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The Mentor Project and Reach Shirati are excited to bring Mentor Justin Thompson to “New Tina’s school” in Shirati once more to teach and mentor Art and Emotions.

This program focuses on drawing simple cartoons using shapes and facial expressions to convey and understand emotions. Utilizing simple acting exercises, the students become aware of what causes the face to change and move so that they understand and feel what another person is feeling. Using very simple lines, they become aware of how they can create feelings with a simple drawing.

The children learn to convey emotions through different shapes like squares, triangles, even abstract shapes, giving personality and feelings to anything they could create. The overall impact of this is to get the students to become more aware of emotions in their friends and others that they encounter every day, and to initiate better communication.

Also, it will help them see the emotional impact in art that they will encounter throughout their lives. Justin plans to create a full wall mural for Shirati, featuring animals of the area popping their heads up out of tall grass. The emotions on the faces of the animals will be directly correlated to the lessons learned in the class and will feature expressions that the students have created for those animal characters.

Meet Justin

Justin Thompson is an actor, writer, and illustrator, and is currently the Senior Artist at the Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates Studio in Santa Rosa, California. He has painted two murals in Havana, Cuba and worked on eight books for Charles Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’, as well as written and illustrated several of his own.

Justin has been a cartoonist and graphic designer for over 40 years, illustrating posters, ads, books, newspaper editorials, and has had his own syndicated comic strip for 15 years at Universal Press Syndicate.

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