Just taught my final class at Place des Arts for the foreseeable future. While it was sad to say goodbye, it was an amazing feeling to have so many students want me to stay. Ended the semester with full classes, and rumours of a wait list for the next. (I’ll be leaving things in good shape for the next instructor!) A couple students brought gifts, but the card I received from one student who thanked me for being a “great mentor” really made my day. I even got to liken James Frey’s “agency” with summoning a Crossroads demon in Supernatural. And my students knew exactly what I was talking about. My life is awesome.
Over the last few weeks, I taught several workshops at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. My afternoons were spent with the 8-12 year olds, working on comics that they starred in. How did I do that, you may ask?
First, the students created characters – completely independently and not as a group. (I find this is key.) They were then randomly placed into groups, with strange characters (one group had Darth Vader and a genie,) where they wrote a two-page comic.
Next, I used my green screen as background. The students then chose from a plethora of props and costumes, and posed in place as a photo was snapped. The photo is then uploaded into a program called Comic Life Magiq (unfortunately, this is a version no longer available,) and the green screen background is replaced with one of the student’s choice.
The morning I spent with the teens, and we worked on making a magazine. The students created an amazing product that they designed and wrote – and then using iBooks we created a pdf and iBook version.
All in all, it was a fantastic couple of weeks at Place des Arts with dozens of children and teens who all worked hard at stretching their creative brain even though it was sunny and hot outside. As for me, I found it inspiring and encouraging to see so many youth so happy and having such a great time. And yes, I even managed to get my own writing done!
One of the summer programs I’m teaching this year is, “See Yourself In A Comic,” at Place des Arts. This is a unique way of approaching comics, as it puts the student in the comic as the main character. Over the course of five days, we design characters, write a script and use photographs to make a sequential panelled story.
I can’t show you the finished products (due to legal and contractual reasons,) but I can show you some of the pre-design work the kids did. This was a class of 8-12 year olds, who all had a blast starring in their own comic.
The classes continue throughout July and part of August, are one-week each, and are for one hour. There is still some room left in a few of the classes – so sign up now!