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Artists at school


Bas-Saint-Laurent

Alexandre April

Visual arts
Illustration, comics, caricatures, cartoons

Presentation

Alexandre April

A father (first and foremost), an insatiable globetrotter, a biologist-turned-teacher-turned-illustrator: that’s the story of Aprilus in a nutshell, and it serves as a glimpse of how colourful his workshops are. Having honed his skills for years teaching Aboriginal classes, this former black sheep foiled the direst predictions about his scholarly career and became become quite comfortable around students with learning and adjustment difficulties. How? By sparking their interest and encouraging them to channel their frustration into creativity through drawing. His funny cartoons are published in À Bâbord!, while the more satirical and biting side of his work can be found on the “Blogue d'Aprilus.” He is currently working in partnership with the prejudice committee of the Alliance pour la Solidarité et l’inclusion sociale du Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Centre-femmes de Rimouski, the CLSC, the M.A.IN.S. Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Unité Théâtrale d'Interventions Locales (UTIL) and a dozen citizen artists to create a Théâtre d’action, de sensibilisation et d’éducation populaire, or “Action, Advocacy and Awareness-raising Theatre.” Through his artistic pursuits, Aprilus endeavours to dispel the myths and prejudices surrounding people in poverty, and to reach out to community, economic and political stakeholders as well as the general public in the RCM of Rimouski-Neigette. Meanwhile, Aprilus is also working on various projects of his own: paintings, comic books, children’s books and logos. In 2012, one of his editorial cartoons earned him the honour of being a finalist  in the Grands prix du journalisme indépendant.

Proposed approach and type of activities



Aprilus has been doodling since he was young, with the encouragement of his artist mother. Animals, bugs, monsters and cartoons have always been central to his art. His first contact with satirical humour came when he was 12, through the drawings of Gotlib, Reiser and Franquin, as well as the works of polemicist filmmaker Pierre Falardeau. This kind of art celebrating “second degree” humour, which is rare in Québec but widespread in Europe, served as an outlet for him and kept him from becoming a pie-thrower. By intellectualizing and channelling his teenage anger into the visual arts, Aprilus inoculated himself against the self-righteous thinking in broader society. His interest in activism (social justice, the environment, secularism, the fight against sexism and homophobia) and his way with young people are rooted in authentic, colourful life experiences. Alexandre April favours the nervous and open pencil techniques as well as hybrid colouring methods (pencil, ink, paint, digital) in a wide variety of media ranging from slate (the classic blackboard, with its wonderful dirtiness) to glass and digital.

Examples of activities

Workshop 1

Introduction to your choice of method: caricature, comic strip, animal drawing (content depends on the number of sessions)

  1. “The chimera” is a collective and participatory work designed to establish contact, have fun and capture the children’s attention. Participants guide Aprilus in the design of an imaginary animal (pig nose, cat eyes, elephant ears, piercings, etc.).
  2. “Music inspires me” is a short experiment based on artistic intuition generated by your choice of music (shared works illustrate the power of lines and colours).
  3. “Potatoes” is a fun and proven method for learning to draw. It mainly consists of drawing animals or characters using simple geometric shapes.
  4. Options: creation of a full caricature, comic strip or picture story; “Introduction to animal drawing” using biological materials (skulls, wings, skeletons); colouring techniques; introduction to digital image processing (with projections); discussions about life as an illustrator; sharing of useful resources.

Special conditions

Equipment: Varies depending on the project. Paper, pencils and erasers are usually all that is required. A blackboard or whiteboard should be available.

Depending on the selected workshop, and depending on computer availability for smaller groups, Photoshop software would be useful. Otherwise, GIMP, a free open-source equivalent, can be used. It is available at www.gimp.org.


For information

Alexandre April
Phone : 418-851-2746
Email : info.aprilus@gmail.com

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)

No

Levels

Kindergarten, Primary 1, Primary 2, Primary 3, Primary 4, Primary 5, Primary 6

Available in

In every regions

Other language(s)

French, Cree, Spanish

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