My son Griffin has developed an keen interest in comics over the past few years. Marvel and DC Comic movies, various comic books, and all of those great characters have really captured his attention. And he has been drawing these characters for some time now. And he is a phenomenal cartoonist. I am not just saying that because I am his father. Seriously, he is very talented.
Over the summer, I learned about a program at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) called the “Young Artist Program.” This program offers young artists, filmmakers, and creative types the opportunity to take classes and attend workshops at RISD. Classes such as “Digital Wizardry” and “Special Effects + Hollywood Make-up” and “Fundamentals of 2D Design.” The classes are sectioned off by age groups – 6-8, 9-12, and 13-17 years of age. There are 1 day and 2 day workshops as well as 6 session classes. Fittingly, I selected “Comic Art” for Griffin.
This “Comic Art” class has run from early November and will conclude this month. The class instructor is Jason LeClair. The class takes place at the Illustrations Building on South Main St. in Providence. Each student was given a syllabus with the course objectives and session descriptions. The course objective, per the syllabus reads “Students will learn the art of crafting a visual story in the formats of daily, Sunday, and comic book pages.” One of the cool things I learned about the program was that upon completion, Griffin will have created his own comic book strip.
Each week, Griffin has learned some of the great theories, techniques, and principles of the comic art world. The students, along with Griffin, were asked to create and design their own comic book. They worked on sketching, comic book history, plot lines, framing, and more. There were sessions on comic strips, Sunday comics, and storytelling. Each week, Griffin would come home and continue the project he was working on at RISD. Every week, he has gotten more and more confident with his work and his art.
Overall, it has been an incredible experience for Griffin. His development as a young artist took a giant leap with this Young Artist Program. He is drawing his favorite characters from “Star Wars”, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and WWE superstars. Griffin has a pencil and sketch book in his backpack, several in his room, and has gained a ton of confidence from positive feedback from family and friends. If you have a young artist interested in creative programming by some of the best creative instructors this area has to offer, check out RISD’s Young Artist Program at www.ce.risd.edu or call 401-454-6200. Great job, Griffey!!!