When you’re creating artwork, the “rules” are never quite as clear as teachers might like …
This kind of exchange happens all the time during my Comics Workshops, especially after a long, snowy school day! Some young artists always want to know what they CAN and CAN’T draw in the classroom setting. Sometimes I feel like the student is looking for an authority figure to tell him (and it’s almost always a boy) something easy and clear, like, “NO, absolutely no VIOLENCE. Be APPROPRIATE!” Instead, I like to put the student into the decision-making position of the capital-A “Artist”: “Yes, we all can draw anything we can imagine… However, you have to decide what you’re going to draw and WHY!”
As I reflected on this particular class, I realized that we had ALL driven past a town historical marker that depicts one early New Londoner’s “pioneer” experience (hinting at the genocidal elimination of the previous native population & suppression of their history), limb-amputating war experience in the Revolution, as well as other life experiences afterwards. (For that story, click NEXT above.) Appropriate? Of course!
AT ALL TIMES, no matter WHAT stories we’re telling, we are drawing and reflecting (and learning about) our local history and contemporary culture… Especially if we really pay attention!