Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School - Back to Work!

Last week was the beginning of the fall semester at Mohawk College where I teach (in the Graphic Design program). After the leisurely pace of summer life I'd grown accustomed to, the change to a more rigorous daily schedule sort of caught me off guard.


As a coordinator in the program I had faculty meetings to attend, scheduling conflicts to work out and, in the bustle of a campus that had suddenly come alive with activity, a million little unforeseen problems needed attending to.


With all of those responsibilities monopolizing my time I had to put the brakes on my plans for that week's TI topic.


Just the act of attaching names to all those fresh new faces in my classroom was a challenge, let alone actually teaching and supervising the start of their first assignments!


By the time we all packed up at the end of each day my voice was hoarse, my feet hurt, and my brain was fried.


All I wanted to do was get home and relax. After making dinner. And prepping the next day's lesson. And dealing with emails from administration. And, and, and... !


I want you to know I tried... I really did. I sat and scanned stuff and began transcribing an interview I'd done with a retired illustrator who I'd planned to feature - but I just couldn't get it done. I was just too tired! Those kids wore out! I was in bed at 9 o'clock every day last week!


Well, this week I'm determined to get back on track. I've got a wonderful series lined up and ready to go, which will start tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, I ask you to be patient. I'm really stoked about my courses at the college and have to make that my top priority. So if I drop the ball now and then, don't lose faith - I'm as passionate as ever about Today's Inspiration and your encouragement and support is what keeps me going.


* Incidentally, if you're at all curious about what I'm teaching, I started a blog for one of my courses (I'll be doing so for all of them eventually) where you can read about the assignments my students will be doing and follow their progress. Visit Promotional Illustration with professor Peng for more details!

* Ever wonder what I look and sound like? The college asked me (and a number of other new instructors) to participate in their current marketing campaign, called "Learn from Experience". Watch my video here.


  1. Anonymous11:06 AM

    Love your blog- I check it all the time.

    And as a middle school art teacher, it's nice to see that the college art teachers also are exhausted, horse, and brain dead by the end of the first week!


  2. Hey, thanks Mike! Your comment made my day - thanks for writing! My wife teaches middle school and last week the two of us were practically catatonic by 8 p.m. Seems we all need a little time to get our 'sea legs' back under us, eh? ;^)

  3. Hi! I just found your blog today, and I think it's really interesting :-)

    I don't know how much time you have to work with it, but I have a couple of suggestions; Ib Thaning and Jane Bark from Sweden.
    I also wonder if you'd like Martta Wendelin, from Finland, even though she worked in mostly in 30's and 40's... also check out Hannu Taina and Hans Arnold - both my favorites :-D

  4. Thanks for the suggestions, Ketutar :^)

  5. Charlie Allen5:24 PM

    Thanks for getting back on your horse this week, Leif. Mike, maybe it's good you're an art teacher....on the voice, it's spelled 'hoarse'. (Like I've never mis-spelled before!!) The first TI illustration, the family using the same bathroom, was done by an old friend, Lonnie Bee, who worked in our S.F. building on the floor just below us. We frequently visited, talked technique, competed for billboards, typical stuff. He did a lot of nice illustrations back east before moving to S.F.....a reverse of the usual move to N.Y. The 'family' illo was done in the 50's....when many homes had just one did ours at the time. Thanks again, and will look forward to seeing Professor Peng. Sock it to 'em, Prof!

  6. Charlie; Thanks for sharing some background info about Lonie Bee - an artist about whom I knew nothing, not even that he was a man! Like Lynn Buckham, one of those names that could be male or female...

    Thanks as well for your encouraging words! With you and all our other frequent contributors in my corner I have no fear that Today's Inspiration will continue to 'deliver the goods'!

  7. Hey Leif, I love your blog and thanks for letting us see the face behind the art. I've heard your voice quite a few times on the excellent podcasts you've done with Thomas James at EFII, but it's nice to put the visual with the audio. I was pretty surprised to find you are the artist behind the turtle on Turtles chocolates, too. They are my husbands favorite sweet, so I'm familiar with the brand.
    Best wishes on a new school year and thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful interviews and such here on Today's Inspiration. I've been a fan of your mid-century collections on Flickr for a long time and am continually thrilled to see new work posted. Take care of yourself and get some rest!

  8. Wow, Tami; Thanks so much for speaking up! I'm always surprised and delighted when someone who's been quietly following along decides to let me know they're enjoying the material I present. That's awesome - many thanks!

  9. Leif
    You don't look anything like I imagined you. For a start you don't have horns.. and it looks like you stole my shirt.
    Good to see that you're finding the teaching challenging and rewarding .. if exhausting.
    All the best with you college courses.