Do you want to make comics, but feel overwhelmed by your own dreams?
Do you know your work isn’t good enough, but have no idea where to even begin making it better?
If you answered “yes,” don’t sweat, it, you’re still not alone.
“Ultimately we aren’t dissatisfied with our work, we’re dissatisfied with ourselves.” – Justine Mara Andersen
Everyone at SAW has at one time or another had to struggle with the same questions and dilemmas, and we’ve all found answers, and our faculty can share them with you through our unique blend of mentorship and comics-specific curriculum.
SAW is looking for serious students of comic book and sequential art.
The 2015-2016 Single-Year Program has just finished and our students have had a great education. Our program stands among the best in the country.
See our 2014-2015 wrap-up blog post here.
See the flickr set here.
See the 2013-2014 wrap-up blog post here.
See the 2012-2013 round-up blog post here.
Whether your interest is personal stories, graphic novels, or genre comics or whether your concern is for entertainment, literary depth, or personal expression, then our program is for you.
We have taught comics to illustration students, writers and english teachers, fine artists and more. If you have passion and a dedication to learning sequential art, then the SAW single-year intensive is for you.
We will do our best to announce receipt of your application within days, and do our best to inform you within 4-6 weeks of your application. We still have slots available. Deadline will be announced as we creep near capacity.
Please email to confirm your application.
The price for this core curriculum is $3450 per year, $443.75 / month for 8 months (September-April.) or $1750 payable per semester.
Our CORE CURRICULUM
Mondays, Full-Year: Storytelling Studio with Tom Hart
Exploration of sequential art through concentrated practice including constraint-driven exercises as well as literary exercises of voice, point-of-view, shifting viewpoints, disruptive page layouts, etc. Students will self-publish at least twice by the end of this class.
Wednesdays, Full-Year: Traditional Drawing Techniques for Comics Studio
Intensive, year-long study of drawing the human figure for storytelling, including clothed and nude models, moving and stationary poses, and basic anatomy for the artist. Justine Mara Andersen will tackles inking and painting techniques, perspective, creative drawing with the panel.
Tuesdays, Full-Year: Comics History with John Ronan
History of the medium from Töpffer to Hogarth to Opper to Kelly to Crane to Searle to EC to manga to Moebius and more.
Plus Fridays, Full-year: Reading the Graphic Novel and Media Techniques:
This class will be taught by a variety of artists for a few weeks at a time. Visiting artists will also lecture at this time. In alternating sessions, we will be reading and discussing top-tier graphic novels, in a class being led by Tom Hart. Occasional figure-drawing sessions led by Leela Corman. Occasional drop-ins by visiting artists and cartoonists, printers and publishers.
Optional Classes for year one or two students:
Cartooning with Kurt Wolfgang
Humorous cartooning, character design, story structure etc. with Kurt Wolfgang. Wolfgang will guide students through creating characters, deepening your understanding of the characters’ world to the publication of a book of stories.
Gouache Painting / Journalism Studio with Jess Ruliffson
Illustration / Non-Fiction Comics with Leela Corman
Single-image illustration. Editorial, cover, the use of metaphor, narrative etc.
Comix Obstructions with Tom Hart
Comics Explorations with James Turek
Please check out our three videos about our school, below.
(More pics on our Flickr page )
What’s that? Want another testimonial video?
SAW has monthly art shows, and shares courtyard space with a three other community organizations that hold frequent music shows, movies, open mics, parties and other performances.
SAW students are active participants in the Gainesville community, many participating in its monthly oral storytelling event, and some in the roller derby, the local radio station and other community projects.
SAW is surrounded by creative organizations, entities and artists. Gainesville’s monthly art event extends for 14 blocks and features contemporary painting, sculpture, printmaking, assemblage, drawing and film.
Tom Hart and Justine Andersen create much of their professional and personal work at SAW, for clients ranging from MAD Magazine to The Department of Defense, as well as each of their ongoing memoir comics.
Apply for the 2017-2018 Program
Our single-year program is designed to challenge students both technically and intellectually.
First year students learn the basics of cartooning and narrative art. As they gain skills and craft from our faculty, we challenge and guide them into new ideas and solutions that will turn them into artists.
A second, optional year is being developed.
Studio classes run roughly from 11:00-1:50 pm M-F at The Sequential Artists Workshop. Non-studio classes will run roughly 11:00-1:00. Some classes may run in the evening. Next year’s schedule is subject to change. Please see the Info for Full Year Students Page for more info.
Frequently Asked Questions about enrolling:
How Much Does it Cost?
Why Are You So Cheap?
Why Are You So Expensive?
What Payment Options are There?
Can I Take Just a Few Classes?
Who is this School For?
What Kind of Work Comes Out of Your School?
How Big are the Classes?
Where Will I Stay?
Where is the Enrollment Form?
Do I Need a Portfolio?
When do Classes Start and End?
The price for this core curriculum is $3450 per year, $443.75 / month for 8 months (September-April.) or $1750 payable per semester. At present, our additional single semester classes are offered optionally at $350 each.
You are getting a first-rate arts education for a third of the price of CCS, and one eighth to one tenth of the price of SCAD or SVA. Why? Our program at present is unaccredited. We have low overhead (almost all of tuition goes to rent and teacher salaries.) We currently have three computers, two scanners. We share a tight little space and many resources, and it works.
We’re not! See above.
Four classes are designed as a single complete course. This core curriculum, Storytelling Studio, Traditional Drawing, Comics History and the Friday SAW Series offer a rounded comics education and are offered as a single unit.
For 2017-2018 we are developing more optional classes but the core curriculum is meant to be one unit.
Please contact us for more specifics. We are also working to develop online versions of some of our classes.
We have previously entertained options including work-study as well as installment plans and sliding scale. We would rather have you here than not. So long as we are still informal, everything is on a case by case basis. Write to us to discuss these options.
You could be: 1) College-age and wanting to focus on art before springboarding into a full-fledged BFA. 2) An artistic adult who has dabbled in comics and wants to study and practice the form more. 3) Frustrated with your current schooling and want to study comics in a more intensive, inspiring and free environment. 4) Post-college adult looking to continue their education or pick up study they missed. 5) An established creator stuck and needing to push their work to the next level. 6) Any combination or variation on the above. SAW is a school for differing personalities and artists temperaments. We strive to find the stories and art inside you that are trying to come out. We have taught comics to art students, english teachers, truck drivers, museum guards, fine arts students, scriptwriters, graphic designers (lots of those), etc. In short, if you have passion and dedication to learning sequential art, then the SAW single-year intensive is for you.
The work we try to enable you to create is the work that you were most meant to make, and the stories you were most meant to tell. We seek to help you find your voice as a cartoonist by challenging you to push your own boundaries and discover more of your stories and your abilities while helping you see and control what you are already strong at. You can see some student work at our Flickr page, here
We aim for a class size between 8-16 people. Our first two years have been roughly 6 people. Our third year had 10 students, our fourth year had 13, our fifth year had 10.
Gainesville is a major university town and as such, very friendly to students. You should have no trouble finding suitable housing in Gainesville. Almost any house or apartment you find will be within biking distance of SAW which is a few blocks from the main intersection of University and Main. Try this Craigslist link: http://gainesville.craigslist.org/apa/ or other services to find roommates or an apartment.
Note: The UF schedule means that houses and apartments rent from August to July. Look before then. Prospective students will have access to the school Wiki/Facebook page where students can discuss and collaborate on finding housing.
Absolutely. A portfolio review is necessary to enter the school. It is recommended this be online or in digital form. In addition, an essay and at least two new comic strips are required. See specifics on the application form.
When Do Classes Start and End?
Semesters are 14 weeks long. We time our calendar to the University of Florida calendar to facilitate housing for everyone. The first day of the fall semester is late August, 2017, ending in late December. We take a week off in October and time off for Thanksgiving. View more on our calendar, here:
Our spring 2018 semester is being worked out now. We take two weeks off in a row in Feb/March.
Help spread the word about our year-long program!
Things are developing as we begin to add faculty and additional resources. The SAW program rivals any program of similar length in the country. This is our first year and as such is offered at an extremely affordable price.
Many of you are already familiar with SAW, have already taken classes here, etc. You know that the space is good, the teaching excellent and the Gainesville artistic community vibrant. We are actively seeking talented applicants. Please let people know that they can contact us formally or informally about attending.
–Audio interview with Tom Hart about SAW:
SAW will do an AMA on Reddit! Our username is comicsworkshop and details coming soon!
The school admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, orientation, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship, and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.