British children's laureate to get country drawing

Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:58am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Anthony Browne, Britain's new laureate for children is on a mission to get the country drawing.

Browne, who started his two-year stint as laureate on Tuesday, told Reuters he intends to use the platform to promote drawing as a way for children -- and adults -- to express their creativity.

Making images is a great way to unleash the imagination, Browne said, and he aims to get them playing the shape game -- a game invented by him and his brother when they were little -- to encourage more children to put pencil to paper.

In the game, the first player draws an abstract shape and the next person adds to it to develop it into a recognizable image. It's a game that children tend to be better at than adults as they have an innate ability to draw, he said.

"Every time we create something we play the shape game, every time we write a story or draw a picture or compose a piece of music we are playing it," Browne said over lunch at the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

"We are taking something that we have seen or experienced and transforming it by turning it into a story. So although I think of it as a fun game we played as children, it's the essence of creativity."

Playing the game will inspire those who had all the confidence they had in their artistic ability knocked out of them at school, to return to what is a rewarding and enriching pastime, Browne said.

"I'd like to promote the shape game as an incredibly successful way to encourage people to use drawing skills they didn't know they had. Older children and adults think they can't do it, so I'd like to get the whole country playing the shape game."

STANDING TALLER   Continued...