Our community college is growing fast, with more skilled graduates entering the workforce. I was privileged to speak on Wednesday to a Design class about my work at Corley Funeral Home, my VisualFling gallery and blog, and also freelance art work through the Corsicana Art League, the Southwestern Watercolor Society, and the University of Texas at Tyler Art Club, plus I am learning children’s book illustration in my (cough) spare time. Yes, I had a lot to share.
Probably the most important point I could make to them as designers and artists is to keep learning new skills, and meet other artists in the community through their local art associations. In a smaller town like ours it might also help their job searches to be more flexible. My first job in marketing started as an internship where I started out answering the phone and other aspects of the business over time.
After me was a local computer network safety professional, Dr. Chase Cunningham, who has co authored a book with Heather Dahl to help children (and parents) learn good internet practices.
The “Cynja” series has a graphic novel format and the “Cynsei” trains cyber-ninja “Cynja” heroes to defeat internet worms, zombies, and botnets. There is also a field training manual to help kids learn through games and puzzles how to write safe passwords, recognize when to alert their parents or teachers, and how to keep their computers clean from viruses and other threats. They also have a book website and newsletter at thecynja.com for kids and parents.
Dr. Cunningham, father of two children, shared how he could not find material like this for his children, but his job made him aware of the need. He also introduced students to the process of creating storyboard sketches, finding and artist and working through revisions, and other aspects of publishing his book.
The artist for “The Cynja” is Shirow di Rosso. He maintains a website with his Cynja images at http://www.mentalpictures.be/ plus a portfolio of comic book and graphic novel characters at http://www.hireanillustrator.com/i/portfolio/shirow-di-rosso/.
Read the article about Chase Cunningham’s visit to the Corsicana Library children’s hour earlier in the same day he visited with us at Navarro College: http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/news/cyber-safety-cunningham-crafts-comics-for-kids/article_1f89d63c-d1b9-11e4-9c00-3372261745cf.html