We caught up with one of our short course students Alexander Steenhorst, an Amsterdam based Visual Storyteller. Alexander took our Graphic Novels and Comic Book Art course taught by artist Matt O'Dell here at Chelsea College of Arts.
We asked Alexander what inspired him to take this course and he explained "Reading comics and graphic novels was always my 'thang' when I was a little kid. And I'm still a big fan of visual stories even if it is just one page. The last few years I have focused on becoming a better illustrator and tried to make several comics but I felt a little stuck because I didn't really understand the rules of the game."
When we asked about how this course helped him, Alexander said "It takes you through the whole process of making a visual story. From making a story, through storyboarding (which includes composition within a frame and on the page) illustration and finally colouring."
"It gave me clear steps on how to develop a visual story. I've got a gazillion ideas now I know what hours I need to spend on what to make them tangible."
This is what Alexander had to say about taking a short course Camberwell, Chelsea or Wimbledon Colleges of Arts. "Take a look at the different courses they have, there probably is something in it that will suit you. It'll give you a boost in becoming a better artist and it’ll make it easier to put those thoughts onto paper.” In three words Alexander described our course as: “Creative, Social and Clear.”
Alexander wanted to give this advice on what is the most important quality for aspiring artists to have: "I'm prone to say: determination. In the end it comes down to putting a lot of time in your craft to become a craftsman. But sometimes you can feel lost as an artist. You simply don't know what to convey or how to convey it - you become to hate that what you love. On these moments it's essential to look for help. In the end you're not only an artist. First you're a human, with needs. These also need attention, if you're not balancing your work with your life you’re going to be a bad human and in my opinion a bad human will never become a good craftsman."
After completing his Masters in Organisational Psychology he started working as a Strategic Design Consultant - "Sounds cool, but nobody understands what that means haha. We make abstract concepts tangible for organisations by visualising them. Think of a vision, strategy or an identity. These can all be visualised, and they work best when you add a story."
Alexander wants students to know that "when you find a course you like, know that you're probably not the only one thinking that. You'll meet like-minded people who want to do that 'thang' just like you, so there is more than enough to talk about. Enjoy!"
We run the highly regarded Graphic Novels and Comic Book Art taught by Matt O'Dell regularly at Chelsea College of Arts, but places go fast, so keep your eye out for new dates, or sign up to our mailing list and be notified when they are running.