This month marks my one year anniversary teaching 8-12 year old kids on how to make their own comics. Besides the KIDS COMIC WORKSHOP that started it all, I also now teach a HOW TO DRAW MONSTERS class, After School classes, Homeschool classes, and I help Girl Scouts earn their “Drawing” and “Comic Artist” badges. I have a lot of plates spinning right now and I hope to get more traction with the coming year! I’ve managed to turn this into a semi-part time job, but I can always do more and WANT to do more!
IT ALL STARTED…
In early 2015, the idea popped into my head that I should teach kids about comic creation. I dismissed it at the time, but a couple months later my son was bragging to his art teacher at school about my comics and stuff. Later that day she emailed me asking if I could teach a class for all four classes in my son’s grade. (Ok, God, I get the hint!) I. was. terrified.
I’ve never taught kids in any great length before this time, and especially never in such large numbers! I think I had maybe two weeks to get a lesson plan written for this. These first four classes really helped me figure out how to conduct class, but I didn’t hold my official first “on my own” class till five months later in October 2015. To my surprise when I set up the registration, the class filled up within two days and I had to add a second class, and that one filled as well! (Thank you again parents and especially thank you to God for leading me down this path!)
Since then, I’ve been teaching classes around town in various ways, but this leads to my next thing…
THE EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT
Teaching these classes around town on my own is logistically complicated. The biggest issue is finding locations, because there aren’t many businesses with teaching space you can rent. A side effect to this is if I can’t find space to teach, then my class schedule isn’t consistent. I feel that I’m not making traction with parents because I simply can’t plan ahead and have classes lined up months in advance for them to choose from.
Due to the fact that I’m not independently wealthy, I can’t buy a building and turn it into dedicated class space. (I would LOVE that.) What I need is a base camp, some place where I can line classes up months in advance and let parents choose what works best for their schedule. Also the place needs to be centrally located so everyone around the St. Louis area can participate.
I’m happy to announce that I had a discussion with Holland, the owner of NOVEL NEIGHBOR Bookstore in Webster Groves, and she’s agreed to let me teach all of my classes there and be able to schedule classes months in advance! By turning her store into my base camp, I will always have space to teach and won’t have to chase locations, AND I’ll be able to plan classes months in advance so there is always something on the calendar.
WHEN DOES THIS ALL HAPPEN?
Holiday season is upon us, so I’m going to be easing into this for 2017. I do want to hold a couple of one day, one hour classes that are holiday specific (Thanksgiving and Christmas), and I’ll be talking to Holland about setting those up soon. I will also be looking into various ways to advertise my classes around town to bring in more children, because I feel that for now the well is a bit dry in Webster Groves as I seemed to have taught every child in it already.
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