I can comfortably put ten people sitting in two tables in the main studio room, and that still gives me enough room to stand in front of then and use the white board or the tv to show examples of narrative through the use of images and words. Still, I felt I could have more people, so I opened up two classes, one on monday nights and the other, on tuesdays. Soon enough, I had twenty students enrolled in my two month class on the possibilities in creating visual narratives and, after eight years since we last opened our studio to students, my entire routine changed as I'm starting to get to know each one of them and their particular desires and works.
They're a very eclectic bunch, ranging in age from 17 to 37, with a lot of people interested in drawing, but a good number more interested in writing, and all willing to try to merge these two creative activities in the comic form. This week, I'm having nude figure drawing in the class, and it's a very interesting exercise to note how even those who are more used to drawing are not naturally used to paying attention at what they see, as figure drawing is much more learning how to look than learning how to draw (at least that's what I take most from it).
Even after we stopped giving classes at the studio, we continued to give workshops and lectures about comics, the narrative form, the history of the medium, our history in it, so there's a lot of subjects I could talk about, and have talked about, when it comes to teaching comics. I'm constantly curious to research new authors and new stories, new styles, trying to know everything great being done in comics around the world, but there's something different in this class now. To balance what I can talk about comics when I use the great comics and great authors as an example and to try to see what the work of the students show, and where it leads, it's sometimes like being on both ends of a road.
An exciting long road, in which I'll be traveling with the students for the next two months.