My “job shadow” watches as I ink a MAD job
I do a fair amount of speaking to local middle school, high school and occasionally college classes about cartooning and illustration… usually a handful of times a year or so. I also host internships for college art students at my theme park operations where they work as caricaturists for the summer and get college credits. This past week I did something I’ve never done before: “job shadow”.
Job shadow is a high school program where a student finds a professional working in whatever field interests them and then “shadows” them on the job for all or part of a day. Then they write a report on the experience. We sort of had this in school as well, but it was “bring your kid to work day” and we just went to work with a parent and then did a report on it. My dad was the manager of a grocery store, which interested me not at all, so I sat in the store break room and drew all day. “Job shadow” is a little more specific.
My niece Brittanie called me up and said she had a classmate who was an aspiring artist and wondered if he could job shadow me one day… like TOMORROW. I was trying to beat a deadline on a MAD job and was on the final stretch of the inking, so I thought that would work out well. The next day a young man named Luke showed up at the studio and spent about 4 hours watching me ink while we chatted about freelance illustration, cartooning, caricature, MAD and in general what it’s like to try and make a living with a pencil and a drawing board. Fortunately my two decades of drawing live caricatures trained me in the fine art of talking and drawing at the same time… and being able to draw with someone looking over my shoulder. It’s funny but all the live caricaturists I know take it for granted that everyone can do that, but in reality a lot of cartoonists can’t draw in front of people at all.
Luke and me
Anyway it went by fast and Luke was a very attentive student. He asked a lot of good questions. I hope he got something out of it.
All you pro cartoonists out there should contact your local high school and let them know you are available for something like that. I sure wish I would have had that opportunity when I was a senior in high school.
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842 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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