Today I went to my sons' class and did a small presentation for the kindergarteners. I must say that was so much fun. The reaction from the kids just make all this stuff worth it. I started off by talking a little about some of the projects that I did. The teachers Mrs. Michaud and Mrs. Kosaki were very nice, and they helped me set up a small projector to see the finished stuff I did which isn't big enough for the kids to see from where they were sitting. There were 2 other ladies there, probably teachers aides but they were nice too. After I talked a bit they asked me to draw a picture for them. I saw a bunch of markers on the dry erase board and immediately the 2 that jump out at me is the green and purple so I figure I'll draw the Incredible Hulk for them. It turned out... well?... very elementary appropriate especially since the purpl came out looking more pink than purple and the markers were running dry and I didn't want to use all their ink and it looked like it was done by a 7 year old, but the kids loved it. At the end I gave them all business cards which my wife made for me last year that had a picture I drew. They loved that too.
Coming from Hilo, something like this is pretty much out of left field, but to have this as an option for kids to aim for is to me pretty awesome. See I grew up having people telling me to stop drawing. Get your head out the clouds. All that stuff. And I actually did listen for a while. Until a twist of fate left me in bed for almost a year. A major car accident left me with a broken spine, not knowing if I'd be able to walk- let alone work. So I started drawing again. And long story short here I am. I wish I never stopped. To get to where I am now, even to get to where I want to be- I have to keep drawing. I had to draw myself here, and to progress I have to keep on drawing. Which I love to do so it's not like it's a terrible challenge. But trust me when I say this- it is a challenge. Life gets in the way. Bills need to get paid, family needs time to be family. And in the beginning the drawing had to take a backseat to all priorities, until it worked its way up that list.
Mrs. Michaud asked me if I had any tips and because I had little time so my best advice would be to keep drawing and draw what you like to draw. It's that love and interest that will push you to improve- to get better. If your drawing something you're not into then it feels like work and you'll burn out. But doing it because it's fun will create repetition. And after mastering one thing you'll want to add to it. That will spring new things. So the first part is just getting to a place where you are comfortable doing it all the time. Everything else comes after that. But this applies to not just drawing comics- whatever you want to do creatively almost always starts from drawing. People become painters, inkers, design artists, fashion designers, colorists, illustraters, all types of careers spring out from one thing- the love of drawing.
My son is the perfect example. He can stay at his art table for hours- literally. He draws on the kitchen table and most times we have to make him clean it up so we can eat. Last week for spring break they (my 3 kids) went with my in-laws (in Honolulu) who wanted to take them out. My son insisted on staying home(and by home I mean my in-laws house for spring break) so he could draw, or spend some quality time with his art table. I try to nourish that as much as possible. Had my parents known what I do now I'd probably be way ahead of where I am now. It's not that they didn't support me, they did. They just didn't know "how" or "why" this stuff was so important. With the right kind of support so many doors can be opened. If I can I'll open every door for "all" our kids here in Hilo. Sky is the limit. And they're gonna open even more doors for the generations after them.