“Did you get any further with your storyboards, Amicia?” Hailey asks me as we walk up the stairs towards our classroom.
“Hmm, just a little.”
“Hey, maybe you should make your main character a catgirl too! Who doesn’t like a catgirl yuri?” Carol is following us closely.
“Haha.” I laugh. “Wouldn’t that be a little bit too obvious though?”
“How so, obvious? Normal people wouldn’t think that the author is a catgirl herself, right?” Carol laughs as well.
“I guess that’s true.”
When we get to the right floor we see our professor standing by the door. “Good afternoon.” He greets us.
“Good afternoon, sir!” All three of us reply.
“Are you ready to practice some art today?”
“Of course.” My friends walk past him into the classroom but before I can follow the professor stops me.
“Would it be possible for you to sketch the first two pages for your manga project today?” He asks.
“I know it’s a lot of work but I think you could definitely make it work.”
I think to myself for a few seconds before replying. “What about the cover page and the first page?”
“Sounds good to me.” He gives me a thumbs up and lets me pass. “I’m looking forward to it.”
I quickly take my place next to Hailey and Carol who are already unpacking all their tools and get mine ready as well.
“So what are you two going to work on?” I ask them.
“I’m going to do some super realistic painting.” Hailey replies without looking up from her bag.
“You know those paintings that look exactly like pictures?”
“Really? You are going to do that?”
“Yes! I know photo’s kind of defeat the point of paintings, but I just find it so fascinating.”
“Isn’t it like, super hard?”
“Don’t worry, she can pull it off.” Carol adds as she puts a canvas on top of the easel.
“Want to see one I made?”
I enthusiastically nod yes. “Heck yes!”
With the same enthusiasm Hailey takes her phone and shows me a picture of Carol.
“And where is the painting?”
“That is the painting.” She smirks.
“Yes way.” Hailey smiles.
“You don’t want to know I long I had to pose for her to complete it. When I think about it my butt starts hurting again.” Carol giggles.
My mouth drops. “You sat still for 6 hours? Couldn’t you just have taken a picture?”
“Don’t worry, I did.” Hailey is finally done setting up as well.
“You did?” Carol looks at Hailey in disbelief.
“Oh yeah. I just thought it was funny to make you sit still for a while.”
“Why are you so evil, Hailey?” Carol pouts.
“Hey, I paid you back with plenty of food.”
“With this new revelation I think you didn’t pay me back nearly enough!” She protests. “I demand more food. I can’t believe I paid for your food at the taco place….”
“Alright, alright. I’ll pay the next two times we go out for dinner, ok?”
“And a smoothie?”
“And a smoothie.” Hailey agrees.
“It’s settled then.” The two of them shake hands on their agreement.
“And what are you going to draw, Carol?” It wouldn’t have been fair to only ask Hailey after all.
“Remember the painting from earlier? The one from my favourite artist?”
“Ah right! The Mexican countryside!”
“Yes, that one.” She smiles. “I’m going to try to do something similar in that style, but instead of the Mexican countryside I’m gonna do it about the university park.”
“That sounds interesting!”
“I don’t know how it’ll turn out but we’ll see.” Carol smiles again and gets to work on her canvas.
I should probably do the same.
It is pretty interesting to see an entire class at work, even though talking is allowed it is almost always constantly quiet, except for the sounds of paint brushes, pencils and the occasional crumpling of paper when someone decides to start over from scratch. It weirdly enough doesn’t take very long for me to finish the first two sketches. The front page is a catgirl hanging with her arms around her girlfriend’s neck, with her laughing while her girlfriend kisses her cheek. While the second page is just mainly introductory panels.
“Wow, that’s sugary cute, Ami.” Hailey looks up from her painting from a moment and stares at my page.
“Thank you, that’s what I was going for.” I smile and look over to her canvas. “That’s a lot of guidelines!”
“I find it really hard to do it without.”
“I can see it’s some sort of city, but somehow it looks a bit strange to me.” I look at it closely.
“It’s meant to be a bit steampunky.”
“Fantasy in super realistic painting?”
“Yeah. The point is, I want to make it look like a picture, but a picture taken in a city like that.”
“That’s even harder!”
Hailey nods. “Mhmm, but I want to challenge myself even more. And on top of that the steampunk theme is something I really like too.”
“I can definitely see why, I’ve always been intrigued by steampunk cosplay too.”
“Yes! You should totally come with me to a convention one day, we can dress you up as a steampunk catgirl machinist or something like that!”
“That’d be cool.” I smile at her and take my work with me to the front of the class towards the professor. But when I pass Carol it’s clear she’s having a couple of difficulties with her work.
“Something wrong Carol?” I stop right next to her for a second.
She sighs. “I can’t really put on the paper what I want, it’s incredibly frustrating.”
“Like you know what you want to do but it’s just not coming out?”
“A little bit like that, yeah.”
“Would it be helpful if I went outside to take a picture for you? I’m pretty much done anyway.”
“Well, if you want to, I won’t say no to that. Can I see your work too?”
“Of course.” I show her my sketches.
She must’ve been a little too frustrated to listen when me and Hailey were talking only moments ago.
“Amazing work, Ami.” She compliments me. “Could I borrow a bit of your skill for a second?”
“I’m sure you have plenty of skill yourself, Carol.” I reassure her. “Maybe you just need to find your jam, or something like that.”
“My jam, huh?” She thinks to herself and looks around. “That might just be the answer.” and she takes her phone out of her bag together with her earphones.
Me and Hailey are looking a bit confused at her.
“Ah, you are one of those artists.” The professor is now standing next to us as well. He must’ve seen me pause when I was on my way towards him.
“Could you explain, professor?” Hailey asks him.
“Well, while generally people need a quiet space to focus, for some people it’s better when there’s more life around. It’s the same for writers too. A couple of my friends can’t write at all when there’s music playing in the background, but on the other hand there’s some that need music or some kind of other noise, like a tv or something, so they can get in the zone. So to speak.” He explains. “And your friend here might belong to the second group.”
“Oh, I guess that does make sense.” I reply.
“Mhmm.” He nods. “To be honest, this space isn’t the best to really stimulate each creative soul, I’m fully aware of that. But on the other hand it is useful to give students my feedback as fast as possible. So if you ever want to, for example, take your easel outside to paint in nature or in one of the hallways or whatever place suits you better, you need only ask.”
“But what about uni rules?”
“Eh, I’ll deal with it when it becomes a problem, don’t worry about it. This is still the arts faculty.” He gives us a wink. “Anyway, Miss Delafontaine, can you show me your sketches?”
While Hailey gets back to work and Carol puts in her earphones I walk to the front of the class with the professor and show him my work. He carefully inspects them for a minute or two before turning his attention back to me.
“If you can keep up this quality throughout the other pages I don’t see any problem.” He smiles. “Obviously these are only sketches but that’s the groundwork of it all. Good job.”
“Thank you! I’ll definitely try.” I happily reply. “Oh, and could I go outside for a moment to take some reference pictures for Carol, to help her out a bit more?”
“Of course, of course.” He nods towards one of the locked cabinets on the side of the classroom. “If you need one of our cameras.”
“Yes please.” I nod and the professor walks over to the closet, opens it and hands me one of the cameras.
“Just try not to break it.” He winks.
“Okidoki!” I take the camera with me and head towards the park.
Little did he know that even if clumsy catgirl AmiAmi would break the camera, she could easily fix it, muahahahaha.