Drawing Manga, Superheroes and Fantasy Figures Instructor
BECKY GRUTZIK received her BFA in Illustration at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. “I had always been into art, but it wasn’t until my last year in high school that I discovered comic books,” says Becky. “When I stumbled across comics, I realized it was exactly what I wanted to do with my skills as an artist. Then in college I became interested in Japanese anime. I was hopelessly hooked on both comics and anime, so I decided to try and merge them into my own unique style.”
Becky credits her early successes to hard work, determination, and peer support. While she was a freshman at Stevens Point she published her first comic strip in the college newspaper, The Pointer. “It was very much a learning experience. Doing a superhero comic in a 4-panel format was very difficult, but I kept at it.”
Becky found encouragement by joining the college’s Comic Book Society. “We were a group of dedicated students who used our meeting times to bounce ideas off each other, work on comic strips, and help each other out creatively.”
Eventually, Becky became president of the society and led the organization for two years. These positive college experiences became an impetus for Becky’s future work. To date she has self-published over 12 comic books in 4 different series: Aegis, Vendetta, Sam and Scribble Theory. She has also illustrated The Runaway Puppy for Lerner Publications. Currently, she is at work on future titles.
When teaching, Becky is most interested in developing a love of art and technical abilities within her students. “I believe all artists can find that special niche that fills them with the passion to keep creating for a lifetime. By teaching kids how to draw comics and cartoons well I can actively support their interests and open doors to new possibilities.
“Art can be anything you want it to be, especially in the case of comics. The sheer variety of graphic expression used within them never ceases to amaze me, and I share that joy with students as often as I can."
“I work hard to open these kids’ eyes to many artistic influences. The exposure sparks their imagination and feeds their creative joy. Then one day they discover which art form truly moves them. It may be comics, sculpture, painting or some other type of visual expression. Whichever they choose, it gives me great pleasure to know that I helped provide them with the skills and passion to make their artistic dreams possible.”