Budding artists sharpen skills with Comic Strippers

SVSU’s Comic Strippers visited Saginaw’s Butman-Fish Library on Saturday, April 25, to teach children and teenagers how to draw.

Members of the registered student organization collaborate to create drawings, comics and artistic work and to volunteer in the community.

“We love drawing, though some of us are writers,” visual arts education and secondary education senior Jolyn Ohlendorf said. “We just like the collaborative spirit of the comics. We want to be able to make them, so together, (we have the) chance to do that.”

For about four years, members of the Comic Strippers have been collaborating with the public libraries of Saginaw to host drawing workshops. Though the workshops are meant for tweens and teens, children as young as eight years old often attend.

“We teach children how to draw cartoons,” psychology senior Neil Richardson said. “For these events, we mostly just teach them how to draw fun, simple layouts.”

“In the last event, I showed them how to do the proportions of the face,” senior Adam Blackett added.

Other members of the club, Blackett said, taught the children how to draw proportional bodies, clothing and even monsters.

“I always do monsters,” Richardson said. “It’s a crowd favorite.”

In previous years, the Comic Strippers hosted only one workshop per year. Now, however, the group hosts them twice per year. Members have been in contact with the Bay City Public Library System, hoping to lead more workshops in the local area.

Richardson said that as the workshops have grown in popularity, he enjoys seeing new faces mixed with familiar ones.

“We have regulars that come … and you start to recognize who the kids are, so that’s really cool,” he said.

“(Attendance at the workshops) is on a registration basis at this point because so many people have heard about it,” Ohlendorf said.

All 40 spots available in the workshop on Saturday were filled.

As a registered student organization, the Comic Strippers are always looking for new members interested in art or design. Blackett said students don’t need to be experienced artists to join the Comic Strippers.

Members meet to discuss their work, provide critiques, give suggestions and share resources with one another.

“The one thing we can guarantee is that your drawing level will improve if you stay here long enough,” he said.

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