This workshop was a wonderful part of our workshop series because it allowed exploration into telling stories through illustration. The exercises Jewels’ used allowed our youth to be comfortable with drawing and interpreting others drawings. Most of the youth that took this workshop were not visual artist and it was exciting to see them step out of their comfort zone and explore developing characters that they could sketch, give a name, and attributes to. One of the students whom is a poet by choice was excited to show me what his super hero attributes were. They included an arch, gymshoes, and wings. He was so in to developing these characteristics and symbols for his character that he said to me " wow I should get this for a tattoo.. this is what my tattoo would have in it". I am most impressed when our youth are able to think beyond the exercise that they are engaged in and reach a little further to associate their every day reality and or desires in relation to what is being taught. I thought this was a great experience for the girls in our class to see a successful African American Sistah creating such powerful work. The boys also benefited as they were given an opportunity to see that our Women are using their craft in the toon world to make positive and empowering works.
-Jaquanda M. Villegas, Co-Executive Director, Kuumba Lynx