Making therapy inviting

When an occupational therapist approached me to help her rebrand her practice for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, we did some brainstorming.

Our early idea was to use a loose drawing of children, arms raised, growing like trees with a leafy crown. It didn’t quite gel.

For the transition period, the client had asked for a holding web page. We had agreed on a stock photo of three young boys, dressed in super hero costumes, jumping into the air. This seemed like another promising lead, so I drew this, using repeating oval shapes.

OT for Kids icon

After some more discussion about style, this is what emerged as the final version.

Chasing the boy

Three years ago I depicted a runaway toddler in a card for his dad’s birthday.

Family chasing boy

The family has now bought a share in a farm, so I’ve updated the picture.

Chasing boy in large tractor

Safety first

In Mt Druitt in Sydney’s western suburbs, Paul Breen has set up a construction yard for young unemployed people. His aim is not just to train them in common building tasks, but to challenge them to work both quickly and safely.

He wants to make young people, who often think of themselves as immortal, conscious of the dangers of a work site. Others have tried various approaches, and had little or mixed success. Paul’s approach might just have a chance.

Here’s a cartoon I drew that exemplifies what he’s trying to do.

Excavator arm pouncing like a lion on a worker
The arm and teeth of an excavator can leap on you like a fierce lion.

A response to the Charlie Hebdo killings

Muslim extremists have, of course, made death threats against cartoonists in Denmark and elsewhere. Politicians like Turkey’s Erdogan have been disappointingly thin-skinned. But it still came as a surprise when some young men in Paris actually murdered cartoonists in a satirical magazine. After all, cartoonists are the class clowns, the jesters. They are protected by their humour and the expectation that they’ll be scallywags. No?

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist surprised to find himself in the next life

Tank man

When Raymond Huber asked me for a drawing of ‘Tank Man’ — the brave Beijing shopper who blocked a column of tanks on their way to Tiananmen Square — I thought he needed a cover illustration for his new book. In actual fact, he was just after a sketch for a chapter heading.

Sometimes misunderstandings lead to happy outcomes, and the sketch has become the cover illustration I’d imagined.

Raymond’s book is Peace Warriors, and it’s published by Mākaro Press in New Zealand.

Tank Man cover drawing for Peace Warriors