Discipline: Interdisciplinary, Visual Arts, Writing
Lee Edward Fodi is a children's author, illustrator and educator who specializes in workshops for elementary-aged audiences. He has worked as an artist and/or writer in residence at numerous schools in Canada, the United States, Korea and Thailand and is a co-founder of The Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a not-for-profit program that helps kids write their own books. As an illustrator, Lee brings a very visual approach to the craft of writing while, as a writer, he brings the power of stories to illustration. He graduated from the University of British Columbia and has a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fine Arts. He is the author and illustrator of The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar, and has also illustrated several picture books for other authors. He was also the official illustrator for the BC Library Association's 2016 Summer reading club.
The residency with Lee Edward Fodi exceeded my expectations. I had never seen my students so engaged in writing and creating their own character's profile. They really enjoyed having a real author come and share with them his tips and techniques and several students discovered an interest and/or a talent for art and/or writing. Lee brought to my class a perspective I could never have and it was a pleasure to collaborate with him. I was also impressed at how he tried to work individually with each child. He built a strong relationship with them and made them feel like 'real authors', to the point that students asked to create 'novels' featuring their heroes. The workshops with him were rich, intense and a lot of fun. Now that the residency is over, I can see the impact of Lee's teaching on my students' productions: their writing is more confident, more captivating and they really got a sense of what 'point of view' means in writing. Emilie Prunier, Early French Immersion Teacher, Ecole Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary, New Westminster
We were so very fortunate to have such a talented, gifted artist come into our alternate education high school program in the Coquitlam School District. Lee Edward Fodi came in for eight sessions to work with our vulnerable youth, creating hands-on individualized projects. The students were able to use these projects to really express their own unique interests and creative flare. Our students, who suffer from severe anxiety, really came alive during Lee's art workshops and really came to love Mr Fodi as a warm, energetic adult who gave them to opportunity to really be themselves in a safe and accepting environment. Often our students ask when Lee will return and any chance we get to have Lee back, we will take it and hope he comes soon to work his magic with our kids once again. Margarita Asher, Coquitlam School District
Thank you for your commitment to do such a great job for the students at Sir Alexander McKenzie. You were the perfect author for the Festival's Executive Director to witness in action in the classroom she saw the best of the best. In ten years of doing this, you are definitely in the top three. I hope that we can get you involved in the festival programs again! Ilona Beiks, Education Coordinator, Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival
In this residency, Lee Edward Fodi draws on his own experiences as an author, illustrator and traveller to inspire Elementary-aged students to bring their own worlds to life through the creation of a detailed adventure story. Over a series of workshops, Lee helps students develop stories that focus on the key elements of character, plot, setting and description. He employs visual techniques (such as doodling, mapping, diagramming and illustration) to help students realize their worlds and, depending on the class size and budget, will introduce fun prop-building activities that will further help students explore the creative process. Handouts and worksheets are provided.
In this workshop series, Lee Edward Fodi helps students build heroic characters through drawing, writing and model-making. Students are led through several modules that discuss some of the best-known and beloved heroes in film and literature, discussing the common elements that make us want to root for their success. He explains how he draws on these archetypes to create his own heroes and helps students brainstorm their own creations. As the program continues, students bring their characters to life through illustration, prop building, and even costume design, which involves choosing hair samples, fabric swatches and other clothing elements. This type of program has many deliverables, including creating cover art for a graphic novel, a creative writing piece or a display that chronicles the creative process.
This presentation is designed to inspire and invigorate students of all reading and writing levels. Lee Edward Fodi demonstrates how the process of illustration inspires his own writing and then leads students in an interactive drawing session, in which each participant creates a character. Finally, each student is encouraged to write a story based on the character he or she has created. This session can then be followed up with a formal writing assignment.