Cre­ative Space

Leap­ing into su­per­hero cen­tral, NYC, we catch up with Charles D Chenet to talk about his rev­o­lu­tion­ary comic book draw­ing group inspired by the Will Eis­ner Stu­dio

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - Charles is the founder of Dare2Draw, a non-profit men­tor­ing plat­form for all artists. He still serves in the Air Force Re­serves. www.dare2draw.org

New York’s Dare 2 Draw.

Charles D Chenet started Dare2Draw five years ago, fol­low­ing his res­ig­na­tion from the US Air Force. He put ev­ery­thing on the line, in­clud­ing his pen­sion, to start some­thing he be­lieved in and he wished had been avail­able to him: an af­ford­able men­tor­ing process for comic artists.

Charles be­gan by build­ing a stu­dio in Har­lem, New York. “I wanted to use a proven model of hard work and com­mit­ment, like the clas­sic ap­pren­tice­ship stu­dios along the lines of the Will Eis­ner Stu­dio,” he says. “Tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues to make it eas­ier for peo­ple to pro­duce their own con­tent and put it out there, which has cre­ated a plat­form for a lot of voices but very few cho­ruses. The only uni­fied voice seems to be com­ing from large cor­po­ra­tions, mak­ing it even harder for in­de­pen­dent tal­ent to be recog­nised and dis­cov­ered.”

Since Charles saw no union or real rep­re­sen­ta­tion for artists, he felt com­pa­nies were pitch­ing artists against each other – cre­at­ing a com­pet­i­tive and un­healthy space. “There’s a per­pet­ual tread­mill for any work­ing artist, with a line be­hind them of freshly grad­u­ated art stu­dents, try­ing to get the same jobs.” So Charles cre­ated a prov­ing ground for artists where pro­fes­sion­als can be easily reached. The pro artists can give back to their com­mu­nity while new­com­ers gain in­valu­able con­tacts and tips.

“Art stu­dents and as­pir­ing car­toon­ists can get to­gether, learn some­thing and get some cool, new art sup­plies from our spon­sors,” says Charles. His five-year jour­ney, to boldly go where no car­toon­ist has gone be­fore, has been for him, “a glo­ri­ous trek… bring­ing the events from bars and con­ven­tion rooms to dif­fer­ent art or­gan­i­sa­tions. We’re cur­rently pro­duc­ing a TV show, see­ing amaz­ing tal­ent with some truly awe­some men­tor­ing artists shar­ing tips and sto­ries of their own jour­neys – ex­cit­ing times!”

Steve Rude “the Dude” shares some tips, as he does an oil paint­ing demo, dur­ing an event held at the Art Stu­dents League of New York.

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