Enter the Hidden Fortress -- New Comics Class With James Turek This Fall!
We’re thrilled to have cartoonist James Turek back and teaching at SAW this Fall. James draws comics, creates murals, and works as an illustrator and printmaker in Leipzig, Germany (learn more about James here). Last Spring he taught a terrific class at SAW called Wizards of Pinball, on inventive and practical approaches to making comics. This year, he’s offering a class called THE HIDDEN FORTRESS. in which students tap into their own personal, creative vision and realize a semester-long comics project. THE HIDDEN FORTRESS is for beginners and advanced students alike. The course will run for 12 weeks, on Thursday nights starting on September 7. (Full course schedule TBA.) This is an in-person class at our Gainesville School.
We asked James a few questions about what might lie within THE HIDDEN FORTRESS.
Evenings @ SAW: What kind of work will students produce in your class? By the end of the class, what will students have to show?
JT: Two major aspects will be explored throughout this class. One will be a larger, semester long project that will harness various aspects of creativity, design, and output. This will be discussed at the start of the semester. The second aspect of the class will focus on vision and development of each individual's personal comics goals.
E@S: How will students spend time in class? Working, listening to lectures, sharing and discussing our work, etc?
JT: Class time will be broken up into segments whereupon we will look at and analyze known and unknown authors and works of art to form a better understanding of their techniques as well as how it relates to our own work. What are the underlying themes, messages, or symbols of a given work of art? A portion of class time will be devoted to promoting a healthy discussion of various works of art as it relates to the world of comics creation.
E@S: What’s an example of an assignment you might give?
JT: Short, fun classroom assignments will be given to build both drawing and writing confidence and creation.
E@S: How would you describe your teaching approach or style?
JT: I suppose I am rather laid back and would hope to bring a sense of ease and inspiration to the classroom. I know everyone has their sights set on their own goals, as a teacher I wish to help them get further and reach their potential.
E@S:: What’s your work or professional experience? What about that experience made you want to teach this class?
JT: As a published author both in the realm of children's books and comics I have seen what it takes to achieve even a small degree of success in this field. I have worked the festival circuit for nearly a decade as well as giving readings, lectures, interviews and workshops. I helped create and run one of the most renowned independent comic festivals in Europe. Having been both an organizer and exhibitor over the past seven years I have gained insights and developed intimate friendships with the artists, publishers, and critics who make up the global independent comic scene.
E@S: How many hours a week will I spend on this class—just the in-class time, or should I plan for extra time for homework?
JT: I don't believe much in giving 'homework'. The students and I will develop a one on one, self-formulated goal chart which it will be up to the student to adhere to.
E@S: If a student is new to drawing and comics, can they still take this class?
JT: It’s totally OK. This is not about a skill level, it's about moving forward with your own works of art.
E@S: What if someone is REALLY a total beginner, with very limited drawing experience. Like maybe just drawing stick figures. Can they still take this class?
JT: Yes! Drawing skills are NOT a prerequisite here.
E@S: If this class was a sandwich or a song or an animal what sandwich/song/animal would it be?
JT: Hmm, tough question. I suppose if this was a sandwich it would be the one that you pull out of your bag while your plane or bus is delayed. You had the keen foresight to pack yourself a delicious, filling, cost effective snack that makes everyone around you jealous.