Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons The Dream Team: Uhura


I have been told in the past and in resent days, that I have been an inspiration to the children at school and to other people in general.  I have always found this interesting because I feel that these people and the children inspire me to create art and images instead of the other way around.

One example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters.  It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner.  Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle.  I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a character from a movie.  The staff members were surprised; to say the least and they loved it, with a couple of exceptions on some humorous levels. 

Another character was modeled after Nichelle Nichols portrait of Nyota Uhura from the original Star Trek in the 1960’s.  I chose this character for the staff member because Uhura is a strong, independent, beautiful woman surrounded by strong men, very similar to the staff member. She is also the communications officer and the one thing this staff member can do is communicate; with staff, parents and children alike.

One other aspect that she and others noticed is that I made her hair up almost like a beehive from the time period.  The staff member likes to change-up her hairstyle and she asked if she should go with a hive next.  I said it was up to her but something’s are probably kept in the past.  

She and the staff loved the character and I hope enjoy it as well. 

Staff Caricature:  Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura

Staff Caricature: Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura

Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura.

Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Comic Strips: Among the Stars


This latest comic strip is the last for the school year.   As in the previous years I placed every student in the comic and gave him or her all a final farewell message.   I also gave the school a copy for the year book they give to the graduating class.  Well they loved it, as did the grade 5’s.  I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.

In the first year I positioned them in a class photo layout.  I the second it was a collection of different looks and costumes to represent the different people you might meet in life.  With this years group I wanted something fun and close to my personality.  I wasn’t sure what theme to put them into but once I saw a movie I knew what I wanted. 

If you do not know I have been a life long Star Trek fan and the latest movie inspired me to create this comic.  I thought how could I incorporate this into the comic, then it hit me.  I heard of a quote to “Always shoot for the Moon.  Even if you miss you will land among the stars.”  This was the quote I needed to inspire me. 

I took all the characters for the year, fixed them up a bit and placed Star Trek logos on the shirts.  However, I wanted a bit more.  The tall girl in the centre was drawn in that pose and I knew I could make her add a bit more to the picture.  Therefore, I redrew her hand into the shape of the Vulcan salute.  You know the one when Spock holds up his hand and says “Live Long and Prosper”.  

Well she added a great touch to the comic but I needed something else for the background or setting.  That is when I remembered the space shuttles.  Everyone thinks that Nasa had only five shuttles in the program.  Columbia was the first, Challenger number two, Discovery, Atlantis and finally Endeavour.  But in reality there were six with the prototype before Columbia.  It was called Enterprise, named after the ship from the original Star Trek series. 

If you look closely, you can see the Enterprise in the background and the children standing in front of it.  A fitting tribute to the children boldly going and being among the stars.

 I hope you all enjoy it and good luck graduating class. 


Friday Two Cents: Top 5 Star Trek Episodes


This past week I have been looking forward to the Star Trek Into Darkness movie.  Some co-workers, parents and I were talking about it and we were reminiscing about the old series that started it all.  As I mentioned before, I love the older series and it had a big influence on me.

Added to this hype, I have been watching old episodes on the local science-fiction channel and this has been getting me all excited for the movie too.  But it also made me think about my favourite episodes from the series.  There are only 79 yet a few, I have to admit, are not that interesting.  However, there are few that really stood out for me and I’d like to share my top 5 Star Trek episodes with you.

5. Balance of Terror – While investigating a series of destroyed outposts, the Enterprise discovers a lone Romulan vessel with a cloaking device. The Romulans, having never been seen by humans, are revealed to visually resemble Vulcans, casting doubt on Mr. Spock’s loyalty as the two ships become locked in a cat-and-mouse battle through space.

This episode helped me to appreciate strategy.  From an early age I loved games, strategy games in particular.  Move counter move, from chess to board games to baseball, strategy is a part of everything.  Sometimes in the game of life as well.

4. A Taste of Armageddon – On Eminiar VII, the Enterprise finds a civilization at war with its planetary neighbor. Unable to discern any signs of battle from orbit, Captain Kirk leads a landing party to the surface where he discovers the entire war is fought by computer. Even though the war is simulated, citizens who are listed as virtual casualties still report to termination booths to be killed for real. After the Enterprise is destroyed in an attack simulation, Kirk must fight to keep his crew from death.

I grew up with stories from my father about his experiences in WWII but I never understood them.  I even played games that would glorify war.  Not until I got older did I realize that real war was not a game, that people died and had their lives effected by it.  This episode highlights that War is a dirty business and it should be avoided by all means.

3. Who Mourns for Adonais? – The crew of the Enterprise are held captive by an alien who claims to be the Greek god Apollo.

If you know me well, you will know that I love Mythology.  This episode was one of the first mythology exposures I got as a child.  From this simple beginning, it sparked a lifetime of learning and exploration into the world of myth and literature from around the world.

2. The Trouble with Tribbles – Tribbles – purring, limbless, and fertile – disrupt the exploitation of a disputed planet between the Klingons and Federation

What’s life without a little fun.  I just love this episode because it made me laugh.

1. Patterns of Force – The crew of the Enterprise visits a planet dominated by a Nazi culture and at war with its planetary neighbour.

As I mentioned before I grew up with stories about WWII and was curious about the whole time period.  I was taught about WWII in school but I had always felt that they were only giving me one side of the story.  So I started looking from all sides of the story to get the whole picture.  This episode made me look at everything for different points of views.

In my studies of history I came across a quote, ‘history is written by the victors’, and thereby one-sided.  There is also the ugly side of history people do not want to see or forget.  People try to avoid the truth about what happened in the past and in doing so fail to learn from it.

I strive to look at all sides of a story or issue and I encourage every student that comes to me and asks me a question about history, to do the same.  I know many people and societies would not encourage this or even to look into their own history.  But I would say, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

There you have my top 5 Star Trek episodes.  I wonder what’s your top episode? Let me know.

 Live Long and Prosper

(Reference – Episode synopses from Wikipedia

Point Of View: Live Long And Prosper


Like many “geeks” I grew up watching Star Trek.  I watched reruns (no I’m not that old) every week and I would imagine living in the future and dream of what might be.  In many ways Star Trek inspired me to expand my reach and embrace new and wonderful things.

The episodes with historical overtones made want to know more about human history and where we have gone through. Other shows on technology got me interested in computers.  But the biggest influence were shows that featured the arts such as drawing, painting, music and of course Shakespeare.

I found that Star Trek was not just a show about some future adventures but an exploration on the human condition.  And no I am not some Trekkie/trekker that runs around with a Starfleet uniform thinking he is some officer.  I’m just a guy that loves a show that makes me think, cry and laugh.

In essence, Star Trek has inspired me in ways I probably don’t even know.  But one thing I do know, is that it makes me laugh and feel good inside.  I cannot wait to see the new Star Trek Into Darkness movie and a great side effect of the movie is the merchandising and commercials associated with the film.

On that note I want to share a YouTube link with all of you.  It is an Audi commercial staring Lenard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto, the 2 Spocks’.  When I saw this commercial I couldn’t stop laughing.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Live Long and Prosper.

Ailish Sinclair

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