This is a bit off-topic for the usual TDC fair, but I thought it might be a good opportunity to offer advice to a young man who appears to have some skill but lacks a direction or outlet. If you think you’ve got some good advice, leave it in the comments or it to me via email.
From an email I received earlier today:
I am a science teacher, and contacting you in the hopes that you could help provide me with a little guidance I could pass on to a student of mine. He is 16 years old, going into the 11th grade, and is known for sitting silently in class and flunking. Although he will barely speak and does no work, I have observed that he sits and does incredible drawings of what look to me like evil clowns. The drawings are mature and detailed. He does a couple each day in my class.
He probably will not graduate from High School. His parents are Spanish-speaking, but a relative explained to me that they are seeking both medical and psychological doctors to try to understand why he won’t talk or do school work. He will smile and listen to me when I speak, and sometimes respond with short answers, so I feel I have somewhat more of a connection with him than the other teachers do.
I would like to guide him toward a career in illustrations. I am a scientist and almost completely unaware of how to guide him. I searched for a book on evil clown drawings for him, and it seems this is an open market with none available. He has enough to fill a book, and his are better than most of what I have seen. Can he submit his drawings somewhere, or can his parents get him into professional drawing classes (with no HS diploma)? We are in the San Francisco Bay area.
As a scientist, I try to explain to the kids that they will be good at doing what they love to do. I am hoping this child’s skill can be used to salvage his life. He says he has no idea what he wants to do when he “grows up.” Any advice you would be willing to provide to me would be greatly appreciated, and utilized.