I personally contacted Professor Gildersleeve to ask if he would allow us to argue his case. We have his sanction. I think this is completely winnable. Gildersleeve has been a fixture of the department for most of its history. Generations of sequential artists have benefited from his wisdom. As I said, most of the present professors were at one point his students. Whatever reason SCAD had for firing him, is lunacy in the face of this fact.
If you’d like to see this come to pass, join the facebook group and give it a signal boost by reblogging or by posting the link yourself.
Thank you so much.
I don’t normally use this blog to for personal posts or text posts (and I feel bad for not posting artwork lately, but I’m still between scanners). Today I must make an exception for a text post. If you attended or are attending SCAD I encourage you to read it.
I recently heard that Dave Gildersleeve is not going to be teaching at SCAD anymore. I don’t know exactly what happened, but if you know SCAD you know it has a tendency to fire professors for inscrutable reasons. A lot of professors I respected greatly left SCAD during my time as a student, voluntarily or otherwise. However, I always thought Gildersleeve was beyond this. Apparently I was mistaken. I can’t really express what terrible news this is.
G-sleeve taught me literally everything I know about color and painting. Over three years of taking his classes whenever I could, he imparted a wealth of knowledge about color, storytelling, pacing, page flow, lighting, composition, perspective, anatomy, and so, so much more. You would be hard pressed to find any graduate of SCAD’s sequential art program who doesn’t owe an enormous debt of gratitude to this man. Most the department’s present faculty took classes with him when they were students.
His classes were always laid back and casual. His conversational style of teaching is exemplified in his TED Talk, linked above.
But you could count on him, in individual meetings and formal critiques, to give it to you straight every time. Gildersleeve could look at your thirty-second thumbnail gesture and tell you the crop was too wide or too close. He could look at the work of a novice or of a seasoned professional, and give honest, practical, and sage advice to them both. Getting assignments back in his classes, I and my fellow students would eagerly scan the tracing paper overlays on which he scrawled notes about our work. Often, he used the overlays to redraw poses or compositions underneath, and we were always dazzled by how few lines he could use to show a better alternative to whatever drawing we had submitted.
I have yet to fully comprehend, process, and utilize the lessons I learned in Gildersleeve’s classes. I imagine this will take me years. I’m glad I took notes.
It deeply saddens me to think that future students won’t benefit from Gildersleeve’s wisdom. If SCAD can’t find it in its cold, corporate heart to let him teach there anymore, the class of 2016 will be the last one to take classes with him. I really can’t think of a worse sleight against future generations of aspiring cartoonists than this.
If you took classes with this great teacher, this great guy, I encourage you to reblog this with your memories or comments, or write your own post about him. I don’t want this to pass silently like so many other decisions SCAD has made. I know I will be haunted by this dark turn of events for a long time to come.