Thursday, June 05, 2008

Professor Marie

Yesterday, I agreed to teach Advanced Digital Coloring to SVA cartooning seniors for the 2008-2009 school year.

When the department chairman initially contacted me last autumn, I'd said No. I expected to be sent back to Cairo within a few months.

But my life evolved, and when my company asked me to go to Cairo, I refused. I was committed to staying here to work through the crap that I touch on here on this blog. I wrestle with creative freefall, mid-life disappointment, and emotional disconnect*—legitimately earned over years of self-reliance and independent living but once built, demolition comes slowly with no one but myself to ultimately deconstruct that which I've had help building—and usually solve it by searching out distraction overseas. I was determined to wait it out, to let the walls I've built slowly dissolve in order to regain my center. (Progress has occurred but been frustratingly slow. This is, I believe, quite normal.)

And since I was going to be here anyway, I first committed to participating in the CUNY Graduate Center's Writers Institute. Do I need a class to help me get a book published? No, I'm currently working on my fifth book. (Yes, I really am now. After yesterday's blog post, I realized how ridiculous I was being and got right to work.) Could I use some discipline? Hell yeah. I sent them half the tuition up front.

Then once I had financially committed to hanging around, it was a no-brainer to accept the teaching gig.

I'm going to ask Matt and Steve to help me by letting me deconstruct a page each, so that I can have the students learn their techniques. These two men are excellent colorists but have completely different styles.

I'll talk more about the curriculum later, but for now, the joke is on me. I don't know why I was so obsessed with readjusting and no longer feel the slightest need to pretend to be someone I absolutely am not. (I feel a twinge of panic at the idea of delaying my West Africa expedition for another year, like somehow I won't be capable of improvising on the road once I'm out of practice.) And yet here I am.

And you know what?

There are worse things than having to hang around New York for a year.

* I know, small price to pay for the wonderful adventures I've had. It's been a harsher trade-off than I ever expected the day I quit Marvel to go around the world the first time, but the scales do ultimately balance.


Steve Buccellato said...

"There are worse things than having to hang around New York for a year."


Matt Hollingsworth said...

You know, Steve and his then color partner (Mark?) are the ones who helped me when I was starting Photoshop by spending time on the phone with me and telling me the little setup tricks and such. I'm happy to lend a hand, of course. And, congrats to you for the sticking around thing. I'm sure you'll have fun.

Matt Hollingsworth said...

BTW, thanks for that, Steve!

Marie Javins said...

Marc! He's around here somewhere. We are Shake Shack buddies.

Marc Siry said...

Twenty years of friendship reduced to 'Shake Shack buddies?'

Actually, Marie was my landlord. ;-)

I think this is a great move for you, Marie. It's a good expansion of many of your skills into a new 'market' for you, and it will get you interacting with a whole new set of professionals in related fields.

I'm far from the color world nowadays, but let me know how I can help you out.

Marie Javins said...

Actually, Marc was the guy who gave me a lift to the police station the time my rental car was stolen in L.A.

And I think Marc actually owned Steve's Ninja motorcycle when I wrecked it. (I wasn't the first or the last to do so).

Marc came to the L.A. Greyhound station in the middle of the night on his motorcycle to get me when I had the stupid idea to take buses around the country in the early 90s.

And Marc is the only person I know with crazier car and apartment stories than my own.

Matt Hollingsworth said...

And, thanks to YOU Marc!

Linda said...

Congrats on the teaching gig!