Over the years we've had loads of fun working with educational establishments around the world, from Chelsea College of Art & Design in London to as far away from home as Malaysia.

Not too far from Momiji HQ is Lode Heath School and it's a pretty inspirational place. Recently I've been hanging out in the design department, spending time with the Year 10 classes there.

We all know the importance of a good teacher and Mrs Thompson is a mighty fine example. She invited me to chat with the students about life at Momiji HQ, how we go about designing and making dolls, some of the creative challenges we face and how we overcome them. We explored what makes a good character and took a look at the work of one of my favourite character designers, Gavin Strange (if you're ever looking for a creative boost then google videos of his talks; his enthusiasm is infectious!)

We set the Lode Heath students the challenge of creating a character that represented themselves and captured the essence of their personality. I was so impressed with the results. 

Here's a picture of us this week. I popped back in to take some prizes for the students whose designs had really caught my eye. There are certainly plenty of future design stars in Year 10!

 

This design by Georgia Lakin really stood out.  Georgia's nickname is Cheeky Monkey, she loves drawing and travelling. I  really liked the scale and positioning of the giant pencil and her map tummy.

I loved Rachel Soller's character's unusual shape. This would look great in 3D! Dreamy colours too!

Thanks so much to everyone at Lode Heath who made me so welcome.