Thank you to the SAW teachers
I want to thank here the many fantastic teachers who have walked into my life here at SAW, whose role I could never have predicted when I began thinking about the place in 2010. These great teachers and inspiring artists have made SAW a haven, a beacon, a caldron - a place for students to work hard and learn this form. Justine Mara Andersen
First, my amazing friend Justine Mara Andersen, who walked into SAW and opened her portfolio of stunning illustrations and comics and asked if we could work together. Could we?! We've done so much of it now I can barely remember not knowing her, and can barely imagine SAW without her. Her technical skills and drive balance my free-spirited belief in everyone's innate creativity. She makes the students work for their right to express themselves. She teaches them to value discipline, to respect tradition and to love beauty and humanity, and to fight to express it.
She makes amazing blog posts about her process such as http://barefootjustine.com/2014/09/03/justines-odysseus-page-6-an-in-depth-look-at-the-process/ but also great essays about why Frazetta Beats Boris and her love of Disney's animators and background artists.
She has made me a better artist, teacher and person.
And I am so glad Kurt Wolfgang returned to Gainesville to stay a while. He says he wants to cover the town with beautiful things. In the meantime, he has stepped up to teach an amazing class on Cartooning the Kurt Wolfgang Way. He is rigorous, structured, devoted to the craft and strong in his convictions. The students have been making amazing work in his class. You can see Cara Bean's post to see some examples.
Few people know of my love of theater and my deeply held belief that the world's best art form is standing and moving in front of people on a makeshift stage and presenting a world. This is humanity is at its best and most creative. The connections to be made between theater and any storytelling artform are vast, as are the connections to be made through masks and characters, speech and characters, bodies and characters and so on, that I wanted at least a cursory introduction to theatrical skills and storytelling at SAW. I found my perfect co-conspirator in Sheila Bishop, who starts by having students notice how they walk and then has them develop oral stories and sometimes even masks and rituals.
We might have been overly ambitious in our first year, but we made a great shambling show and it did result in two of our students going off on their own to create amazing weird ritual art shows on their own time.
My English teachers, Carrie Guss, Heather Petersen, and RL Goldberg all made my life easier by teaching great stories with great verve. Thanks guys!
And Scott Gamble has offered an amazing printing lecture each year, thanks Scott!
And visiting artists -too many to list here, thank you!
Finally, to the teachers who I always knew would be a part of SAW, Leela Corman and John Ronan, thank you for bringing your brilliance and expertise to me and these students.
Help pay these fabulous teachers, these hungry samurai. Go to our Indiegogo link, just a few more days, and help