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Artie at South Ken Kids Festival!

It was a day of video games, evil triangles, and a “lionasaur”…so an exciting day, all in all!

South Ken Kids Logo

On Sunday 20th November, we were lucky enough to participate in a fantastic event for kids at the French Institute in London. South Ken Kids Festival is a yearly event bringing together French and English-speaking kids to learn about storytelling, books and art. Being a bit different to some other exhibitors (as our workshop was as much digital-based as it was crafting), we knew we had to impress our small but important critics!

Our workshop was held in the lovely library, which was decorated with the instantly recognisable illustrations of Quentin Blake. We welcomed a small group of 4-8 year olds who loved games and stories – which we knew to be true when we asked them and received a raucous reply! We started by drawing some simple shapes: a circle, a triangle, and a square – this would all make sense later, we promised…

Library at the French Institute
A beautiful space, and the perfect one for a drawing and storytelling workshop!

Next, we spent a half hour playing our successful kids’ app, Artie’s Magic Pencil. From those who powered through drawing after drawing, to those who were just picking up touch-screen skills and needed that extra bit of support, the kids all loved bringing friends, houses and other objects to life. For those who are new to Artie’s little world, the app revolves around rebuilding trees, vehicles and buildings destroyed by an unruly monster. Simple dot-to-dot drawings with beautiful animations restore the world to its former glory, while Artie chases the misbehaving monster down!

Creative Director James helps the kids with ideas!
Creative Director James created example ‘friends’ for Artie from simple shapes!

Once the excitement of screen time was over, we took our new drawing skills into the real world. The children returned to their original shapes and turned them into friends for Artie. Circles made for cheery characters, while some sharp-angled triangles made for some fearsome foes! Finally, to begin creating their own illustrated stories, we cut out their creations and helped them to combine the ‘friends’, coloured worksheets of Artie, and a large background of their own imagining. When stuck together, the worksheets became short stories of everything from princesses dancing, to hide-and-seek games. We were really impressed by the speed at which our little artists created buildings and people for their stories…not to mention the unexpected lion-dinosaur cross, or “lionasaur”!

Kids' drawings from South Ken Kids Festival
Just some of the masterpieces we bore witness to over the weekend!

It’s always useful to us here at Minilab to get feedback directly from our target audience, and we got plenty of ideas from our little artists in the making this time around! Stay tuned for some very exciting updates on our all-new app, Artie’s World, just around the corner. And in the meantime, Artie’s Magic Pencil is free on the App Store until December 1st, being featured as the ‘Free App of the Week’! Enjoy everyone, and if you love Artie be sure to leave a review.

Thanks to the French Institute and South Ken Kids Festival for hosting our workshop this year, and thank you to all of our little artists! Until next time…

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