Today is the perfect day for a long awaited blog entry. Thunderstorms are looming over Lansing and the rest of lower Michigan, and I’ve spent the morning clearing my room out of things I don’t use or want anymore, and thinking about my future.
And yes, all of the above has to do with comics. I have some very, very exciting news I’ve been waiting to officially announce.
I will be moving to Portland, OR in three weeks to attend the Independent Publishing Resource Center‘s year long comics and graphic novels certificate program. WHOO HOO!
I am beyond stoked! I visited the center in June and met with Justin, the director, who was nice enough to show me around (they have a FANTASTIC zine library) and introduce me to a couple of the instructors. I also met some of the current comics and graphic novel students. I saw some of their work, which reflects the diversity of levels and styles in the program.
In short, the space is awesome. They offer pretty affordable classes (letterpress, screenprinting, and other various art and writing classes. They also have year-long certificate programs in fiction/non-fiction and poetry) and seem to be very community oriented. I’m hoping to learn a lot about how spaces like the IPRC work, what makes them successful, and how to maybe start one of my own somewhere else someday, the latter being a very long term goal.
But i’d like to talk about why I’m excited about this program. The artists who are teaching in this program (Annie Murphy, Nicole Georges, and Jesse Reklaw, just to name a few) are all Portland-based comic artists who have made a name for themselves while still being invested in the DIY/zine aspect of comics. On top of that, they all do incredible work and I’m really excited to be learning from them. Also, Craig Thompson, author of Blankets and Carnet de Voyage, will be one of many guest lecturers this semester. I am also looking forward to making comics in a setting where lots of other people are making comics too. I’m hoping to expand my work and experiment with other styles. I also aspire to start an autobiographical strip about moving to Portland, just to get myself back into practice.
So, that’s my exciting news. Watch for upcoming projects and updates on my move/time in PDX!