Teaching is an important part of my work as an artist. I learn a lot from my interactions with students and fellow teachers and I’m constantly bring these inspirations and challenges back to my drawing table. I’m always developing my theory and practice of teaching and over the years I’ve found that the best classrooms, regardless of the level or age, are student-directed. As a teacher I try to stay out of the way. I give my students projects to work on from the first hour of a workshop or class and I ask them to regularly interact and collaborate with one another. In the best classes I find myself simply cheering from the sidelines by the end as the class collectively brings the project to the finish line.
I taught comics and ink drawing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 2000-2012 and I have simultaneously maintained a practice of teaching workshops ranging from a few hours to five days in a variety of settings all around the western (so far!) world. I’ve taught mainly university-level students and adults but I’ll occasionally work with secondary school students. I teach in French and Spanish in addition to my native English.
Jessica Abel and I have written two highly-regarded comics textbooks, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures (2007) and Mastering Comics (2010), both published by First Second Books. There is a website dedicated to those two books which is chockfull of resources. Additionally, my book 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style (2005) is used in all kinds of classrooms around the world to teach the fundamentals of comics, editing, style and storytelling.
I’m always looking for new opportunities to teach at schools, libraries, museums or festivals so get in touch with me via my contact page if you’d like to work with me.
You can get an idea of my teaching experience by looking at my CV and you can get a first-hand sense of what my workshops and classes are like by reading these posts from my blog: