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Lee Edward Fodi

Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Homebase: Vancouver
Regions Available: Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley &, Howe Sound, Vancouver Island Lower, Vancouver Island Mid, Vancouver Island North, Interior, North, Remote, Kootenays, Virtual
Languages: English
Grant Eligibility: Eligible to apply for AIC

Lee Edward Fodi is a children's author, illustrator and educator who specializes in creativity workshops for young people. He has worked as an artist/writer-in-residence at numerous schools in Canada, the United States, Korea, and Thailand. He has worked with the Gifted Learning Program with the Vancouver School Board and as an art therapy teacher for at-risk teens. He is also the co-founder of The Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a not-for-profit program that was started to help immigrant and first-generation Canadians write their own books. Lee is extremely proud of the work he does with students, helping kids from a range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to tap into their creativity. As an illustrator, he brings a very visual approach to the craft of writing while, as a writer, he brings the power of stories to illustration and prop-building. 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 several books for children, including Spell Sweeper, The Secret of Zoone, The Guardians of Zoone, and the Kendra Kandlestar series.


Classroom Residency(ies)

Contact Me: Email, Web

Crafting Kingdoms: The Art of Building Strong Fantasy Worlds

School Year: 22-23

In this project, Lee Edward Födi draws on his experience as a successful fantasy author to help students discover the "art" of building strong fantasy worlds. He demonstrates how he employs visual techniques such as doodling, mapping, diagramming, and illustration to help construct intricate worlds replete with cultures, customs, languages, and symbols. He then leads students in a number of sessions to "build" their own worlds (and the characters who populate them) through words, pictures, and prop-building projects. The scope of this project varies, depending on the number of sessions with students, but can involve any number of artistic enquiries, such as designing and creating magical objects that are connected to the students' worlds. Several handouts and worksheets, personally designed by Lee Edward Födi, are provided for the students throughout the sessions. This project has many deliverables, including writing a short story, drawing a detailed map of a world, or creating a world-building "journal." Throughout this type of program, many fantasy books by a variety of diverse voices will be referred to and recommended as a way to guide students, and to encourage them to explore and be inspired by their own cultural identities and experiences.

The Art of Creating Characters

School Year: 22-23

In this workshop series, Lee Edward Födi helps students build characters through drawing, writing, and model-making. Students are led through several modules that feature some of the best-known and beloved heroes and villains in film and literature—and introduce new ones that represent diverse perspectives and experiences. We will discuss the common elements that make us want to root for characters' successes, or hide from their villainy. Födi will explain how he draws on these archetypes to create his own heroes and helps students brainstorm their own creations. As the project continues, students can bring their characters to life through illustration, prop building, and even costume design, which involves choosing hair samples, fabric swatches, and other clothing elements. Several handouts and worksheets, personally designed by Födi, are provided for the students.This type of project has many deliverables, including creating cover art for a graphic novel, writing a short story, or building a display that chronicles the creative process. Throughout this type of program, many fantasy books by a variety of diverse voices will be referred to and recommended as a way to guide students, and to encourage them to explore and be inspired by their own cultural identities and experiences.

The Dragon and the Thief

School Year: 22-23

In this workshop series, Lee Edward Födi helps students explore perspectives by creating two key characters: a thief who is trying to steal from a dragon, and the creature who is having something stolen. As part of the project, students participate in a discussion of these types of characters in literature, folklore, and film. Students then go on to write "mirror poems", taking the individual-and opposite-perspectives of both characters. Depending on the sessions available, these two poems can be used as fuel for writing a longer story. Students may also design and/or custom-build items such as dragon eggs, dragon scales, magical gems, and enchanted tools as part of the project. Several handouts and worksheets, personally designed by Lee Edward Födi, are provided for the students throughout the sessions.This type of project has many possible deliverables, including poetry, stories, illustration, and fantasy props. Throughout this type of program, many fantasy books by a variety of diverse voices will be referred to and recommended as a way to guide students, and to encourage them to explore and be inspired by their own cultural identities and experiences.


Testimonials & Reviews

The residency with Lee Edward Födi 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 writing. 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. Emilie Prunier, Early French Immersion Teacher, Ecole Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary, New Westminster
Lee Edward Födi came in for 8 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. Födi as a warm, energetic adult who gave them to opportunity to really be themselves in a safe and accepting environment. Margarita Asher, Coquitlam School District
Lee is a very engaging speaker, and was able to keep everyone from K-7 totally engaged all the way through. He was happy to speak to large groups in the gym, or to small groups in the library, and students of all ages were equally involved in both styles. Even with the large groups, he did a writing/drawing/brainstorming activity with all grades which everyone was engaged in and many students collaborated on. Kyla Macdonald, Teacher Librarian General Gordon Elementary Vancouver, BC, Canada

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