May 15, 2009

Teach This.

So, here’s what’s been going on.

I have a new teaching job. It’s through an art studio for kids situated in Toronto. They have been wanting me to come in and work for them for quite some time, but nothing has worked out except for one special appearance during March Break. I was told that I would once again not be able to teach for them for their spring session, but then at the last moment a class they run for a private school near the studio had filled up and they wanted me to teach it. I had actually finished working on the TFCon comic the night before and had just woken up after a much needed nap when I got the news. It was supposed to start on that day, but by the time I found out, there was no way I could make it on time. So I started the following week and it’s been going fairly well despite the disorganized start. The kids run a wider range of ages than I like to have at once, and there are a few really young ones. It’s not ideal in that respect but it’s worked out fine thus far.

My other teaching job is winding down this month. It’s been tough. I’ve dealt with some challenging students with some bewildering quirks. I’ve had my patience tested quite a bit this year, so much so that I’ve come to question how much I want to do this. I’ll probably always be teaching in some form or another, but I don’t want that to be the only thing I do. I liked it much better during the days when I’d be getting serious students who are interested in the material. I felt like I could really build something and give them some more interesting, advanced lessons. Alas, those days are gone, in favor of teaching little kids watered down “cartooning” lessons. And when the kids who aren’t quite so little start mouthing off instead of taking advantage of the opportunity they have to draw, well, there’s only so much a guy can take. So, basically, after a string of particularly stressful lessons, my eyes were opened. As much as I like teaching, I figured that I didn’t want to be in a position where I absolutely had to take a teaching job because I had nothing else to do.

So, I started looking into possibly going to school again next year. I didn’t really have the best of experiences last time I was at school, and I hurt my wrist in the process, but times change and maybe there’s something else out there. However, it hasn’t been easy to find. My situation is a little different than the typical student looking to get into college. I looked into one school that has a comic book illustration program, and I have signed up to a summer weekend workshop, I just didn’t think things would work out for me in a full time program there. I’ve also looked into a 1 year digital arts program at another school that looked quite appealing. I had a portfolio review there this week and the results were somewhat surprising. The teacher looked at my stuff and said that there would be no problem letting me into the school, but that my work was quite advanced based on what he usually sees and so I might not like it there or get much out of it. Didn’t expect to hear that!

So, not really sure what to do right now. It was recommended to me at the portfolio review that I should be getting my stuff out there, and possibly submitting to Marvel. But, I look at my work and compare it to what I feel is professional, publishable caliber and I think I still have a few pieces missing from the puzzle. Maybe there’s nothing else I can do but keep moving ahead as best I can until the pieces fit. And I’m sure they will fit someday, no matter what. There is always more to learn. I guess the real question is, where do I fit? Judging by the past 28 years of my life, maybe nowhere. I’ll have to create my own place in the world for me to belong. It is not in my destiny to fit in a be gear within a pre-existing machine.

And that’s fine by me. I’m a ninja. I forge my own destiny.



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