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seangordonmurphy
sean
Artist
United States
Current Residence: Brooklyn
Favourite genre of music: Any
Favourite cartoon character: Batman Animated Series, Cowboy Bebop, Futurama
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Hey all!

 

I should have written something sooner regarding the Murphy Apprenticeship (where I took 5 students into my house in Maine and taught them comics for 2 weeks). Mostly I think I wanted to let the experience settle in before saying much about it. And now that I've had a few weeks back to my real life in NYC, I think I'm ready to post.

 

For photos and a student's perspective on the Murphy Apprenticeship, check out Tana Ford's page:

duckacomic.blogspot.com/2014/0…


Here are the names of the students for the 2014 winter session (along with their Twitter):

 

Tana Ford duckacomic.blogspot.com/

Corin Howell rinpin.tumblr.com/

Jorge Coelho brandnewnostalgia.com/Jorge_Co…

Clay McCormack digboston.com/tag/dead-meat-cl…

Stephen Green stephengreencomics.tumblr.com/

 

I caught a lucky break for this first session: 5 talented students who were already at publishing levels. Clay and Stephen I'd met before, and knew they'd be considerate house guests who were motivated to complete the work I gave them. Corin I'd met briefly at NYCC--I respected that she sought me out via my autograph line to say hello. Jorge was already a working pro for Boom! Studios, so that was a no-brainer. And lastly there was Tana, who's enthusiasm was obvious even over Skype.

But the biggest part of the Apprenticeship was my wife, Colleen Katana. Not only did she cook for us and run errands while I taught, she also gave up her husband for two weeks while I focused on giving everything to the students.  

We spent a lot of time together. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, trips to Walmart, pub crawling, watching movies, learning from our guests (Klaus Janson, Fiona Staples, Becky Cloonan and Scott Snyder), and not to mention drawing Cafe Racer pages for 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. I kept waiting for a blowout to happen, but it never did.

 

Well, there were a few heated discussions about GMOs, religion and women's rights, but we settled like adults. :)

It was exhausting, but completely fulfilling. I'd start each day with a lesson, stuff ranging from perspective tips to how to manage taxes. At one point I was able to help a student negotiate a higher page rate on a gig they were offered--the extra money they'll make MORE than pays for the cost of the Apprenticeship.

I'm not a very patient person, and to be frank, I never had any desire to teach professionally. But I do have the gene in me, otherwise I'd never write those long journals where I get teaching off my chest. I'll do it a handful of times per year as an invited guest, and I've had vague offers to teach at a few different colleges, but it never take time away from comics. The most I ever learned about art was from apprentice type relationships, not from overpriced colleges. So I always knew that if I DID ever teach, it would have to be on my own terms with a selected group of hand-selected students who would absorb the information fully (rather than teaching 30 college students, 80% of whom don't have the chops). And that's what the house in Maine allowed me.

 

As much as the students got out of it, I got more from them. My wife and I can't have children, so doing this was a chance to fill that need to give back and imprint on other human beings, even if most of them were my age. Having 5 people live with you in an intensive environment with lack of sleep is a great way to start a cult, so I was careful to separate fact from opinion. I was happy to have students challenge me, which they did. I also tried to be clear that my path wasn't the only path--each student would have a unique career, and part of that would mean ignoring some of my advice. Which was fine.

 

Watching them leave was hard. Each time one left, another drawing table was cleared off in the studio, which made me sad. And when it was over, I realized the chances of us all ever being in the same room together again was zero.

The final artwork of Cafe Racer is all turned in, and we're working on getting the book out very soon (as soon as I'm done my set of 10 pages). As far as the Kickstarter deadline and getting copies of Cafe Racer, we're going to be a little late because of my Wake schedule--which is completely on ME and not on any of the students. It'll be out when summer begins, and rest assured I'll post another journal when copies are available for purchase.

Sean



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:iconmovieguy1313:
MovieGuy1313 5 days ago  New member

Hi my name is Keith Carey I am a broke film student at Temple University in Philadelphia PA. I have been given the assignment to turn a 1 page script in a 2 page comic by my psychotic screenwriting professor. And if I can’t find someone I will fail the project. I saw your work on your page and think you are amazing. I like your gritty realistic style.  I have the script written and ready to go. A quick idea about the concept, it is a dystopia where everyone above the age of 10 has died, and the story follows what unfolds when the world is left to 10 years old.  I unfortunately can’t pay you a lot, but I will pay you something for your time. I hope you will consider helping me out, thank you and have a great night.  You can contact me at tue91441@temple.edu

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:icongeoffmart:
I'm happy to hear it went so well! I actually got Stephen to do the first commission piece in my 2014 sketchbook; he's an incredible talent and I can wait to see what he (and the rest of your apprentices) create in the comics world. Thanks for sharing the experience with your fans!
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:iconseangordonmurphy:
Thanks for your continuing support!
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:icondessablazer:
you're great!!
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:icongangsterart:
very energetic movements and compositions.

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:icongangsterart:
I love drawing my friend.

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:iconslaykatart:
SlayKatArt Mar 10, 2014  Student Filmographer
I'm a new follower of your artwork. Your gallery is awesome. The Avengers commission is probably my favorite. :)
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:iconjweure:
Hey, I'm a huge fan.  I was wondering if there's a way to buy a large print of "I'm a dork".  I am a massive fan of all elements in that piece, and I really want it up on my wall.
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:iconvincerussell:
VinceRussell Mar 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your work is absolutely incredible. I don't think of the word 'layouts' when it comes to describing your choice of shots. It's more like cinematography.

I get the same kind of feeling looking at your work as I do from artists like Masamune Shirow and Katsuhiro Otomo. Truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing your work.
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