Ideas Fund: My Auntie's a Vandal

It was important to both of us to create a project that genuinely had communication at its heart. We both have friends and family who don’t have access to the internet during lockdown so we had to think about how we’d connect with them. We know that English isn’t everyone’s first language in Scotland so we wanted to ensure we could connect visually and in other languages. We’re really excited that Refuweegee will be working with us to translate My Auntie’s a Vandal into Arabic and will be distributing story sheets and materials packs to refugee families throughout Glasgow.

—Heather and Charlie

Charlie has a secret.
His Auntie Heather is an artist and she’s not very good at rules. In fact she breaks them.
She serves chocolate for breakfast and turns up at Charlie's school to do surprise drama workshops.
But that’s not the secret…

Charlie’s Auntie Heather is a VANDAL!

Told by twelve year old Charlie Tonner, My Auntie’s a Vandal, is a story about what it’s like to grow up with an Auntie who doesn’t conform to the family norms. It celebrates individuality and explores how we can communicate with our communities whilst in lockdown. Watch Charlie talk about his Auntie Heather below.

My Auntie’s a Vandal has been designed to engage with young people on and offline. The story provides legal street art activities for families to do together whilst looking at the history of street art- from New York trains that carried messages from one area of the city to the other, to Scottish sticker artists who connect with people via lampposts.

Heather shows us how to make art everyone can see in the video below.

Heather and Charlie used very simple materials such as pens, washi tape and stickers. You can download their illustrated storysheets and prompts (in English, Arabic and Vietnamese) so you can make your very own piece of guerilla art here:

My Auntie's a Vandal Storysheet (English)
My Auntie's a Vandal Storysheet (Arabic)
My Auntie's a Vandal Storysheet (Vietnamese)

My Auntie's a Vandal Prompts (English)
My Auntie's a Vandal Prompts (Arabic)
My Auntie's a Vandal Prompts (Vietnamese)

Heather and Charlie are delighted to be working with Imaginate again after creating Sometimes Words Get Stuck in 2015.  For this project they will work with illustrator Alice Carnegie with BSL translation by artist Jamie Rea.

Please email us photos or videos of your own street creations at

We will be supporting specific groups who work with children in particular need of art supplies and things to do, and who may not traditionally engage in the arts due to social and/or financial barriers. These groups will receive art materials packs to use to make street art, and include Refuweegee, Multi-cultural Family Base and Edinburgh Young Carers.