Spacek Introduces Kids To The Master, Charles Addams - 27 East

Arts & Living

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Spacek Introduces Kids To The Master, Charles Addams

author on Aug 25, 2015

In seventh grade, Peter Spacek had already decided to pursue a career that allowed him to do exactly what he loved. He filled notebook after notebook with doodles and characters. And what better source for inspiration than The New Yorker.

By the time he was in high school, he had discovered the late Charles Addams, a Sagaponack-based cartoonist whose dark sense of humor frequently appeared in The New Yorker.

“I mean, he became a hero of mine when I was younger,” Mr. Spacek said. “Something about his expressions and creepiness made me zero in on him. So I learned to draw the way he did.”

For the last 11 summers, Mr. Spacek has taught a workshop inspired by Mr. Addams at the Bridgehampton Museum. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the group of students—nearly a dozen during the week of August 10—gathered around the cartoonist and his large sketchpad as he taught them the Addams technique, focusing on using light boxes, ink and different types of pens.

And at the end of the week, the class took a trip to the Addams estate in Sagaponack, where the students compared their own cartoons to the master’s.

Even if the specific technique does not resonate with the students, Mr. Spacek, who cartoons for The East Hampton Star, said he encourages them to keep drawing, realistically, without any sense of disillusionment.

“I want them to know that we don’t just sit down and create some great cartoon,” he explained. “There are a lot of steps. So, I’m kind of trying to take the magic, or the voodoo, out of it a little bit.”

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