Earlier this month, I had the unique experience of being invited to teach students from the High School of Art and Design about the fundamentals of comic-making. It was a workshop held in conjunction with Will Eisner Week (http://www.willeisnerweek.com/) at the Society of Illustrators in New York.
I co-taught the workshop with
Sara Woolley and
N. Stephen Harris, two cartoonists whose works and careers are quite different from mine. We meant it this way, so that we could highlight our unique paths as ways for the students to eventually get their comics work published. Since the students were coming from a magnet art school, we knew they would already know how to draw technically and wanted to challenge them with the storytelling aspects of comics.
After brief introductions by Danny Fingeroth—who discussed Will Eisner’s biography, accomplishments, and how Eisner’s life culminated into a weeklong celebration of comics—and by each of us to give an idea of the kind of work we did, we dove into the hands-on part of the workshop. As a warm-up, we had the students work on comic jams. They split into pairs, made tiny, blank books out of single sheets of paper, and worked on comics together, one page at a time at two minutes per page before passing the book to their partner—sort of like a comics version of Exquisite Corpse. The resulting comics are almost invariably goofy and the students got a kick out of them. But the exercise also helps with drawing loosely and prioritizing the comics style of pacing more than the end product looking beautiful. As a bonus, they also now know how to make a very inexpensive mini-comic out of a single sheet of paper.
We then asked the students to design a character onto a model sheet we supplied and segued into creating a fully completed one-page comic with panel templates. We emphasized thinking of characters that weren’t too complicated. It’s easy to forget sometimes how comics require you to draw the same character over and over!
Watching the students work on their own projects and talking about them was the funnest part for me.
I loved hearing the stories they had in mind because they were always really ornate and involved (I definitely had to drop some gentle reminders that there’s only one page to work with!). It was clear the students were fans of comics and were excited to make work. We had this opportunity to talk more informally with the students as well, and some were very interested in the paths we had taken as artists. It was great to be able to discuss what steps they might take after high school. They also knew their drawing chops and I got to appreciate that!
We’re glad we were able to take the opportunity to impart any information that could help the students in their future art careers; I got to enjoy their energy and innovation.
Thank you, Margo! We are really proud of you!–Melanie
The project that Stephen Gardner, MFA ’11, started in his first semester at FIT keeps giving. Stephen, our lovable bloke from the England, and now a US citizen, started drawing in bars around NY for his sketchbook assignment. On to painting those drawings, then, mugs, calendars, a stream of interviews, awards, blogs, all about the landmark bars of NY. And now, a lecture at the Society of Illustrators in New York to celebrate the landmarks of New York. This should be great! Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Click here for the info.
As the awards season got underway, we were so thrilled to see that Bri Hermanson, MFA’11, Chad Wallace, MFA ’11, Sam Kalda, MFA ’14, and Maria Carluccio, MFA ’16 all had work selected into the prestigious Society of Illustrators Annual Show.
Bri Hermanson, Hyde
Chad Wallace, Fireflies
By day, Anelle Miller is the Director of the Society of Illustrators in New York. Dennis Dittrich is the President. They have turned the place on its ear- there is not a night when there is not a drawing session, a lecture, film, dinner, trivia contest, or happy hour. How fortunate for us that by night, Anelle and Dennis are on our faculty. Anelle teaches Business and Promotion Strategies, specializing in marketing and grant writing. Dennis commandeers our Visual Thesis classes, expertly steering our students to producing their culminating body of work. Well, how fantastic is this? The New York Times featured Anelle today and quoted Dennis- and btw, mentioned another faculty member, Monika Maniecki for a lecture on creating art on an iPad, that was first delivered at FIT.This is a wonderful article and a great acknowledgement for someone who delivers 1000% wherever she is.
There are certain people in this world who need no last name- they are known as the icons that they are when you simply say their first names- faculty member Murray (Tinkelman, for those of you who need to get up to speed) is one of those- reknown illustrator, lecturer, educator, and on a personal note, incredible life-long mentor to this Chair, and many of our faculty. We are so, so very proud to tell you that Murray will be inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame this coming June- and that’s not all- Murray has also been awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Kendall College of Art & Design. Congratulations, Dr. Tinkelman! We are so happy that you are with us!
The following is a true story, straight from the Society of Illustrators blog
. It speaks to the integrity and support of SI. We are proud to be a member.
After much delay, the Society of Illustrators’ 54th Annual of American Illustration
has reached the US and is now available in our Museum Shop and online. We wish the delay in receiving Illustrators 54 was a simple printing error or even a problem in customs, but the story goes deeper.
Without our consent or knowledge, the printer we sourced from China omitted an illustrator’s work, Alex Nabaum’s ”The Evolution of China”, an Uncommissioned piece (see below) and printed the book with a completely blank page. The refusal to print this illustration was justified by the printer because Chinese Government
censors deemed the image to be “disrespectful to Mao Zedong.” Of course, in no way was this justification for us. The Society of Illustrators does not censor, nor do we accept it.
We fought the removal of this illustration and ultimately decided to right this wrong. Alex’s image has been added by a second printer from Hong Kong.
We apologize for the delay in production of Illustrators 54 but are proud we took a stance in the name of free speech and illustration.
Illustrators 54 can be purchased on our online shop by clicking here
Han-Yuan Yu has landed! Our first year student has two pieces in the SILA, Society of Illustrators Show, Los Angeles (West) AND, has just won second place in “Big City Dare 2 Draw” at the Society of Illustrators in New York. Look out, world!
Han-Yuan, we are proud of you!
Well, the Society of Illustrators in New York, our dear friends and colleagues, are some smart peeps. Following the success of our own what’s hAPPening lecture, featuring faculty member Monika Maniecki, MFA ’11, and illustrator Laura Tallardy, Anelle Miller, director SI, and MFA faculty member, invited Monika and Laura to SI to repeat the event. Monika is a digital painting whiz, and will demonstrate the magic that she creates on her IPad. And it does not end there- Monika also was invited to lecture at the Apple Store! Stay tuned for info-
You do us proud, Monika!