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Laser Beak Man has a blue cape, a duck-bill nose and an irreverent charm that is all his own. He’s the star of an ABC3 TV animation series and the subject of some highly collectable works of art. And it doesn’t end there: he has inspired a TED Talk, appeared in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in June this year, he’ll return to New York City to tread the boards in a stage production based on his adventures.
Laser Beak Man is the creation of Brisbane-based artist Tim Sharp. At age three, Sharp was diagnosed with severe autism – but, defying a gloomy prognosis from doctors, he’s since become a successful artist with an international profile.
Tim Sharp drops by the Wheeler Centre with his mother Judy, who encouraged his drawing and recognised his talent from the beginning. She’s written a book, A Double Shot of Happiness, chronicling her son’s childhood diagnosis and his subsequent development as an artist. Join the pair in conversation with Bernard Caleo for a lunchtime dose of inspiring conversation and hilarious animation.
Tim Sharp is 27 years old and has autism. At age 11, Tim invented Laser Beak Man – a character who allows Tim to show the world his great sense of humour and intelligence, as well as his original way of looking at life. Laser Beak Man has his own eight-episode animated TV series screening on ABC3, Cartoon Network Asia, New Zealand and Australia.
Judy Sharp raised two boys as a single mother – Tim and his younger brother Sam. Sam is a former state swimmer who competed at the 2012 Olympic swimming trials, and now works as a professional swim coach. Tim and Judy spend much of their time helping organisations and schools that work with autistic children. They live in Brisbane.
Bernard Caleo is a comic book teacher, maker, and communicator. He was the editor and publisher of the romance comics anthology Tango, made the feature film Graphic Novels Melbourne with filmmaker Daniel Hayward and is part of the graphic novel publishing enterprise Twelve Panels Press.
We love exploring ideas here at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every second Thursday lunchtime, we hand the microphone over to thinkers, dreamers, writers and orators, so they can share the ideas that have been occupying them the most.
It’s a space to tunnel deep into a train of thought and emerge with surprising conclusions, recommendations for change, or simply a more evolved set of questions. The flexible format provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening: stories and opinions you won’t hear elsewhere.
Come for your lunch break and leave refreshed, your brain buzzing.