SCRF 2023 offers budding artists a peek into the old-world charm of philately using anime

SCRF 2023 offers budding artists a peek into the old-world charm of philately using anime

Emirati artist Maha Al Mheiri teaches students how to create a perfect pikachu using basic shape drawings at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

Sharjah, May 11, 2023

Students got a fascinating peek into the old-world charm of philately through a workshop, whose unique take on creating stamps was inspired by the universal modern-day love for anime at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023).

Dozens of fifth and sixth graders from different schools spent time learning how to draw, cut and create personalised versions of anime stamps as Emirati artist Maha Al Mheiri told them about different types of sculpting templates, tools and ink pads needed for making stamps.

“We brainstormed different designs and motifs to incorporate into the stamps before we started off with basic drawing techniques to create blueprints for our own designs. The sessions also taught them how to carve a seal and how to transfer the design to the carving block and how to carve the block,” said Al Mheiri while conducting the 30-minute workshop that eventually saw every single attendee create their own pikachu stamp as a takeaway from the workshop.

“The aim of this exercise was also to develop hand-eye coordination for the children. They all had to follow my instructions on their way to creating their character stamp and now they can draw anything as long as they are confident about drawing basic shapes like circles, triangles  and squares,” the manga artist and freelance graphics designer further noted.

For those attending, it was a unique experience overall for how it “combined history, art and craft”.

“It was very difficult for me to pick one aspect of the whole workshop because I just loved every step of it – from ideating to learning about shapes and to eventually creating it,” said Pakistani Hanana Qazi, an 11-year-old student from His Highness Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan School in Dubai.

For Sampreeth Dinkar of the Gulf Model School, it was a pure love for anime that kept him glued all the time. “I was curious to see the final outcome of the workshop and I am thrilled I could create a pikachu for the first time in my life out of nothing,” said the 11-year-old.

Meanwhile, his classmate Shagufa Mazhar was intrigued to see such a complicated character emerge from basic shapes. “I can’t believe that I have been able to make the perfect looking anime character with proper cheeks, nose and ears as they should be by just drawing circles and squares,” she said.

For Namrata Singh, another grade 5 attendee, it was the memento at the end that mattered most. “I am happy I have a stamp I created and that I can keep it forever, affixed on my favourite book,” said the Our Own English High School, Sharjah.

The 12-day event, being held at the Sharjah Expo Centre, until May 14 is packed with cultural programmes, workshops, and cookery classes for students of all ages to take part in.


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