Tuesday, December 7, 2010

K.I.D.S. Art Ed After School brings Dean Haspiel to The Red Hook Community Justice Center

This week students participating in K.I.D.S. Art Ed after school programs with Good Shepherds Services and Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) gathered for Career Day at RHCJC to hear graphic novelist Dean Haspiel talk about his career as a cartoonist.  The students have been exploring Dean's work on view at K.I.D.S. in "Cuba: My Revolution-The Making of the Graphic Novel and Related Drawings." Their explorations have included a visit to the exhibition and art making sessions with our teaching artists.
Teaching artist Katherine Gressel and RHCJC students exploring "Cuba: My Revolution" at Kentler.

During the gallery visit students explored the content of the artwork through discussion and hands-on art activities.  In their follow up art making sessions, students are learning about symbols, figure drawing, layout, drafting, and composition to created their own original comic-inspired artworks.  Our goals in these workshops are for young people to have a positive experience making art, to feel more confident expressing themselves, and to have a better sense of what goes into being an artist both personally but also professionally.  Since the workshops are mostly focused on art making, we decided to invite Dean Haspiel to talk to the students about the more professional side of being a cartoonist.

Dean's talk took the students through his development from when he got his first drawing gig to the present.

Dean's slideshow.
One on one with the kids.  Great questions.  Great answers.
Forthcoming about the good and the bad, Dean described his passion for drawing and stories and his desire to develop his own ideas along with his need to make money and take on jobs that weren't always feeding his soul.  When a student asked about how one could "get started," Dean's advice was this (I paraphrase): Find other people who like to do what you do. Hang out with them, talk, share ideas and challenge each other.  If you like someone else's work, talk about THEIR work (not just your own) to others.  In other words, help each other out, support each other! Don't get upset if a buddy gets a gig you were hoping for.  Remember that they got hired because their work looks the way the employer wants.  When you get hired, it will be because of YOUR "look" and your look alone.  Dean reminded the students, "Don't be shy to be who you are."  Thank you, Dean!