Last week Lee Loughridge, colorist of Deadly Class, Southern Cross and Catwoman, spent a few days last week at the SCAD Atlanta campus lecturing and working with students in conjunction with the institution's Alumni Mentor Program.
According to Pat Quinn, associate chair of sequential art: "The Alumni Mentor Program's intent is to show current students how alumni found success in their field. Lee is an incredible example for our students, not just because he's great at what he does, but more importantly because he knows the business inside and out. His insights into the art of making comics and how to survive as an artist are really invaluable."
Quinn offered ROBOT 6 photos that he took over the course of the colorist's visit, and we were able to chat briefly with Loughridge and some of the students about the experience.
As noted in previous SCAD coverage, professionals active in the industry frequently visit the campus to give students perspective on their work (and when editors visit, sometimes scout for future collaborators). "I really clicked with him for some reason, more than any other professional we've had come in," said Em Barnard, one of the many Sequential Art majors who worked with Loughridge.
"Listening to Lee was eye-opening and insightful, not just because all the knowledge he offered us from years in the industry but because of how honest he was with us," Sage Coffey said. "That's truly something I can appreciate on the verge of graduating SCAD."
Another sequential art major, Hank Jones, shared a lesson he took away from the visit: "If you want to be successful in anything, especially comics, you have to go out and get it. No one is gonna hand you anything."
Loughridge explained to ROBOT 6 what he hoped to achieve and why it was important for him to take part in the Alumni Mentor Program. "I just wanted them to realize that 'art', 'business' and 'life' are three very different things that you have to marry together to have a healthy career."
The colorist, who graduated from SCAD in 1993 with BFA in illustration, conceded, "In my day it was hard to get a leg up, so I like to help out anyone trying to get in, because I was there and it was brutal."
When asked what his takeaway was from the experience, the colorist shared: "I guess just helping the students out and giving them my idea of a pragmatic way to approach their careers moving forward. My reward will be watching them make it happen. They were all super talented and really cool people."