Thursday, May 28, 2015

Student Testimonials

One of the chief pleasures of being an art instructor is getting to watch your former students turn pro, land book deals, go viral, win awards, ...

I can’t pretend to have taught these artists everything they know. Most are already better than I’ll ever be. But I was there early on, giving help along the way. And this is the thanks I get:

“You’re someone whose teaching I admire - you engage with each student’s work on an individual level but also get the whole class to come together as a group. Your workshops and exercises bring home each topic while making people excited to make their own work. I loved being in your class.”
Andrea Tsurumi

“...I took your class and found it fundamentally reoriented my approach to comics drawing. Just your summation of the PURPOSE of inking (it tells the reader how to read) turned my thinking about the page on its head. I am still digging through your class handouts on a regular basis and, on your sage advice, going to weekly life drawing sessions--the lone ink-toting artist in the room!  Tom Motley! You taught a great class that really helped me.”
A. K. Summers

“On the last session of illustration class, my piece came up for crit. The teacher had a dozen nits to pick on various things, but the one thing he lavished unqualified praise for was - the inking. Said it showed a reverence for the line, and was comforting to look at. I credit Tom Motley’s Inking Comics course.”
Van Hong

“Tom gets great work out of students at every level. He helps beginners get off the ground, while at the same time challenging more advanced students to reach for the next level on the long path to competence in cartooning.
His courses are thoughtfully designed, combining easy-to-absorb, game-changing insights into art-making with life drawing, loads of useful handouts, and exercises that make every week a true learning experience.
His style is entertaining and encouraging, and he has a masterful way of giving you the push you need to try harder and get better.”
Peter Shevenell

“Tom Motley has got a great comics mind in addition to his inking proficiency, and is an amazing resource to have. I don’t think I’d ever have developed the amount that I had without his insights when I was starting to take comics seriously.”
Matt Lubchansky

The summer session of Inking Comics is slated to begin in a week. Sign up soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Student Spotlight: Zachary Brunner and Ron Zoni

Here are two students from the spring semester Inking Comics course who took very different approaches and achieved outstanding results.

Here's Zachary Brunner's "Single Source Light" exercise. The assignment is to begin a comic story with an all black panel. In panel 2, a light comes on, and the comic develops from there.

In an earlier post, I teased you with one of the panels from Zachary's final project. Here's the whole thing:

Podcast DJ, Ron Zoni's cartooning tends more toward the whimsical and playfully experimental, often recalling classic humor styles.

Here's a page from his final...

...and here are images from Ron's sketchbook:

It's one of the paradoxes of cartooning that the first thing the reader sees, the inking, is the last thing the artist did. The first thing the artist does, get an idea, is last thing the reader sees. They have to read the whole comic to know what that was. Whatever type of cartoonist you choose to be, it's your inking that'll win people over.

Class begins June 5. Sign up soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Student Spotlight: More from Spring

I have more recent student work to share:

Jeremy Fuscaldo came to the Inking Comics final with this striking piece, just in time for May the Fourth. It appeared in Nyack News and Views.

Sibu Puthenveettil created the first page of this exciting story, also for Inking Comics. I'm eager to read more.

Here's a richly toned page from Rik Sansone's final Inking project. Rik creates editorial cartoons for the Clyde Fitch Report.

In the Figure Drawing for Cartooonists course, Gabriella Santiago-Vancak created this beautiful page-- another story I hope to read soon.

Sheetal Menka, in Cartooning Basics, sent these fantastic worksheets. Beyond their entertainment value, they can give you a sneak peek at the kinds of assignments I give.

Classes are enrolling right now and starting soon. Come sign up!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Student Spotlight: an Outstanding Spring Semester

Here are examples of the amazing group of students I was honored to instruct last semester.

David Beitzel, in the Cartooning Basics course, demonstrated delightful mastery of the comic strip. Follow Dave's blog here.

Laura Joh Rowland, also in the Basics class, created the first chapter of a finely crafted dramatic comic about a photographer trailing Jack the Ripper. Here's how it begins:

Peter Shevenell has appeared on my blog before. This time, he completed the Figure Drawing for Cartoonists course, focusing on 1970s era superheroes.

Zachary Brunner amazed us with his fine work in the Inking Comics class. Here's a panel from his final project,...

and here are a couple studies of one of our excellent models.

SVA employs the best art models. In the Inking course, we draw from models several times and in the Figure Drawing course we draw from models every second week.

And finally, Nathan Place, a.k.a. Difang, entertained us in the Inking class with his new online comic, which you can follow here. He posts a new page every Sunday night.

When such high calibre students come to me already knowing most of what they need, I'm able to help them fine tune and clarify key steps in the creative process. But don't let these folks intimidate you. These courses are helpful for students of all levels.

I'm collecting more examples of student work and hope to post more soon, so keep watching. Summer courses start in June. Come sign up.

Monday, May 11, 2015


All I had for The Brooklyn Rail this issue was the following bit of fluff:
Good morning.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Summer Classes are Enrolling Now!...

...and we need more students! Please help spread the word:
Thursdays, Cartooning Basics
Fridays, Inking Comics

Come talk to me at the info session Wednesday, May 13, 6:30-8:30 pm
209 East 23rd Street, room 311, 3rd floor