My 2015 whirlwind…

By ToddThursday - December 31st, 2015Categories: News

kcw-printed-logo-signThis year has been a whirlwind and I would like to say THANK YOU to the countless parents who have signed their children up for one of my art classes. Indirectly you helped me on this path I’m standing on and I am extremely grateful for it.

I was a stay at home dad for the past ten years, but that title no longer applies as my son is now in school full time. I had no idea how I was going to get back into the work force or what I would be doing. I was a graphic designer when my son was born, but in the past ten years that occupation has morphed into something I don’t care to do anymore. The only other thing I knew about was art, but finding art specific jobs is next to impossible. I fully expected to go back into the work force and just settle for whatever retail job came along.

My first class, internally I’m panicking right now…
At the end of 2014, God placed a thought in my head, “Why don’t you teach kids how to make comics?” I dismissed it because I was too busy trying to find a job. Several months later my son was talking me up to his art teacher at school about my comics, and she invited me to teach all four third grade classes as a guest artist. I had no previous experience teaching large groups of children, so needless to say I was nervous. I took God’s hint and in May 2015 I taught a semi rough draft of what would become my KIDS COMIC WORKSHOP to those four classes.

Looking back, May was also when the last episode of my FRIK comic went live online. I didn’t even think about that transition until I was writing this. Funny how one chapter ends and another begins and you don’t even notice it happening at the time.

After I did the guest artist thing I polished the one hour class and turned it into a six week workshop, and by October I was teaching two classes of my very own at a local business that had a back room to rent out. I also started teaching a homeschooling class around this time. While that was happening, I was approached by a charter school because their art teacher was going on maternity leave at the end of the year and they needed a long term art substitute. They saw what I was teaching and wanted me to teach it to the kids at their school. It’s hard finding long term school subs, especially something specialized like art, so I pretty much had the job before the interview even began.

I went from my only teaching experience being four third grade classes in May, to teaching 1st through 8th graders at a charter school by November. Not only was the path placed in front of me, but I had to hit the ground running HARD at the same time.

Sometimes it’s difficult keeping up with everything being thrown my way.

My gig at the school will end the first week of February and immediately after that (like, the next day) I’ll have another six week comic workshop start, and I’ll also be teaching that and my HOW TO DRAW MONSTERS class as an after school program at an elementary school nearby. In addition to that, I’ve been approached by a group of women who want me to teach it to them, so I will be developing an adult version of the course and maybe have a few more of those classes later in the year as well. I will also attempt to develop brand new courses so I have a wide selection to choose from.

    Even my badge is nervous…

My next steps are teaching more homeschool classes and looking for other locations around St. Louis to teach the comic workshop. I will also research teaching it to boy/girl scouts and similar organizations and with any luck I’ll be able to get a table at a couple more comic conventions to sell my work and develop new comics. Although 2015 had a lot of ups and downs for myself and my family, sometimes I’m holding on by a fingertip as my comic workshop has taken off and all these other things are taking hold.

Thanks for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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