Friday, May 17, 2013

Workshop in Estacada

Lecture on brow structure
from Fantasy Genesis
I miss teaching..  There, I said it..  Straight away, no qualms, no regard hitherto stated evidence against, case closed without recourse from judge or jury!  Granted, not every day teaching is a successful, or even mildly pleasant day (especially mornings on deadline) and I doubt any particular mode or method one chooses will bring results to everyone, even if you're the most brilliant educator the Sphere's ever seen, but you can, and Do have an effect on some folks in a quite rare and magical time in their lives, and that's something few of us can predict or quantify.  It's simply the best! (bettah than awl the rest!)  Even though my freelance work has never given me time to completely focus on teaching, my inner LightPusher would love to start up again in the future, and the opportunities to teach seem to appear from time to time. =)
Couple of in class sketches showing Staggered & Aggressive brows
Although between recently being invited back to Focus Week by a couple of my students to finish out the school year at the PNCA, and giving a workshop/demo to three great groups of high school students at the Tri-Valley Art Conference, one thing has been revealed to me.  The fact that there are times we all can be teaching without a gig, without even being aware of it?  Like a chaotic ink wash, perhaps it's those serendipitous moments that are the most informative or inspirational, when we are at our most genuine state?

After all, a Compassionate action is never a one way road, both folks or groups need to bring something to the table to empathize or to understand.  This was the case in every class I taught at the PNCA, and it was the case at the Tri-Valley Art Conference in Estacada put on by Janice Packard a couple weeks ago.  I gave some sketched demos, had some great one-on-one time with art students from three different high schools, and generally had a blast!  What an awesome bunch of kids, and I hope to do more one-day events like this, but I got a sense of what kind of skill sets students are capable of nowadays, at such an early age?  A real baptism of fire, that!  I've always thought that if students were young enough to have been raised with the internet and it's exponentially growing supply of photographic reference, then you definitely had an advantage over my generation of beta-max video recording and library reference, and moreover this was the main reason for the quickening in skill sets; The more access to cleaner and more infinitely diverse photographic reference picturing this Sphere we're livin' on, and all it's wildly diverse Cultures and History, the more accurately one is able to document it all?  Of course it's more than any one reason, but you can tell the skill sets are just getting better and better from when I was in high school, and I can't wait to see what those students have to offer when they graduate?  Goot Lawrd!?!  =)

It was also fun to observe what modern tech doesn't necessarily teach at all, and the kind of things that will spring from an individual's personality traits or archetype, regardless of the tech around at the time of development?

I think there's a theatrical bug in most illustrators (especially the one's who might also want to be musicians, or spend a portion of their youth in front of a mirror) and I've noticed this leads to them/us mimicking and documenting emotions through facial expressions earlier than most.  Since Facial Expression & Anthropomorphism was the subject of my workshop, it was interesting to see who gravitated to the emotional aspects of the face, or who might have a better grasp on documenting realism, or who might veer towards expression in gesture and pose, or for those most skilled, who had a really good start on all of the above.. =)

More to come on Focus Week at the PNCA next post around,
and gracious thanks to all the talented young folks that attended
my short workshops at the Tri-Valley Art Conference!
Keep in Touch & Stay Tuned !!