Cre­ative show­case for young­sters

Young At Art Chil­dren’s Mu­seum in Davie hosts its Fifth An­nual Comic Con­ven­tion

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - COMMUNITY - By Scott Fish­man

Teen artists got to show­case and sell their work at the Fifth An­nual Comic Con­ven­tion at Young At Art Chil­dren’s Mu­seum in Davie.

In ad­di­tion, YAA’s res­i­dent car­toon­ist, Rob Cabr­era, hosted a 3-D demon­stra­tion.

“There has been a spike in in­ter­est in art,” said Cabr­era, cre­ator of the “Silo Roberts” comic strip. “There are a lot of kids in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing art. Some years, there is some su­per­hero film that speaks to dif­fer­ent kids and makes them want to pick up that pen­cil and start draw­ing. This year, kids have been clam­or­ing for Captain America. It gen­er­ally starts with a ba­sic love of art.”

Gen­er­at­ing a lot of in­ter­est was the dis­play by 11-year-old Vic­to­ria Bay­lac, of We­ston. Bay­lac, di­ag­nosed with autism at age 2, be­gan draw­ing when she was 4. The bud­ding artist’s tal­ents have been nur­tured by Cabr­era’s classes.

Bay­lac also does work on the com­puter and Microsoft Paint, and cre­ated char­ac­ters with an­i­ma­tion on her Nin­tendo DS. Her in­spi­ra­tion comes from a va­ri­ety of sources.

“I like to draw ev­ery­thing,” she said. “I draw from car­toons, tele­vi­sion shows and video games.”

Lu­cia Mingo said this cre­ative out­let has helped her daugh­ter in so­cial set­tings.

“She is very shy and says she com­mu­ni­cates through her art,” Mingo said. “She tells me, ‘Mommy, my draw­ings are my se­cret weapons to mak­ing friends.’ She opens up when she shows her work.”

Jac­que­line Diaz, 16, came to the con­ven­tion for the first time.

“I do a lot of types of art,” she said. “I do sketches, face paint and body art, and some­times I sculpt. I read comics and write sto­ries, so I want to be able to draw pic­tures for them.”

Julie Jarema, 17, made her sec­ond ap­pear­ance at the event. The for­mer YAA volunteer is a fan of Dis­ney and Pixar an­i­ma­tion, which she likes to show in her work. Among the pieces at her ta­ble was a pair of can­vas shoes with a Dr. Seuss theme she de­signed.

“I started paint­ing shoes af­ter I did a pair with lo­gos of Broad­way shows for my friend’s birth­day,” she said. “She re­ally liked them, and some of my other friends of­fered to pay me. I now get sent pic­tures and do them for $25.”

Cabr­era is proud of the talented young­sters and happy they are given this op­por­tu­nity to show­case their work.

“I wish this sort of thing was around when I was a kid,” he said. “They didn’t have comic con­ven­tions for young artists. You had to have al­ready been work­ing for Marvel or DC [Comics] to even have a dis­play. They gain ex­po­sure through this and con­fi­dence in their own work. Most im­por­tantly, they de­velop a dis­ci­pline if they want to pur­sue this as a ca­reer. They de­velop busi­ness acu­men to best present them­selves.”

The fes­tiv­i­ties in­cluded a meet and greet with “Zoom Suit” cre­ator John Tad­deo, who gave out free comic books to chil­dren in at­ten­dance. Tate’s Comics also gave out free comics and sold su­per­hero mer­chan­dise.

Cabr­era will be work­ing on his an­i­mated project, “Mon­ica,” through the end of the year. The first of three movies is set to premiere in May at the Academy of Art’s Spring Show in San Fran­cisco, and he hopes to screen it at comic con­ven­tions and YAA’s new mu­seum next year.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Young At Art, call 954-424-0085 or visit www.youn­gatart­mu­seum.org.

STAFF PHOTOS BY BETH BLACK

Above, with the help of Natalie Mion, 10, of Mi­ra­mar, car­toon­ist Rob Cabr­era taught a crowd of chil­dren how to use col­ors to cre­ate an ef­fec­tive 3-D car­toon. The demon­stra­tion was part of the Fifth An­nual Comic Con­ven­tion at Young At Art Chil­dren’s...

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