“Drawing is easier to teach than critical thinking. Don’t get me wrong, rendering well is a tremendous asset for a cartoonist. Still, I think it is often over emphasized. In fact, many of the great cartoonists sublimate their drawing skills and instead favor a style that relies more heavily on graphic design. They distill images until they function more as language or picture-writing.”— James Sturm, journal for Slate.com about running the Center for Cartoon Studies
Here’s what I want: I want a graduate program (MFA, MA, PhD, whatever) that combines a great books program, a creative writing MFA program, a studio art MFA program, a graphic design program, and an information design program, all rolled into one. It’s contents will look something like this:
- information design (including diagramming, cartography, infographics)
- graphic design
- book design, publishing
- figure drawing
- color theory
- printmaking (including woodcut and screenprinting)
- fiction/non-fiction/graphic novel workshops
- Shakespeare, Dickens, Bible
- Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gogol, Babel
- Flannery O’Connor, Faulkner, Barry Hannah
- Vonnegut and Elmore Leonard (in cheap paperback)
- Edward Tufte, all books
- comics, comics, and more comics
- QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Flash
If anyone out there knows of such a place, contact me immediately.
Until then, I’ll be tearing my hair out, scouring Google, studying for the GRE, and trying to fit what it is that I want to do into some kind of disciplinary track of study.
If you want to study pictures, there are places for that. If you want to study words, there are places for that, too. If you want to study pictures and words and what happens when you put them together? Good luck.