Each day students at Tulsa Tech have an opportunity to make their own path, to challenge themselves and learn new skills in hundreds of programs, taught by many of industry’s top professionals. One group of students, enrolled in the Adult Career Development’s Visual and Creative Arts class, “Colored Pencil Illustration” have accepted the challenge offered by nationally recognized cartoonist, Mr. Dayne Dudley.
A national sports cartoonist and illustrator for over 30 years, Mr. Dudley’s partial client list includes heavy-hitters such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NCAA, ABC TV, Universal Studios, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, National Softball Hall of Fame, NASCAR, and over 500 colleges throughout the USA.
On Wednesday evenings however, Mr. Dudley teaches students to draw portraits, cartoons or whatever interests them, using Prismacolors colored pencils, in his 30-hour part-time course.
“I really enjoy teaching,” Dudley said. “So many folks think they could never do this, but they can, and each step gives them more confidence, which continues to make them even better. I really enjoy watching my students grow and challenge themselves.”
Like drafted rookies, many of the students were unsure at first, and credit Dudley’s coaching for being able to move up from the minors. Ms. Suzy Sittel, a Supervisor of Compensation for Magellan Midstream Partners, who now creates magical works inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, is a perfect example. Sittel says she had no idea she could even draw, until a friend persuaded her to try the course.
“I was looking for a hobby, and a friend at work mentioned how much she enjoyed the class,” Sittel said. “Then I discovered who the instructor was, and I couldn’t believe it, I had met Dayne years ago when my sister worked with him at the Tulsa Tribune, he’s an amazing artist and I was very familiar with his work, I feel very fortunate to have him as a friend, and instructor.”
For those who may appreciate this fantastic art form, but question their ability to create something artistic, Sittel is quick to offer some simple, yet encouraging advice.
“Just give it a try, and if you don’t like it, well then you know,” Sittel said. “But unless you try, how will you ever know?”
Other accomplished artists, like Mr. Will Cummings, an Oklahoma Native American who returned to the state after retiring, arrived in Dudley’s class ready for the big league, with a good fastball, but still seeking inspiration and guidance from one of the icons of the industry.
“I’m Cherokee, and I like to illustrate our proud heritage in my work,” Cummings said. “Dayne understands our past, our struggles, and our connection to this earth. He not only instructs me, he also helps me take that inspiration and put it into my work.”
Dudley grew up near Stillwell, where he dreamed of playing major league baseball; he had a great chance as a varsity catcher at Wichita State University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, until a neck injury ended the dream.
“I guess if I hadn’t been an illustrator for the past 30 years, I’d just be an old ball player,” Dudley said. “But I wouldn’t want to sit around and just think about those old glory days, I like exploring new challenges too much, just like I challenge my students.”
A colored pencil class might be interesting, especially when the instructor spent 13 years as the illustrator/cartoonist for the Tulsa Tribune, and has been honored with 12 “Best in the Nation” awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America. So go ahead, step up to the plate, and swing for the fences.
If you’re currently looking for exciting classes for high school and adult students, quality business and industry training, or faculty with years of professional industry experience, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today.