Zhao, the Independent Education Program (IndEP) and Music teacher at Biggar
Central School 2000 has recently had her artwork published in a children’s
The book is titled Lucy and Billy On A Ship At Sea and it is about children experiencing what it is like to go for a trip on a ship. The journey includes stops at several locations where they learn about different cultures, sights and sounds. They also explore the ship and see everything it has to offer during their trip and best of all for the reader, they get to colour everything!
Mrs. Zhao became part of this project when this February she received a phone call from Leo Roussel, a family friend and the writer of Lucy and Billy. He had heard from Mrs. Zhao’s father that Mrs. Zhao had done some drawing in the past. “Sometimes I think my parents have a more optimistic view of my abilities than I do!” Laughed Mrs. Zhao. “However,” she explained, “I agreed to draw one page and send it to him. Before I knew it, I was drawing all 23 pages of this book!”
Mrs. Zhao started drawing when she was very young. “I’ve loved drawing since I was little and it was something I could share with my grandma,” she said. “My grandma enjoyed taking illustrations she found in old colouring books and she’d practice copying them free-handed. By the end, you couldn’t tell the two drawings apart. When I was little, I remember making new drawings to show her each time I came to visit.” She added.
Mrs. Zhao has never taken formal art classes. In university and high school she focused more on music. “I found this new opportunity is encouraging me to explore a new skill and step outside my comfort zone of drawing realistic nature and animal scenes.” She stated. “I’ve spent a lot of time consulting YouTube to help me learn to draw in a cartoon style,” she explained.
“I hope I have the opportunity to work with Leo Roussel again someday. He’s been fantastic to work with and has been patient with me trying to balance illustrating and a busy music educator schedule! I look forward to exploring more opportunities like this in the future,” she concluded.
Lucy and Billy On A Ship At Sea is available online from Amazon and Indigo.