Ron Leunissen

What’s in your jar?

Yesterday I got challenged by Laura Ritchie to reply to a tweet “What’s in your jar?”

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This is what’s in Laura’s jar. #YourJar

She explained more about this challenge on her blog where she also presented the contents of her jar. The challenge originated by the idea of Chrissi Nerantzi as an in-person activity for the 2016 UK National Teaching Fellow’s Symposium.






I had to give it some time to come up with what would be in my jar. But here it is.


Passion would be in my jar because as a student, as a learner, it’s your passion for a certain topic that gives you the energy to learn as much as you can learn about that topic. This learning could concern knowledge ( “I really want to know how this works!” ) and/or skills ( “I really want to be able to do this!” ).

Searching skills would be in my jar because we live in a time with an abundance of information. To find the information you’re looking for you have to have the skills to use the tools for searching. Those can be digital tools, language tools, but can also be knowing the right people to ask.
Next to that you have to have enough knowledge to be able to recognize the answer to your question.

Writing skills would be in my jar because you’d not only want to keep track of the answers you’ve found. You’d also want to share your knowledge/skills with others, just like millions of other are doing right now through the internet.

On the topic of knowledge I made this interactive module 

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Tweets as source of inspiration

Last week a tweet by Miranda Keeling (@MirandaKeeling) made me laugh and encouraged me to do something creative with this tweet.

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Tweet by @MirandaKeeling

In my mind I could see the elderly woman and boy sitting opposite to each other, and I wanted to put this mental image into a drawing.

Since I’m not that good at drawing, I started with Bazaart app on my iPad. I searched the web for three images: a photo of the inside of a train, a boy and an elderly woman. After I found images of my liking, I imported those into Bazaart and made a collage.


Collage of three images in Bazaart app

From Bazaart I exported the collage as an image to my iPad, and imported it into my drawing app ProCreate. In ProCreate I traced the outlines and saved the result as an image to my iPad.


Turning the collage into a drawing in ProCreate app

Back to Bazaart, I imported the drawing and added the text of Miranda’s tweet to the drawing. Then I exported the result as an image and uploaded it to Twitter as a reply to Miranda’s tweet.

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Replying to Miranda’s tweet and thanking her for the inspirational tweet


Click here for another drawing inspired by a tweet by Miranda Keeling

Andreas draws 2 scenes on 1 panel

In my earlier post I showed how the writer Andreas does an amazing “fade in” in his graphic novel Rork.


He does another thing in the same graphic novel that is in my opinion worth telling. He manages to show the reader 2 scenes at the same time. He does this by drawing the second scene as a smaller “inner” panel into the larger “outer” panels of the first scene.

In the image below you see in the “inner panels” how the protagonist Rork is walking with another personage. They are bringing a lost child back to her mother. In the “outer boxes” we see how the mother is full of emotions as she gets her child back.
Andreas manages to use this technique in a subtle way on several places in his stunning graphic novels. It makes you re-read pages looking for the several story lines told simultaneously.


Andreas manages to show us 2 story lines in 1 page by putting the second scene as “inner panels” into larger “outer panels”. Here Rork and another personage bring back a lost child to her mother. We see them bringing the child (inner panels) and we see the mother getting her child back (outer panels).


Andreas uses “Fade In” in a graphic novel page

This afternoon I was amazed to see how the grapic novel writer Andreas managed to put a “fade in” into new scene into his graphic novel Rork.

Just take a look at the image below. You’ll see a black rectangle in the boxes. At first the rectangle is completely black but in the next boxes the black rectangle gets bigger, there’s something appearing in the box. The last box (down right corner) makes the switch to the next scene complete.
Isn’t this amazing how he came up with this way of drawing?



To help you understand this page a bit: while the protagonist Rork is talking to a giant ghost, another personage in the story is held captive by the villain in a dark cave. We are switching scenes on this page and we see the villain appearing.

























Idea for a writing lesson?

In an earlier post I blogged about a fairytale I’ve put into a video. This afternoon I thought one might reuse the same images as in the Magic Candy Tree for a writing assignment for children in elementary school.


The assignment could be something like this:
Use two or more of these images in any order you want. You may use every image one or two times. Create a story based on the images and write your text next to the image.
When finished, share your story with other children.

I put the images to the story of the Magic Candy Tree in this post. Feel free to use them and share them. Just right click each image to save it to your computer.



What can trigger my creativity?

Today, just after I posted a link to a video on YouTube on the GooglePlus community Our Creative Life, I got a question by Norman Jackson ‘who inspires our creativity?‘.

DIGITAL STORYTELLING 106 – daily create assignments


Digital Writing Month is 30-day adventure through the world of digital narrative and art


In my answer I reacted saying that in my opinion just anything can trigger my creativity. For instance I use as a daily trigger the daily create assignments of DS106. To me that is an easy way to keep my creative mind at work. I talked about this in an interview with Sarah Honeychurch during Digital Writing Month in November 2015.



This week I found a trigger to get creative on Twitter. I just happened to stumble upon some funny tweets by Miranda Keeling. I liked this one most: Schermafbeelding 2016-01-23 om 18.05.49



Collage made in Bazaart app

To make an image to this short conversation I launched the Bazaart app on my iPad and searched the web for images fitting the keywords ‘father and son‘ and ‘dragon‘. This search returned two images which I imported into Bazaart. In Bazaart I made a collage of the two images and saved that as a new image on my iPad.








Drawing made in ProCreate app

Still on my iPad, I now launched the app ProCreate and first traced the outlines of the collage. Then I finished the drawing using a virtual 6B pencil.










As I posted the image on Twitter in response to Miranda’s tweet, I got a quick reaction ‘wow’ back from her. She then shared the image further on her twitter account in a tweet that caught a dozend likes.

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Miranda sharing the image on her twitter account

Why don’t you check out the short conversations Miranda is sharing on Twitter. Maybe they will trigger you to get creative. Be sure to share the result with us all.


Fairytale: The Magic Candy Tree

About 25 years ago Nicolien Busschers wrote this short fairytale as an assignment for her training to become an elementary school teacher. She also made a book with the text and the images. The images were made of cut out pieces of colored carton paper. In honor to her (she died way too young) I made a video of her fairytale.


A photo of the first page of the fairytale book. The image was made with cut out colored carton paper pieces.


I started by taking pictures of the pages using my iPhone and my portable photo studio. I improved the photos in ProCreate on my iPad and exported each page as a separate image to my OneDrive.

I used the standard dictaphone app on my iPhone to record my voice telling the story.


This portable photo studio contains foldable sides and 2 spot lights.


After that, I switched to my Mac and imported the images and the voice recording into iMovie. I edited everything into a smooth video and last but not least added a short piano recording which I made some time ago as an introduction and an ending.

The result video was then published on YouTube. Since the story is told in Dutch I used the subtitles option in YouTube to put an English translation on each image.

The end result (video duration 2:27 minutes) is available here and below in this post.
I hope you’ll enjoy it.