I am a CartoonistAugust 1, 2012 Posted by in Blog
Things are starting to calm down a bit so I suppose I should tell you what I’ve been up to!
At the beginning of July I was invited to teach comics and manga at a local school’s summer camp program. For three weeks I really felt like myself again. I am a cartoonist first and foremost. If you were to meet me on the street and ask me what I do, I would say, “I’m a cartoonist.” If prodded further, I would go on to say, “I also make art dolls.” When I was growing up, my two favorite activities were drawing and making up stories. When I was 10 years old, I was exposed to my very first graphic novel (ElfQuest, by Wendy and Richard Pini). Something clicked. “I can draw and tell stories at the SAME TIME?!” From that moment on, I decided I would be a cartoonist when I grew up.
I never stopped drawing comics. When it was time to choose a college, I did so based on the available cartooning programs at the time. I ended up enrolling at the School of Visual Arts in NYC to study comics. When I got there, I was dismayed to discover that my Freshman year would be spent doing Studio Art. This wouldn’t do. So I switched into the Animation program where I trained in both traditional and stop-motion animation for two semesters. In the middle of my Sophomore year, my peers in the Cartooning program were finally making comics. So I switched back to join them. It was kind of sneaky, but I worked things out very carefully so I would have the correct credits to graduate on time. I had a unique experience at SVA that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Straight out of college, I landed several teaching gigs and loved every minute of it. But it wouldn’t last. I was convinced I had to get a “real job” and things spiraled from there. I missed some opportunities over the years that I regretted. So when this teaching gig practically fell into my lap, I grabbed it. And it was amazing. I taught 6 classes over the course of 3 weeks. My students were 7 to 12 years old and all of them were amazing and incredibly enthusiastic! I even had one class that was ALL GIRLS!! That has never happened to me before and to be honest I thought it was the greatest thing ever. When I was a kid, I was “weird” for liking comics. I was always the only girl in cartooning related programs. It tickles me how much things have shifted. Comics are for everyone! And it’s finally catching on.
Taking this teaching gig was the best decision I have made all year. It did have some consequences that I will talk about later, but rest assured it was for the best!
In other news…
My boyfriend of 8 years proposed to me last week! I still can’t believe it! We’re over the moon to say the least.
That’s all the news I have for you today! Now that the summer camp is over I’m sewing again and you can expect some new Nonesuch Dolls soon! I also have a couple of Sproutlings in the works and a side project that I think you will like! Stay tuned!