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January 9, 2019

CCS Illustrations - Part 1: Academic Outreach

In 2016, after eight years teaching on the faculty in a variety of courses, I started a new job at The Center for Cartoon Studies, as their Director of Academic Outreach.  It is a fun, challenging job in which I try to help prospective students find out about the school in a variety of ways.

Since it is a new position and I have been creating a lot of new programs (with the help of the rest of the CCS administrative team!) there have been a lot of opportunities to create illustrations to communicate these new ideas. I thought I would write a few posts to feature some of this work.

Academic Outreach Homepage

One of the main aspects of my job is skyping into college comics classrooms or student-run comics clubs as a visiting artist.  It is free for the hosting school (CCS pays my fee) and as a trade, I start with a 10-minute slideshow about CCS, and then give a lecture about a variety of comics topics for the rest of an hour.  

I created the spot illustrations below to get across this idea, which were used on the Academic Outreach Homepage, on the CCS homepage, and on CCS's social media (Instagram, Twitter).

For the vertical banner, I used CCS's "Telegraph Building" which is one of three buildings that comprise the CCS campus.

The Colodony Surprise Department store has been featured in countless CCS promotional materials, because for the first few years the entire school was run out of that one building.  The Post Office Building, which was purchased in 2010 is now home to the Schulz Library and is where most of the day-to-day instruction happens, so it has been featured in various promotional materials as well.

But to my knowledge, CCS has never featured the Telegraph Building, which is home to senior studio space, the A/V room (where Jon Chad and I used to house our pinball machines!), off-site library storage, and some original art storage.  It actually used to be the communications hub where the Upper Valley communicated by telegraph and telephone.  It is now connected to a giant internet building owned by the local tel-com company.  I took some artistic license, adding satellite dishes on top, to boost its signal.

CCS Awareness Day

Each year CCS has an "awareness day" where we try to get alumni to all go on social media on the same day to talk about their positive experiences at CCS.  There is no advertising budget for CCS, so it's a great way to increase our visibility.  I created the spot illustration below for the 2017 campaign, which features CCS's founder, Inky Solomon, and his dog, Panels, who are the cartoon mascots for the school.

CCS Info Sessions

Another part of my job is setting up "Info Session" events at various cities around the USA where local folks interested in CCS can learn about the school and hear a free comics lecture.  I create flyers for the events which can be shared online, or printed out as flyers to be handed out at the venue.  Here are two (with some reused elements) for events I hosted in Los Angeles and Albuquerque.

Portfolio Reviews

Since beginning my new job as Director of Academic Outreach, I now often represent CCS when I am tabling at comics conventions.  Here is an illustration I created to promote free portfolio reviews that I was giving at Short Run in 2018.  I designed this so that it is easy to reuse, simply by swapping out the show information in the lower right-hand corner.

Coffee Shop Meetups

In the Fall of 2018 I headed up a new initiative called CCS Coffee Shop Meetups.  I coordinated thirteen different meetups, hosted by CCS alumni and past-fellows, scattered around the country (and abroad!). Below is the branding image for the initiative, and then each of the thirteen events had its own flyer and social media posts, which followed the same format seen below for my event that was out here in Santa Fe, NM.

If any of these types of events sound like something you are interested in setting up, or participating in, feel free to drop me a line!  :)  outreach "AT" cartoonstudies "DOT" org

Believe it or not, I have two more posts planned with more illustration work that I have created for CCS since starting my new job there in 2016!

1 comment:

Ryan Claytor said...

These are great, Alec! Nice to see them all (or...I guess only some of them if there are more posts to come) in one place. I'll have to keep an eye out for more.

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that you've been in my Michigan State University classroom, albeit virtually. :) Looking forward to making it happen again!