It’s “Comics 101” with Visiting Artist at St. Joseph’s Indian School

A recent visiting artist visit had students exploring their comic book creativity.

Fourth through seventh-grade students at St. Joseph’s Indian School let their imaginations loose in the wonderful world of comics led by visiting artist Dylan Jacobson the week of October 17.

If you think that is just silly business, consider that the comic book industry is experiencing a surge in growth and diversity.

As expected, storyteller and comic artist Jacobson had an anything-but-dull approach. Art classes met two or three times during the week and began with a game “to get into the headspace of a comic character.”

The story template was, “I am an adjective noun who verbs, and my name is blank.”

Comic artist and illustrator, Dylan Jacobson, leads students through the process of comic book creation from start to finish.

Jacobson invited students to focus on each aspect intensely. Adjective: What is the character like – funny, fierce, strong, angry? Noun: What will their character look like? Verb: What does the character do?

Some students conjured up entirely new characters, like the mustachioed hamburger designed by one student named Gunner. Others focused on old favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants.

The students’ work will be published as a book and available in the St. Joseph’s Indian School library for continued enjoyment.

The move to illustration followed. Jacobson counseled the students, “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”

His sentiment is echoed on Rachel Art classroom wall at St. Joseph’s Indian School, “We turn our mistakes into masterpieces.”

Students practiced drawing their comic book characters through the method of first drawing simple shapes.

The visiting artist walked students through a trade trick.

“All comic characters are made of simple shapes,” he explained, adding that this technique allows them to be drawn repeatedly in flexible but recognizable ways. The three circles that are the foundation of Mickey Mouse became a simple example. He advised that, with practice, this trick becomes evident over time.

Perhaps best of all, the students’ work will be published as a book and available in the school library for continued enjoyment.

The visit was made possible in part through the South Dakota Arts Council Artists in Schools & Communities (AISC). AISC is a residency program for K-12 schools and community organizations, with matching funds from the South Dakota Arts Council.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

3 thoughts on “It’s “Comics 101” with Visiting Artist at St. Joseph’s Indian School”

  1. Blessings, love to see the work the children do,, a long time supporter of St. Joseph,, thank you fir all the info!!

  2. Wonderful program… great to see something like this… I was an illustrator and commercial graphics artist for 65 years, and while I’m not all that active anymore, I haven’t lost interest. And to see this kind of thing being introduced for the clever, smart, talented Lakota children and seeing how they take to it is most rewarding. Years ago, I taught a class that offered those who thought they couldn’t “draw” a way to help them get to a place in their minds where they could not only draw, but do the kind of artwork they’d most love to do. It was a six week course for adults (only because it was offered through a college) and had many students at the final session bring their amazing works of art into the class to share in the honors of doing really good and expressive artwork and knowing they could continue to create beautiful and satisfying works for as long as they desired. And with the children, helping to steer their minds to the best most promising place for that kind of work, and them just doing it… again, so rewarding. For everyone! :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))

  3. I enjoyed reading the artical. I’ve been helping support the school and these articles give me a lot of on-site. Thank you for that!

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