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Above drawings and handlettering
by Vanessa Davis and Trevor Alixopulos

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from Tom Hart's students in New York City

Tom created a teaching environment that fostered open discussion, unbiased attitudes and a love for understanding how comics work and the kind of work we wanted to make.
-Jess Fink

You make comic stories, story telling so exciting and fun. I know I came to you with a crazy idea of writing a story. I don't think I'd have embarked on such an ambitious journey without your enthusiasm, boundless optimism, and most importantly, a belief in the story.
-Anna Kim

The way Tom teaches just electrifies my passion for making comics to an extent that I don't often experience.
-Hillary Allison

Tom’s approach to education and guidance offers sensitivity and candor in equal measure. He offers technical insight across genre boundaries, adapting his criteria to each student’s goals and aesthetic preferences.
- Dan Strauss

Tom picked me up from my rut, showed me what potential I had as an illustrator, and kicked my self-doubt’s ass six ways till sunday.
- Carlos Abdu

If you’re having a problem with your art or story, rather than spouting out answers at you, he’ll try to talk you through it and eventually draw a solution from you. This teaching style helped boost my artistic confidence and problem solving.
- Jon Mosley

Tom is a magical teacher and all-around great guy. He did not just help my brain understand how to create a good comic, but also opened my eyes to tons of great cartoonists, provided advice outside of class time, helped me find a thesis advisor, lent me fantastic books, etc. (the list goes on).
-Jess Worby

On accreditation, degrees etc., from the Executive Director:

From Director Tom Hart:

I'm convinced that a degree in cartooning does not do anything that an excellent education in cartooning does not, except drive up cost and enable you to convince faceless bureaucracies later that you can teach for them. but please trust that we want to enable you to impress those faceless bureaucracies, but our immediate goal is giving you a quality well-rounded education that enables you to be smart, critical, creative, dedicated and talented in this medium.

Building the reputation of this school for a graduate's benefit is on the short-term to-do list. Figuring our way through the bureaucracies that enable us to do that is more of a mid-range goal.

Additionally, we completely respect the need for transferable undregrad or graduate credits and we are working on this issue currently.

Regarding the industry, the country, the economy, work and other situations that college degrees have traditionally been factored into, we can speak to a few items from first hand experience:

  1. The quality of your portfolio, abilities and reliability is what gets you work in the real world.
  2. That work may involve all or some of the skills you learn while studying Sequential Art. In 10 years of teaching at the university level, I have seen a few stars born, but I have seen many people go into creative jobs for which they were prepared. Storytelling (visual or otherwise) is everywhere, and its skills are needed in advertising, marketing, art direction, entertainment, journalism; anywhere a message needs to be communicated.
  3. The marketability of your style, work and/or subject matter will determine whether your self-generated works are published and successful in the publishing market. That is different (though possibly a subset) of being an outstanding artist in your field.
  4. Ultimately we believe in the dream that the arts and creative pursuits give us the tools to become more human. The arts ground us in the human, connect us to the eternal and allow us to build empathy, to deepen communication and to open our senses. We teach these skills.

As a side note, a short list of people of famous college drop-outs would probably begin with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Most successful, driven people without traditional formal education get their training from mentorship and from taking charge of their own education, learning on the fly and putting themselves in rooms and positions with people in their field. SAW is designed to be a part of this process first and foremost.

Please note that this reflects the opinion of the Executive Director and is not necessarily the official SAW position.



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News and upcoming classes:

Single Session Intro to Comics Workshop, Sunday August 26, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
It's All in the Details Single Session Workshop, Sunday September 9, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Professional Inking and Drawing Techniques with Justine Mara Andersen, 6 Wednesdays, Sept 12 - October 17.
Graphic Novel Memoir Class, 7 Tuesdays, September 11 - October 23 with Tom Hart

Teen Classes at The Doris Center on Saturdays with Sally Cantirino

ArtWalk Events and Book release parties:

August - Faculty and Student show. We'll show some of the best adult work from our first 7 months of classes, plus show off our faculty some.

View our events and class calendar here



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Copyright © 2012 The Sequential Artists Workshop Inc.
Contact us at thesaw @

(352) 234-6729
Postal address: PO Box 13077, Gainesville, FL 32604
Shipping address for books, donations, etc: 435 S. Main St, Suite 2, Gainesville, FL, 32601

Find us in Gainesville on the corner of SE 5th Ave and S. Main St. behind the Citizen's Co-Op and the Civic Media Center