Volunteering at 826 Valencia Wednesday, July 13, 2…

Volunteering at 826 Valencia
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I think I’ve posted about this before but I sometimes volunteer at 826 Valencia, also known as “the pirate supply store” or “that McSweeney’s thing”. It’s a non-profit that focuses on teaching creative writing. They have all sort of different workshops, I help out with one that they call The Field Trip.
Basically, a group of 20-30 kids (around the age of 10-15) will come to 826 and write their own story. There is a person who sort of focuses the kids and helps them put the story together, as well as someone on the computer who is typing the story on an overhead projector. My job is to illustrate the story, the ideas are always very fun to put together and it’s really fun to have the pressure of time and being watched while working on the story.
Today’s class was the first spanish only speaking class that they had ever had for a field tripo. A few of the kids spoke a little english, but mostly we had to rely on a volunteer translator. That made today’s project a little more fun… “I heard someone say gato, that’s a cat right? Here I’ll draw a cat. You like cats right?”
Here is what the story mainly consisted of, Mr. Blue (Sr. Azul) lives in a black castle out in the water with his small dog. There is a bridge from el castillo negro to the dark forest where the ugly witch (named Nosey) lives.
She wants Azul’s castle, and turns the woodland creatures into gaint creatures. Azul magically turns his dog into a gaint dragon and they battle. “De repente…”
At this point the kids are given copies of their books with my drawings and a page left blank. They finish the story and hand them up to the mysterious and mean editor Mrs. Blue that lives upstairs to read. She says a little bit about each and all the kids get their books back, all within two hours.
I did two illustrations, the first is of Nosey creeping up on the black castle, and the next is of the dragon dog facing off against one of Nosey’s gaint flying squirels. When we finished the drawings the kids starting yelling “vive Doc!”. That was, of course, fun for me.
It was a great start to the day, hope the week gets even better. I sold 75 yo-yos to a friend at a decent price, I got a gig, and have been contacted by Etc. Magazine for an upcoming article.
The weekend was great, but ended on a terribly low note, at least I have some music projects to work on. MC Frontalot sent me the rough vocals that he cut over one of my beats. I’m fine tuning it and gonna bounce some stuff back to him throughout the week, the album is slated for an end of august release. That’s also when I last heard the Scream Club vinyl will come out.
If anyone in the city is reading this and would like to get together let me know. I’d love to hang out with some of my friends.