I was invited by my talented artist friend James Giardina, who also teaches art at a high school in Brooklyn, to come in and speak to his students about my career as an artist a few days after the Conception show.
After seeing me draw in permanent marker for the first time, he understood my work in a new way and realized that “I’ve created an abstracted way to draw realistically.” He thought it would also be beneficial for his students to see me create one, so I got excited to share my technique with the class.
After introducing my artwork, explaining my career path, and talking about the drawings I’ve made, the class was given their own pens and paper and told to follow along with what I do, or create their own.
I created a permanent marker drawing in 20 minutes for each class, and was impressed by their ability to create their own “circulism” drawings. Some were like mine, and some were of their own subjects, but EVERYTHING was in circles! It was so exciting to see them apply their own style to my technique, every single one was unique.
The 3rd period class was full of many young serious artists, and I was very eager to leave them inspired. I created a drawing of the ocean, which was a bit more difficult to copy, but they were up to the challenge and did beautifully. Very talented artists in that class.
By lunch, my first three drawings were already claimed by students. I felt like a celebrity!
After lunch, during the off-periods, many students from previous classes came back to the classroom and asked me to draw for them. I learned that I can create quick circular-drawing portraits in Sharpee, and that I love the look of blue Sharpee for moonlight.
After the off-periods, I spoke to the largest class (30 students) who were very animated and curious about my work. After I explained where I was in my art career, I even got a “You go girl!!!” from one of the kids in the back.
The final class was full of graduating kids, and it was basically an independent study class. I drew one of the students while they worked, and at the end the whole class gathered around to see the result.
While sharing my art with them was an incredibly supportive and validating experience, I was humbled by their kindness, passion, and confidence in their work. These are all brilliant artists. “Mr. G” has really made a difference in their lives, and I hope that my visit also helped them have the confidence to take the path to succeed at their dreams.