By: Dave Astor
Syndicated comic creator Guy Gilchrist, who founded Guy Gilchrist’s Cartoonist’s Academy in 2005, is expanding his educational efforts in a variety of ways.
The Connecticut-based cartoonist is preparing to start an apprentice program for artists, and he has resumed writing “Drawn to Success” pieces.
“I had stopped doing them to concentrate on the cartoon academy,” Gilchrist told E&P today. “But I found out at comic conventions that ‘Drawn to Success’ was meaningful to people, so I decided to go back and begin doing them again.”
“Drawn to Success” — which can be seen on the Cartoonist’s Academy site and two other sites — offers advice for both aspiring and more advanced artists. It may end up being turned into a book by Gilchrist, who has written and/or illustrated more than 40 children’s books.
The cartoonist also co-creates the “Nancy” comic for United Media, and does the “Night Lights & Fairy Flights” (formerly “Night Lights & Pillow Fights”) strip for Gilchrist Features, “Your Angels Speak” for Gilchrist Features and DBR Media, and “The Poetry Guy” for DBR Media.
Under the apprentice program, aspiring cartoonists will get to work on those features with Gilchrist and his assistants — honing skills such as lettering, inking, writing, drawing, coloring, marketing, and time management. These apprentices will also be able to develop their own creations, and have those creations put in online and CD portfolios that “they can take out in the real world to try to begin their professional careers,” said Gilchrist.
The “Drawn to Success” pieces are also designed to help talented artists get work in today’s digital age. Gilchrist writes about the importance of combining tried-and-true drawing techniques with the digital savvy cartoonists need today and for the future.
“Everything’s in a state of flux,” Gilchrist said of the cartooning world. “How do we make money in the new digital age? That’s what we all struggle with.”
Guy Gilchrist’s Cartoonist’s Academy (the subject of an E&P Online story last July 27) offers relatively inexpensive on-site and online courses all year round, cartoon camps in the summer, and more. The academy’s instructors include Gilchrist and other professional artists, and some of the school’s advisors are syndicated cartoonists.
“I love doing ‘Nancy’ and other features,” said Gilchrist, “but I also love the energy between me and my students.”
He added: “You have no idea how badly students want to learn and master drawing and the communicative arts. Art is the global language. It’s a shame arts programs are underfunded and disappearing in our American schools.”