The two classes in high school that affected me the most were humanities and cartooning (Yes, we had a comics class elective). Adina, Suzanne, Jeff and Daniel taught me how to read critically, construct essays, defend my thesis and to find my voice through writing. Lin and David gave me absolutely invaluable guidance in how to translate my scripts into thumbnails, layout a comics page, keep it visually balanced, keep the POV interesting, let the drawings speak for themselves and to find my voice through comicking.
Quite honestly, I use the lessons I learned from those two classes daily.
Next month, I'm heading up to Seattle to be a guest speaker in Adina's senior class because she's including I Like Girls in her curriculum.
In preparation for my trip I contacted Lin for the first time since graduation, hoping that maybe I could sneak into his cartooning class during my visit. Not only did he remember me but he wants to arrange for me to speak to his class too!
These teachers had such a powerful influence shaping me as an artist and a person. Now, almost ten years later, they're using my material in class and inviting me to speak to their students. Do they understand that they're the ones who gave me these tools in the first place? How can you even begin to adequately express your gratitude to someone for that?
Right now I'm feeling so very out-of-body, humbled and excited.
Growing up is weird.