Three twelve-year-old students in the studio of Celia Knight in Acton, Massachusetts, developed a comic company, Little Sketch Incorporation, during their time in art class. Their work shows collaborative entrepreneurship over multiple years, and flexible thinking in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their written reflections display Celia’s emphasis on teaching with Studio Habits of Mind.
Daniel, David, and Varun developed Robot World 1 & 2 and sold them at the Massachusetts Comic Con for kids. They worked in art class, found additional time in their regular classroom work, and continued at home. They created a comic company, Little Sketch Incorporation, and continue to be very dedicated. Just as the pandemic hit, they were reaching the end stages of creating Robot World 3. The artists adapted, developing a digital version of the book so they could still collaborate with each other, and created a company website for updates, video messages for customers, and “character chats.”
In what follows, the artists reflect on their work, referring to Studio Habits of Mind, like Envision and Understand Art Worlds, which Celia emphasizes in her studio :
[This] idea started in my drawing sketchbook. One day, I decided to start a comic about robots since my friend Daniel liked technology and robots. We worked together in my sketchbook to plan the plot of the first book. Then, Varun joined so we made a great first book! We had a lot of success on Book 1, and we started a sequel that we thought would wrap up the series. The second book had a lot more detailed artwork, and it dove deep into the core of the Robot World Series. We chose special darkened pencils to use the skill of shading and light/dark values. Our goal was to make people notice that our high-quality artwork was completely done by our hands and the robotic calligraphy. I practiced (the Studio Habit of) Understand Art Worlds by collaborating with other artists on this comic. – David on Robot World, Book 1
My goal [for drawing the cover of the book] was to Envision. I had to envision what I wanted to draw in my book, and this is evidence of envisioning my goal, because it shows two rockets going to Squareweed moon to capture Spidertron and his army, and I had to envision what I wanted to draw. -Varun on Robot World, Book 2
We used different shades and revised based on feedback. I chose to make this piece of artwork because I wanted to make some hand-drawn comics since they are virtually non-existent in the world. I also am very proud of my artwork because I dedicated over three years to this long-term project. – David on Robot World, Book 2