This past Saturday morning Antonio Johnson and I (Lin Workman) joined fellow MSCA member Grace Smith at the Little House Art Project in Southaven, MS. Antonio was there to share some techniques in Clip Studio Paint on his laptop, and I was there to have the students draw sketchcards. Grace is a longtime student at the art class and helped us and instructor Rebecca Treadway with getting everything set up and organized.
I’ve come out to the classes a few times now- teaching how to draw comics, covers, and creating characters with shapes.
I was first invited out by Vicky Neyman, who at the time was the director of the DeSoto Arts Council. Unfortunately for this class Vicky was home sick and couldn’t make it.
I don’t consider myself a great teacher, but love sharing what I know with others. I always get a bit anxious before the classes start, but end up having a fun time talking toons with the students. Antonio and I both discussed writer/artist’s block and how intimidating it can be staring at a blank page. One student was worried about her characters being too similar. We gave her some ideas of how to fix that and a ‘lightbulb‘ popped on over her head. It was great to see someone’s eyes go from frustration to inspiration. We just gave a few suggestions and told her what we liked about the characters, as well as some ways to battle future creative blocks. Look forward to seeing what she does with her characters and art moving forward.
The MSCA’s Martheus Antone Wade and Kevin L. Williams have both been Little House art instructors as well.
Kevin brought Muley The Mule along and taught them how to make paper bag puppets and draw toons.
Martheus taught comic book art and some martial arts instruction.
Antonio had a \S/uper time drawing with the class and seeing some of their work in their sketchbooks and devices. Many of the students in the class work digital, while some only prefer to work traditionally. I brought along some MSCA sketchcard blanks, my markers, and some reference books. We had around 20 or so autistic art students.
I think the class had a great time, too- especially after they understood exactly what a sketchcard was! Hey, most folks don’t know what they are…I didn’t when I was first introduced to them.
I had a few students ask me, “What do we do with them..?” and “What do we draw on them..?” I explained that they could draw anything they wanted, with anything they wanted, and do anything they wanted with them when they were done.
Sketchcards are basically blank trading cards you can draw on in pencil, pens, markers, paint- or whatever. They are usually the same size as baseball cards, but some are larger and some are smaller. They can be collected, traded, gifted, or sold. I gave them all some plastic sleeves to protect their cards. Last time I was there I was able to donate some Bristol paper and markers that weren’t used for the Quick Draw panel at MidSouthCon that year, plus leave behind some art books for them to share.
The sketchcards I do professionally (for companies like Topps, Cryptozoic, Breygent, RRParks CARDS, etc.) are randomly inserted into trading card packs- kind of like golden tickets in Wonka chocolate bars. Sketchcards are very sought after collectibles and can go for anywhere from a few dollars each to several hundred…or more!
Some of the students also just sketched, filling up entire sheets of paper which is always fun. I really need to do that more often myself. Been too long since I’ve worked in a sketchbook.
The artistic autistic group recently did an art show at the Southaven Library in conjunction with the Southaven Arts Council. It’s become an annual event for the artists.
It was on display in the lobby of the library for the month of April– which is Autism Awareness Month. It was a great mix of traditional and digital art.
Thanks to Vicky, Rebecca, Grace, and all the volunteers and students at the Little House Art Project for having us out. I hope to be back again soon. Really wish I had a group like this to hang out with when I was growing up and learning. Makes me thankful for getting into the MSCA in my twenties, and one of the reasons I try to promote it and any art groups I encounter. It’s so important to share knowledge and inspire each other.
Little House Art Project began as an idea born of an art program for special needs children, but why stop with artistically gifted, special needs teen? Many teens yearn for art instruction. It is an opportunity for all teens to learn more about fundamentals of art. Studies in light sources, painting still life, and more will be explored in this series of classes.
Little House Art Project
2126 Stateline Road East
Ages 12 & up – 10:00 a.m. to Noon
$20.00 – All supplies included
Limited seating – The Arc NWMS will adhere to the most recent safety guidelines given by Governor Reeves or our local leaders.
Reserve your spot today.
1. Click the DONATE button to pay for your $20 class fee.
2. Bring a check for $20 made payable to “The Arc NWMS” to class.
3. Bring $20 cash to class.
Scheduled Dates for 2022
August 13 (rsvp August 10)
September 10 (rsvp September 7)
October 8 (rsvp October 5)
November 12 (rsvp November 9)
December 10 (rsvp December 7)
Please contact The Arc NWMS for more information at
901-907-9041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.