Tag Archives: Gavin Than

Sir Ken Robinson – Full Body Education

I’ve featured Zen Pencils cartoons on here a few times.  The artist Gavin Aung Than is very talented and creates amazing cartoons based on inspirational quotes.  His latest illustration comes from Sir Ken Robinson’s famous TED talk, “How Schools Kill Creativity.”  The need for a “full body education” is one that I think many educators find is being stifled by the ever-increasing dominance of standardized tests.

image from: "Sir Ken Robinson - Full Body Education" by Gavin Than of Zen Pencils
image from: “Sir Ken Robinson – Full Body Education” by Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils

Sir Ken Robinson did an interesting interview about this talk on the TED Radio Hour episode, “The Source of Creativity”, which also includes Sting, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Charles Limb.  It is an extremely intriguing hour that I highly recommend.

Also, Gavin Than has a book coming out in November, 2014, which you might want to consider.  It will include many of the favorite comics featured on his website.

Zen Pencils Design Challenge

1st Entry in Zen Pencils Design Challenge
1st Entry in Zen Pencils Design Challenge, by Nasrin Lin

Not long ago, I mentioned on this blog that I am a huge fan of Gavin Aung Than, creator of Zen Pencils.  If you have not seen his work, you should definitely check it out.  He is a wonderful illustrator, and creates fabulous cartoon representations of inspirational quotes.  Recently, he posted a fantastic graphic about Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

In coordination with Than, the Just Start blog  is sponsoring a Zen Pencils design contest asking students to submit their own cartoons illustrating the following Nelson Mandela quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  The first submission is pictured above.  The deadline for submission is Oct. 1.  The top 5 will be featured on Than’s website.

It’s fun to look at Than’s archives, where you can see all of his cartoons in order of creation.   You might want to use some of these as inspiration for your students if they plan to participate in the challenge.  (Preview all artwork before showing your students, as some of the pieces use language not appropriate for young children.)  Teachers might be interested to know that Than recently posted a cartoon version of Taylor Mali’s fabulous poem, “What Teachers Make.” (Click here if you have not had a chance to view the video – meant for adults, not children.)

Here are a few you might want to show your students:

“The Important Thing” – Albert Einstein

“If You Want to Build a Ship” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Make Gifts for People” – John Green

“The Winds of Fate” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox