THE creative genius behind the original children’s TV character Bob the Builder illustrated to students the benefits of reading and drawing to help fire their imaginations.
Celebrated author and animator Curtis Jobling shared the secrets of his successful career with pupils at Haughton Academy, Darlington, part of The Education Village Academy Trust, at a workshop event sponsored by the Northern Children's Book Festival.
The award winning illustrator, who has worked on film and TV projects including Wallace and Gromit, Ra Ra the Noisy Little Lion and with animation giants Pixar, told pupils to keep pursuing the hobbies they enjoy so they too could try to make a career from the things they love doing.
“Whatever it is – painting, dancing, drawing or reading – keep doing it,” said Mr Jobling.
“There is a huge treasure trove of talent in the North of England with great opportunities for creative young people.
“Everything I’ve done in my career has stemmed from my childhood hobbies so if you are passionate about something there is absolutely nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams.”
Now a renowned author of dark fantasy comedy horror books for children and teenagers, Mr Jobling read an extract from his latest book Max Helsing The Beast of Bone Creek before answering questions from Haughton Academy students.
“It’s never too late to learn to love reading,” said Mr Jobling. “There is nothing better than getting immersed in a good book and creating the characters in your own imagination.
“Reading is not only a great hobby but it also broadens the understanding of language, stretches the muscles in the mind and gives your brain a great workout.”
Education Village Academy Trust learning resource centre manager Karen Fantarrow added: “We are very lucky at The Education Village in that we have fantastic links with our local library that through the Northern Children's Book Festival have enabled us to have Mr Jobling with us.
“Hopefully he will have inspired many pupils to continue their reading, to start to read different types of books or maybe even to tap into their own imaginations to try and write their own book.”