Picturing rural teaching!

I have such fond memories of growing up in regional and remote Queensland where going to school meant dirt roads and waiting for emu’s to cross the road! So I was delighted when I was asked to be the graphic recorder for the TeachQLD Teach Rural Career Fair, hosted by the Queensland Department of Education and Training. This event was for current and future teachers looking for new adventures and teaching opportunities in regional, rural and remote Queensland. I drew out the two panel sessions where Queensland Principals shared tips for landing that job and early career Teachers in regional Queensland gave advice and tips on how to find your feet in a new community. What a great event to promote and highlight the amazing opportunities to teach in our rural, regional and remote communities. Quote of the day for me was “Give RURAL a GO!”.

You can see more of my Graphic Recording with groups, including Government Groups, and my time in the classroom as my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish (on Facebook) and follow my creative journey via @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

Some GREAT Barrier Reef news!!

I have some GREAT NEWS to share with you! My alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish will be writing, illustrating and publishing her first kids picture book about The Great Barrier Reef with Little Steps Publishing!! I am not usually lost for words, as I can literally talk underwater, but I’m super EXCITED about this new creative collaboration with Little Steps! This story would not have surfaced though if it was not for the encouragement and support of my writing mentor and friend, Michelle Worthington of Share your Story, and my marine biologist for life my hubby Dr Richo. Thank you for encouraging me to just DIVE IN and share MY story!

The story is best described through its title, however the title is under wraps at the moment as it is so GREAT! The story is about the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, both human and natural, and what happens to it when we are not watching. The story is based on marine science and told through the eyes of a feisty female fish named Anthia. Although the storyline is not of happy times on the reef my story is full of hope and ocean optimism as I cannot imagine a world without coral reefs, can you? The manuscript is currently being edited and once the words are right the fun part of illustrating the story begins. You can ‘sea’ some of my preliminary artworks on my website and I will be posting regular updates there on creating the story of The Great Barrier Reef which you can also follow via the hashtag #haveGBRhope.

PS. The same week that I found out that my Great Barrier Reef story was going to be published I also received my first rejection letter from a publisher for another fishy tale I have written. To me that no just means no to that book right now, which is all part of the magical and challenging world of writing kids picture books!

You can also follow my creative marine journey @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

Best fishes!

><((((º>.¸.·´¯`·.¸><((((º> .·´¯`·.¸><((((º>.¸
.·´¯`·.¸.><((((º>    Dr Suzie Starfish

Drawing with Superheroes!

Drawing with real-life Superheroes for Superhero Daughter Day was a real highlight for me. I am so proud to support the Tech Girls Movement, a non-profit organization promoting positive female information technology role models to encourage and raise awareness of technology career options for girls. I have been working with the founder, and inspirational women in STEM Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen (aka. Jewella Superhero), and her team to help girls “picture their ideas” by putting the A in STEAM! Superhero Daughter Day was all about girls having fun with their peers, meeting some cool female role models in IT and learning more about what life is like as a Tech Girl! As you can see from the photos there was a lot of excited energy and fun learning in the room of 300 girls and parents who learnt the ‘art’ of coding. This event was proudly supported by Diverse City Careers and TechnologyOne. I love drawing out ideas with organizations, groups, kids and parents and am so grateful for the opportunity to picture “Girls for a change”. KAPOW!! What is your SUPERPOWER!!?

You can follow my creative journey via my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish and @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

The time is ‘write’ now!

I set myself some BIG creative goals this year, one to become a published picture book author! So on International Women’s Day its a good time to remind ourselves that we CAN achieve our dreams if we follow our heARTs and surround ourselves with a supportive Squad or Tribe! The time is ‘write’ now for me to take the plunge to becoming an author/illustrator — as I have just submitted my very first kids picture book manuscript to publishers around the world! I have been writing my kids picture books about the wonders of our underwater world (based on marine science-art) for many years but have never had the courage or Tribe around me to dive in! NOW I DO! I know the rejection rate for kids picture books is very high but I’m ready ‘write’ now for the challenge! So look out picture book world Dr Suzie Starfish (my alter ego) is going to make a splash in the world of kids literature with her fishy tales (…fish tails that is)! A very special thank you to my amazing mentor Michelle Worthington, international award winning children’s author and Director of Share your Story, who has inspired and supported me in my picture book journey. So ‘write’ now let’s celebrate all of those people, women and creative companions (ie. my furry kids) that support us in following our dreams!

You can follow my creative journey as my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish (https://www.facebook.com/drsuziestarfish/) and @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

Best fishes on International Womens Day!  ><((((º>.¸.·´¯`·.¸><((((º> .·´¯`·.¸><((((º>.¸

Turning Ocean Science into Art!

So my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish went National this week thanks to an interview I recently did with the lovely Jessica Hinchcliffe of ABC Radio Brisbane — where I talked about my life as a marine scientist, artist and visual communicator. What a great time I had in this interview talking about how I use art to teach and communicate marine science as a graphic recorder, artist and as Dr Suzie Starfish! In this interview I felt as I do when I make my school visits, a bit like an ‘Ocean Rockstar’! I was fortunate enough that ABC News then shared my story nationally as a feature story and as a result I have received so much positive feedback and interest in my creative work. So I’m as happy as a clam!! Through amazing opportunities like this it is a great reminder that it’s important to do what you love — as I have turned something I love into something I live and I’m so grateful everyday. A BIG thank you to Jess and ABC Brisbane Radio for inviting me into the studio to talk about being drawn to the ocean! You can ‘sea’ and hear my ABC interview via the links below and on my website under Creative Education/STEMhttps://drsuepillans.com/education/stem/

Digital interviewhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-20/dr-sue-pillans-turns-ocean-science-into-art/8285876

Audio interviewhttps://soundcloud.com/612abcbrisbane/dr-suizie-starfish

You can also follow my creative journey @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

Dr Suzie Starfish turns TWO!

Two years ago today I created my creative business “Picture your ideas” with Dr Sue Pillans and  my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish – to share my marine art-science storytelling through imagination, inspiration, information and illustration. And what an adventure it has been drawing out ocean ideas and issues with so many different people and organisations both here in Australia and throughout the South-East Asia region. The aim of my visual storytelling, through sciart and scicomm, is to share the wonders of our underwater world with ocean optimism; as I believe if you understand and love something you are more likely to protect and save it.

I’m going to make a splash this year with some new and exciting creative collaborations, writing and illustrating my kids picture books and plans to create new classroom content to help make learning visual (by putting the ‘A’ in STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, Mathematics). And I just can’t wait!! A BIG thank you to my family, friends and all of my supporters, here on our Blue Planet and in cyber space, who believe in my visual storytelling and my dreams. I followed my heART two years ago and have turned something I love into something I live and I’m so grateful for the people in my life and the great opportunities that come my way.

So dive in with Dr Suzie Starfish on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/drsuziestarfish/) and learn about the wonders of our underwater world through illustration and information and let’s “Picture your ideas“! You can also follow my creative marine adventures @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

My 2016 in Pictures!

In my final Blog post for the year I just wanted to reflect on what a great year 2016 was for me and my new creative business, “Picture your ideas“. My goal this year was quite a simple one, to do what I love and love what I do by picturing ideas with people, teams and organisations. I’m thrilled to say that not only did I achieve my goal but I found so much joy and happiness in new creative endeavours, collaborations and communities. A picture paints a thousand words and these photos certainly show my amazing journey this year, including swimming with whale sharks and hanging out at my favourite place, the sea! This is also a time to thank those who support me in all the creative things that I do (…you know who you are!) and for those out there who support small business. I’m super excited about the new creative collaborations I will be undertaking next year, some of which are very close to my heART, including writing and illustrating my kids picture books about the ocean. Stay tuned as YOU too will have the opportunity to draw out your ideas with me! So join me in 2017, The Year of AWESOMENESS, and “picture your ideas”!

Best fishes always, Sue

><((((º>.¸.·´¯`·.¸><((((º> .·´¯`·.¸><((((º>.¸

You can also follow my creative journey as my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/drsuziestarfish/) and @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

Picturing your ideas in 2016!

I can’t believe its almost the end of the year and what a year 2016 has been for me “Picturing your ideas“!! I have thoroughly enjoyed drawing out the ideas, issues and information from a diverse group of people, teams, schools and organisations this year. My graphic recording has also taken me to some amazing and far away places starting in the Philippines, to Western Australia, across regional Queensland to Torres Strait and to my beloved hometown of Brisbane! A BIG thank you to all of my amazing clients and colleagues who were part of my visual journey this year, and for supporting small creative business! I just love putting people in the picture and it’s the people that make my job so enjoyable. And as you can see from all of the smiling faces, graphic recording certainly adds another element to group discussions and helps people to see the big picture. A special thank you to my family, friends and creative (scicomm) community who have continually supported me through my new creative journey. I am so very grateful and proud that I am turning something I love into something I live and I just can’t wait for the next chapter in my story! I have new and exciting creative collaborations planned for next year with 2017 being The Year of AWESOMENESS! So here I come 2017, ready to Picture your ideas!!

You can also follow my creative journey as my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/drsuziestarfish/) and @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

Science by the sea!

I don’t know about you but when I went to school I didn’t get to measure, weigh and get up close and personal with one of the oldest and most graceful creatures of the sea, the green turtle!  But through the Ningaloo Outlook project, a strategic research partnership between CSIRO and BHP Billiton in Western Australia, we engage the local community in our science including the schools! Science students from Exmouth District High School were part of our turtle tagging school earlier this year and as you can see from the photos there were many smiling faces as they did turtle-science amongst the sand and by the sea! Now this is what I call ‘outdoor learning’ and ‘sea-ing’ science in action!! This is a great way of making STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fun, inspiring and engaging for our youth — as Education does not have to take place just in the classroom. As you can imagine we are now the envy of many outdoor classrooms around the world, so much so that we have just been featured by Outdoor Classroom Day, a global campaign celebrating outdoor play and learning! You can check us out on their website in the section entitled “…and the one we’re most jealous of!…”: https://outdoorclassroomday.com/resource/best-class-highlights-outdoor-classroom-day/

You can also follow my creative journey via my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/drsuziestarfish/), @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.

A life of STEAM!

I’m just loving living my life of STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics! Being able to combine my devotion for the ocean and its science with my artworks and graphic recording is my creative dreams come true! As part of my life of STEAM I’m working with schools, teachers, educators and STEM-delivery organisations to provide input and advice on what I term creative education activities and ideas. I am finding that a more creative approach to science engages with many more students and ‘drawing out the science’ is a lot of fun too!! I am now a STEM role model and mentor and you can view my profiles below and on my website (https://drsuepillans.com/education/). I’m a Women in STEM role model for FabFems, which are women from a broad range of professions in STEM who can help expand girls’ career options, dispel stereotypes and spark their STEM interests! And I have just been profiled as a Queensland ‘STEM in action’ Marine Ecologist and Artist. So check out my profiles to find out how our youth can also lead a life of STEAM and turn something they love into something they live!

My STEM role model profiles: FabFemhttp://www.fabfems.org/users/sue-pillans Qld STEM Education Networkhttp://www.queenslandstem.edu.au/steminaction/marine-ecologist-artist/

You can also follow my creative journey and connect with me via my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish (https://www.facebook.com/drsuziestarfish/) and @suepillans on Twitter and Instagram.