A lot of times I don’t know why I do what I do. Only that it needs to be done. It is a different kind of living. One that I am only now getting used to. Following signs. When you put yourself aside, and become receptive to whatever the universe has in mind, things move pretty quickly. In this case, a chance encounter leading towards a whole other world of possibilities.
A while back, I decided I would like to start talking to kids in schools about making art for a living. The only people that came to talk to MY class were a cop, the marines, and the weather guy for one of the local TV stations. It bothered me that there were so few examples available to me of life paths other than working for a paycheck. Especially for doing what my heart desired, which was making comic books and art. This has not been an easy journey for me to get where I’m at today. I want to change that for the next generation. I want kids to realize that it is possible, and help them find a way to make it possible for themselves.
Today I went to speak to the art classes at Cavazos Jr High. I have a lot of other schools lined up. More than I expected really. But for now… it simply needs to be done. Of course this is a new experience for me. And there is a bit of a learning curve I’ve got ahead of me. Working with large groups of kids. Public presentations. It is a different scale and format than I am used to.
The last time I spoke to a school was Ralls High school about 6 years ago. A rather disheartening and unfortunate experience. This time seemed to go much better. I had 5 quality portfolios to show this time, lots of experience, and a touch more wisdom. I understand the artist mentality fairly well. The obstacles, motivations and tools for success. But I still didn’t know what to expect with this. I stumbled through my background, passed around a sketchbook from my first year of college *shivers* and then all my recent portfolios and comics. Then I just started talking. You can never tell with these things … but I think I saw some of them light up with inspiration. Especially this group of boys in the front row. That look on their faces like they’ve seen the future. I can only imagine though. I may never know. Sometimes all you can do is plant the seeds and give it to God. And do my best to provide the resources for them to grow if they’re ready.
What drives me, is that I can imagine that lost little kid in me out there in the crowd, seeing that this is possible, and lighting up with inspiration. Suddenly having a vision of what this could look like and simply “knowing” at a very young age that this is how it will be. I wonder if that will happen for any of them? Only time will tell.
Friday I talk to Atkins Jr High.