By: Ryan McClellan, Wired Staff WriterIt may seem counterintuitive to draw on a baby’s imagination for inspiration, but in reality, drawing on the sand is a common method of bonding with a child.
“When we first started, we used to draw babies on the ground or in the sand and it was very difficult for them to understand what we were doing,” said Lisa Molnar, a marine biologist and artist who has been teaching baby cartooning for more than 40 years.
“But I was also teaching them about sea life, the sea.
We taught them how to find their way around the sand by using their hands.”
Ms Molnars children loved the drawings and were so enthralled with the art that they asked her to make more of them, and so began her journey as an artist.
“I’m a very creative person, I love the idea of creating,” Ms Molnarcs children’s books say on the back cover.
“So when I first started to teach my son about sea animals, I wanted to do something to inspire him.
That was my first project.”
What started as a one-time hobby turned into a lifelong passion, and now Ms Movarls childrens books are part of a growing list of projects she has developed to help children learn about sea creatures, the natural world and how to be comfortable around them.
“As a marine biology teacher, I really like to work with children,” Ms Larch said.
“I like to teach them about marine life, about the sea and about how it works.
I think it’s great that children can learn a lot about the ocean and learn to understand that the sea is important.”
The inspiration for Ms Mór’s books comes from her family.
“My grandmother is a marine science teacher and I was always fascinated by how sea creatures are born,” Ms Wolnar said.
“My mother is an artist, and she drew a lot of cartoons for her children, so that’s how I started learning about sea art.”
“I had always been fascinated with sea animals and sea life and I would just come home and draw and she would do the same for me,” Ms Pascual said.
Her passion for the ocean, along with her family’s love for marine life and their shared passion for creating the books, led Ms Molnar to create her first book of ocean animals and a series of books on sea life in the mid-1990s.
“At that time, there was no national marine parks or marine reserves in New Zealand,” Ms Síle said.
While her family lives in Australia, Ms Piscual still teaches classes in the area.
“It’s just that I was so happy when I came back home to teach at the local park and see all the marine animals that are living there, and I couldn’t believe that I got to draw animals in that way,” she said.
When the children started reading her books, the fascination grew, and Ms Přcińs mother-in-law decided to become an instructor and make some of her own.
“The first year, I had no idea what to do with all this.
It was so much fun and I learned a lot,” Ms Cilm said.
The children love the book, too, and love to read it together with their parents.
“We love it and it’s so easy to learn,” Ms Róm said, pointing out the pictures and illustrations are all free.
“And they don’t get any commercial exposure, so I think that’s great.”
Ms Cilma’s mother- in-law says the children love to draw and play with the sea creatures in the book.
“They don’t just draw the sea animals.
They do the whole thing,” she says.”
You know, we teach them how the ocean works and they are so interested in that.
It’s really wonderful.”
The children have now made several other books on the sea, but Ms Moltanar is currently working on a book on sea creatures.
“One of my daughters is going to get a degree in marine biology, and we have a couple of our children who have special interests in it.
So we have some books in the works,” she explained.”
Our kids like to play in the sea all the time, so we are going to do more of that this year.”
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