I knew nothing about setting up a school, or curriculums, or teaching
Kubert graduate Steve Lieber share his memories of the school, and explains why it works so well
What was your time at Kubert like?
I was in the comics and illustration programme at the Kubert School from 1987 to 1990. I went in completely ignorant of even the basics of art. I didn’t understand how to draw basic forms. I didn’t know how perspective worked. I had never drawn with a brush. I’d never been exposed to basic colour theory. I had a faint grasp of storytelling from reading lots of comics, but I couldn’t tell why some things worked and some things didn’t. At the end of my three years there, I landed a storyboard job at the very first ad agency I visited, and I’ve been a steadily employed freelance artist ever since. I can’t say anything about what the school is like today, but at the time they gave me exactly the education I needed to launch my career.
What are your lasting memories of your time at the School?
My main memory of the Kubert School – or the Joe Kubert School as it was then – is of long and very intense discussions with a few of my classmates. We’d spend hours and hours discussing what we’d learned, scrutinising and criticising each others’ work and sharing our obsessive interests.
What advice would you give to those thinking of enrolling, and what will they get out of their time there?
My advice would to be to get as much extra feedback as you possibly can from the teachers you click with. Just because you did something for one teacher doesn’t mean another can’t give you a critique on it. Also, the hard-ass, highly demanding teachers are very often the best ones. You should seek them out.