Winter Formal is Upon Us.

I'm still not perfectly happy with the color treatment, in marker.

I’m still not perfectly happy with the color treatment, in marker.

Much like the Winter Formal Dance itself, the color art had all kinds of problems along the way to making it happen. I just couldn’t make it work in digital form, not in the way that I wanted. Even this version is less likable than the actual color original on my desk. In that way, the color art has a great deal in common with the Winter Formal Dance itself–looking one way in concept, but failing to meet the creator’s expectations in the end.

Incidentally, I’ll be posting the inks and the pencils too. They will be, as usual, further along in the post. Oddly, the hardest part of the color version was the white background, which kept accumulating all sorts of strange digital artifacts along the way.

Let’s launch into what the content is about, not what a chore it was to do. After having just redrawn a graphic from “Beauty and the Beas”t for a friend’s tattoo, I found myself commuting to work. Leadership had discussed the upcoming Winter Formal Dance, which was going to happen in January. It rattled about in my head, because I found the other dances to be disappointing. We had a DJ set up in a dark gymnasium, and students were supposed to dress up to come, and pay money for a ticket. The “no frills” approach made it seem useless…the “big idea” that I had was simply that if we had a better activity, we might get more student attendance.

I came up with a format, an ad campaign, and a logo. The event would have a limited number of tickets, professional decoration, and involve dinner as well as a DJ. There would be party favors, like at a Bar Mitzvah…a classy take home item, which could be personalized. Using school tech, we could even set up a photo booth. It was a solid plan for a completely different kind of event.

The goal was to make something that after the fact, the limited number of attendees would talk about as incredible, and thus allow us to do a similar but larger event afterward.

Immediately upon arriving at school, I set up my classroom for the day, texted the Leadership teacher with my ideas, and then designed a color “Winter Rose” stained glass logo for the event. The plan was pretty easily laid out during lunch, and the idea seemed to have some enthusiasm and momentum.

Bear in mind, that was in October.

The leadership class didn’t try to move forward with any of the steps laid out until last week. You just can’t set up an event of that magnitude with no real money, in a ten day time frame. It’s wholeheartedly unrealistic. The past two weeks have made that clearer and clearer as the date of the event came closer and closer. That date is today, by the way.

The inked black and white version.

The inked black and white version.

Things…changed beforehand anyway. A funding source for decorations totally dried up, for one thing. The posters I designed were never printed or used, despite the leadership class Winter Formal Committee really nagging about getting the original color files, which for some reason they had lost. That meant no pre-sale of tickets, and so no money to spend on dinner.

Dinner was traded for just having tacos for attendees…which is still better than the usual fare at these dances. In order to have the event, we needed to clear the amount of money, in ticket sales, to pay for the tacos, and the DJ. At ten dollars a ticket, that would be about fifty or sixty tickets.

On Tuesday, two had been sold. Not Good.

An Overdrive to sell tickets was begun, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the target figure (what it was exactly, I don’t even know) was not reached. The Leadership teacher had informed me, at that time, that the dance would be postponed, in an effort to sell more tickets to cover the costs. Very reasonable. It’s important to note that in light of this, I made other plans for Friday evening (today) that did not include staying at a High School supervising until midnight. Being fair, there was another, totally unrelated matter on campus that made me pretty Massively Cross, and pretty much nullified any School Spirit I may have generated…so that was a very easy call to make.

When Leadership had their Thursday class meeting, this was overturned. The event was back on, despite not really having the money to cover it. At least, that’s how I understood things. Ticket sales had been happening, but not at a rate that would have made the event work. There was some additional back and forth, but by the time I left school on Thursday, the dance was “back on”.

Despite the art for today, though…I wasn’t “back on.” That’s one of the problems with getting a couple of days ahead…it’s less stressful by far, but the strip has less maneuverability for changes in events. This clearly was drawn with every intention of supervising the dance, hence our hero in her Fancy Uniform, and bringing a taco to that Prince. However, as previously stated…I needed to withdraw from actually supervising.

Part of that is disappointment in the “last minute drama” approach to getting it done. Only a small part though…I was looking forward to it enough to draw and color this pain in the @#$ piece. Really, it was the “adult issues” that I alluded to, which made me feel like not really part of any sort of team, that made me just not be interested in staying until midnight or so, for no money.

The original pencils.

The original pencils.

Of course, I’ll probably draw some content related to those issues, but in truth, they aren’t as major as issues at my Old School. I talked to some teachers from that venue, the Negative Zone, and was amazed. Several teachers on “Stress Leave,” several walked off the job. Constant madness, and no ability to teach, for solely supervisory reasons. It was like a fun house mirror, looking back at that sort of thing, and no longer being inside of it. Realizing that my big problem was deciding whether I wanted to supervise a school dance, and if maybe some adults could have been more honest with me.

A note about the art…her dress uniform is Green instead of Blue this time. Since she has been wearing a green t-shirt under her Edu-Knight uniform all semester, it seemed like this uniform should match, to some important degree. That’s all the significance that can be shown to that. The Prince is just a generic prince, and the shoe is pretty relevant. You see…the gym floor apparently is damaged by heels, so at the door, we have to collect a whole lot of shoes. A polite prince would bring them up for his date.

At least, so I would think.

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