Calling teen illustrators: Explora offering classes that bridge film industry gap

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Explora is offering virtual classes for local teen artists who are interested in learning more about sequential art. Teen Science Cafe Comics will teach students about comic and graphic novel art, and how they can apply these skills to work in the film industry.

Abigail Butler, one of Explora’s artists in residence, instructs the workshops and said students will get an introduction into the illustrative side of creating stories and films, something she wishes New Mexico had a clearer pipeline for. “It’s interesting coming into it as an entertainment industry artist because New Mexico prides itself on being ‘the state of art’, but entertainment art and pop art are not talked about, almost taboo,” Butler said.

Butler has experience in various mediums like watercolor painting, illustrating and comic art. She said it’s important to her that the classes are structured in such a way that allows for ideas and questions from the students. “I want people to know that especially here in New Mexico, if you’re drawing comics, that’s not a dead-end for you. That’s not where your head should go when that’s something you like doing,” Butler said.

Having already taught a similar iteration of this class, Butler said she is open to anyone who is interested in storytelling and hopes to create that foundational knowledge that artists can use if they choose to pursue this as a career. “Comics as sequential art is a good basis for a lot of different things and understanding of the film industry and pretty much any kind of entertainment industry job,” Butler said.

She wants students to leave the workshop with a better sense of what the process is like and what each job consists of, including the technical sides of the art like how to capture movement and thinking about camera angles when illustrating. “Comics can work for either live-action film or animation, it’s useful for all things, including storyboarding which every film needs,” Butler said.

The first 20 participants that register for the event will receive a free art kit including specialized comic layout paper. Classes will be on Mar. 10, 17 and 24 over Zoom from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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