This has been an awesome year so far. I’m having a blast with all the stuff we’ve got going on. I’ll give you a run down of whats on my plate these days. I’m sure this isn’t even all of it either.
Comics in the Classrooms.
One of my goals this year was to do community outreach to give kids in this region a path towards making comics for a living. So far I’ve talked to about 300 kids at several Jr Highs and Elementary schools and one High school. I’m scheduled to talk to Hutch Jr High in a couple weeks and more to come after that. My favorite part is running across those kids that you can tell this is exactly what they needed – they’ve got some skills, lots of heart, and an attitude to learn. I hope to give them what my friends and I didn’t have when we were their age. Direction, challenge, and real opportunities.
Young at Art
The Sketch Club started our after school program a few weeks back. The results, so far, are promising. Our first session only had one kid, lol. It was a good start, in that it gave the four of us teaching, the opportunity to get an idea of how it will work once the group starts to grow. Plus it was cool teaching in our newly muraled studio. After that first session, I called up the elementary school across the street from our studio and came to talk to all of their art classes about doing comics. We had 26 kids show up the next session!
We’re developing the program as a prototype to eventually start after school comics creator clubs at all the local schools using volunteer instructors from the Sketch Club. With a comics group, comprised of all the clubs, meeting at our Studio on Saturdays for classes, to really solidify the community and program. This is a long term strategy though. Over the next 5 – 10 years as we continue to grow.
The other part to all of this of course is the Sketch Club. The Sketch Club has been amazing. We have 30-50 artists show up every Saturday to our sketch nights. And this Saturday I experienced a new part to that. It was my first time to really ever NOT show up to a sketchnight (because I was hired to do caricatures for a party). So when I finally get to the group about an hour before closing, its in full swing and I could tell I didn’t even need to show up this time. Something I couldn’t have even considered doing even just a few months ago. It shows how quickly this group is maturing. I’m lucky to have so many awesome artists anchoring this endeavor.
Comic Book Expo
We’ve also been meeting regularly to plan for Lubbock’s first ever Comic Book Expo!!! I didnt know if this was going to work out when I first started pushing for it. But things – and most importantly people – seem to be falling into place to make this happen. We have a venue, provided by the Science Spectrum of Lubbock. We have a date May 3rd (Free comic book day!). We have people, and we have a plan. This is an educational comic expo. Since Lubbock is not known to be a comic book town, we are starting small, by educating the general public about what comic books are, how they’re made, and engaging them with our own budding comic book creators community – while giving those creators opportunity to put themselves out there.
Our intention is to lay the foundation over the next five years for a thriving creators community, and marketplace to support them. We’re starting to get some real connections with this too. Sponsorship inquiries from the University, and their 3d animation program at the Library. We’ve also had some interesting Chamber of Commerce connections, and some solid retailer endorsements. About the only thing we’re lacking is finding guests. Which is not the drive of the endeavor. Unless you guys know of someone who is interested that might make a good guest. Otherwise, we will be ok with however it works out. This is foundation building, after all, not a fanboy show. I think that was the mistake other organizations in this town have made. You have to build your base first in order to sustain it.
The coolest part, is that the best is still waiting in the wings. I can’t wait to tell ya’ll about the other cool stuff that’s going on.
for more information on the sketchclub, visit our website at www.elsketchoclubo.com