures in frame_2The Avid Collector – Satin Blue Bowerbird  2013,

pictures in frame_1The Brood – Cassowaries 2013,

 

 

Go Wild with My How-to-Draw Workshop. Croydon Library, Maroondah Festival

Maroondah FestivalMyke’s Drawing at Maroondah Festival this Sunday 10th Nov 2013.

It’s nearly time! Festival Time … and with everything going on I haven’t had a huge amount of time to tell everyone about my local gig at The Maroondah Festival.

Yes! It’s soo cool and It’s FREE!

Eastern Regional Libraries, Croydon have booked me to do this year’s Maroondah Festival. I’ll be running an hours workshop from 2PM – 3PM and talking about wildlife and lots of interesting stuff. But most importantly I’ll run the kids through some valuable skills building.

It will be loads of fun and I know you’ll love drawing some cool, crazy and really realistic Australian Bush Creatures, so I hope to see my local crowd of kids down at the Croydon Library this weekend where the drawing fun will begin at 2PM! Hope to see you then!

Download Event Poster.

Brand Essence and Positioning Workshops.

BrandingDo you have questions about your advertising? Do you have ‘a brand’ or just ‘a product’? Marketing not hitting the mark? Do you need a communications audit or just need some creative direction?

Today everyone thinks they know what a “brand” is … They look at; Coke, Pepsi, Nike, Adidas, BMW, Virgin, Ford, Honda, Sony, BMG, Marvel, Pixar, Vegemite, Schweppes and stacks more and feel they know that brand’s story – but these are surely just products. Some people consider themselves “brands” by definition or by celebrity – Prince, Calvin Klein, Moss, Elle, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Trump, Branson, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe, Snoopy, Tin Tin, Superman and the Avengers Just to name a few.

But what is the difference between having a “brand” or just having a garden variety “product”. Why is achieving a “brand” status such a powerful thing?

In my workshops I will break down the meaning behind some of the best know brands and highlight the systematic thinking that helps you understand the dynamics between advertising and marketing. There are subtle differences between the strategies of advertising and the strategies of marketing, often people think that these are one in the same or a bi-product of each other. It’s a little more complex than that. Plus when egos and agendas get in the way products and business suffer. Advertising and Marketing are often and can be very different in approach yet have the same aim – sell the product!

Understanding why different approaches are needed and when to employ these approaches and what approaches take a bigger role in building brand can confuse even the most seasoned advertising person or marketing person.  Sometimes, it’s like “what comes first the chicken or the egg?”

What I try to do in my workshops is break down communications, messages, marketing and advertising and look at the driving forces behind either a client’s brand, a business product or service, or even an individual person. You soon become acutely aware of the power of advertising and the role of marketing, especially in a room full of major stakeholders passionate about their products. But what is really important and equally empowering is guiding that room to find their true “Brand Essence”.

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“I’m quite proficient at writing for my clients, but when it came to developing my own promotional material I was blocked. Thank the universe for Myke Mollard. Myke got to know my needs and wants before submitting a draft that said everything I was struggling to write. He captured the essence of who I am and what I want Emerging Woman to be seen as. At the same time he was working on the graphic design of flyers, business cards, banners and anything else I needed to totally re-brand my business. I am blown away with his talent that encompasses design, copy, and advertising and business strategy. I am so excited about launching the new look and feel of Emerging Woman. Thank you Myke for giving me a brand I identify with and am immensely proud of.”

– Pamela, Emerging Woman, Business Owner and Public Speaker.

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It’s funny but once you understand “Brand Essence”, suddenly a whole room discovers the galvanising nature of “Branding”. It’s like a penny dropping in everyone’s head. Stakeholders start working together on a single proposition, with regards to all future communications. Everyone sees how to effectively build that brand – the brand vision is realised and it all becomes apparent.

The art of finding “the essence” of your product and why your customer picks yours over another competitors, can be understood and adapted immediately, but takes years to learn and confidently facilitate. Once you have found your “Brand Essence”, everything starts to make sense, you simplify the playing field and change the way you approach things. Their is this deep connection made that opens a way for greater sales, clearer vision, better communications, stronger marketplace positioning, more effective marketing, braver more confident advertising – Every participant will come away understanding how to move a product from the ordinary to being an extra-ordinary “brand” within a given marketplace.

How important is this “Branding” to your business? Well without sounding like every other public speaker or guru, I personally believe it’s “essential.” At least, to understand the principals behind “Brand essence” and investigate the driving forces behind why people are buying your product or are not buying your product. Hell! You don’t even have to have a problem. You could have the market leading product and service and still get ground-breaking knowledge out of a Brand Essence Workshop. The beauty of these workshops is you can do it every few years as markets change, staff move on and products evolve.

Brand Essence workshops help sales teams, major stakeholders, managers to work together at building your brand or drive your business better. It’s a fantastic way to get “buy in” from key positions of management, so they can agree on a future vision and a creative direction without personal agendas and ego eroding your business objectives from within.

Brand Essence is about finding the core motivating factor that underpins your business success and your creates a single-minded proposition to take your business into the future.

The second part of this process is the more aggressive and more robust strategies of positioning. Positioning comes after Brand essence is established and focuses on developing a brand position or an ‘edge’. It helps stakeholders create an ‘impact’ or employ communications that ‘cut through’ in this modern, over communicated marketplace. The workshop will endeavor to position your products and brands for better visibility, more positive advertising outcomes and unlock greater market potential.

With plenty of experience to draw upon for the best part of 20 years, and still helping clients achieve better communications. I have designed and tailored Wildfire Professional Workshops off tried and true advertising methodologies – delivering old school strategies combined with new school thinking. Each workshop will be individually designed to suit your business needs and tailored to steer your business, product or brand image into more effective communications. I personally feel it’s the perfect solution for a business that doesn’t want to commit to a large agency, but wants “the edge” over it’s competitors.

There are three styles of Wildfire Professional Workshops that I facilitate:

  • brand essence and brand positioning workshops or focus groups.
  • communication audits, creative presentations or just consultancy.
  • creative direction made simple for small and large businesses.

If you wish to give your business a new direction or take a different approach, consider a workshop or session.

I am open to discuss any Wildfire Professional Workshop and explore how I can help your company or business grow. Just simply call or email me.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

cropped-Ainslieparklands-ps-preptalk2.jpgKids love Questions. I could fill a few hours answering questions. So to avoid a few common ones coming up I tried my best to share some past and present conversations. One of my favourite Questions, commonly asked when doing talks, is a variation of this one from Raymond.

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“You look like Jack Black from Rock School, are you any relation?”

– Raymond, Level 5. Ainslie Parklands Primary School.

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When does Myke get his best ideas?

At the oddest times.

Driving a car, shaving, in the shower, while cooking dinner, on the toilet, just before bed, while snorkelling or just day dreaming in the park. On the train, definitely while zoned out on the train.

What’s more important, the writing or the pictures?

I learnt as an art director in advertising doing television commercials. You turn the sound off to see if the visual works and you close your eyes and see if the soundtrack works. With books it very important to balance both well – “It’s the marriage between the two, writing and illustrations.”

How does anyone start an illustrated book?

Write, scribble, plan and draw. Write, scribble, sketch and draw. Jot notes, use sticky notes, write, plan, scribble, sketch and draw. Slowly the work will reveal itself. Slowly you build your book from the ground up.

If in doubt Brainstorm some ideas with friends.

What occupies Myke’s mind when he works?

Day dreams and more day dreams. Myke has always been a dreamer.

For more FAQ’s Please visit Myke’s page, which is crammed full of questions and answers from Myke.