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Submitted on
July 29, 2009



My Teachers and the 5DaysAWeek FAQ

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 29, 2009, 10:24 PM


The following is an explaination of why my teachers have come to be a large part of my work, a chronology of related art from the very first drawing I ever did of them, and Frequently asked Questions about my affiliation and comic.

My comic series and most of my favorite work was inspired by the most rewarding and influential school year of my school career, 7th grade. What made this school year so special was the very people that left an impression on me forever- something I would have never expected before that time. My previous school years were rough; a death in the family, and I had a very low self-esteem.
I think what initially inspired me to start drawing my seventh grade teachers was the interesting relationships they had with each other, and the uniqueness in their personalities and teaching styles. These teachers were none like I have ever had before- something about them drove me to want sucess- It ripped me out of the depression I was in, and gave me something to look forward to in the future......and thanks to them, here I am today.
....My Story continued in more detail here

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 5 Days A Week?
5 Days A Week (5DAW) is the comic I started developing officially since June 2008. It is inspired by my seventh Grade year and involves personalities that are real and made up. Because I work alone, posting of strips is roughly every month. The home website is but I put up strips and concept art on DeviantART also.

What "personalities" (or characters) are made up, and which of them is fully represenative of a real person?
Robert, Alex, and Amber are the only main kid characters that are "made up" - meaning they aren't real people. However, their personalities are real in a sense that they are indirectly inspired by kids I went to school with. There will be several of these types of characters especially as the comic grows.
All of the main character teachers, including Principal Weidenbaugh ARE REAL. Their physical appearence and personalities are directly inspired by actual people. Some aspects of their cartoon persona's personality is exaggerated for sense of purpose. However these exaggerations aren't far from the truth...making it all the more entertaining.

Do your Teachers know about you drawing them?
:thumb126025614: OBVIOUSLY :slow:

How do your teachers feel about having characters so closely modeled after them?
I've never really asked them the question, but when I think about their reactions to what I've been doing for the last 7 years, I get the feeling they don't mind at all. Plus with them being so closely modeled with their caricature, it makes such an unusual reality....I think it made what I did with them even funnier because of the "what if" factor. At least I know a few of them think that way. I don't think safety from popularity is an issue with them because that is something they all consented to allow me to post online. On another note....I've heard stories of them passing my art around amongst other teachers and posting it up like propaganda around the school.....and along the way, I did make a few that were intentionally propaganda :lol:

Based on American Schools, is 5DAW themed High School, Middle School, or college?
MIDDLE SCHOOL. If I have to repeat myself again, I'm going to hit myself with a frying pan.

How did you get over the inital awkwardness of your teachers knowing that you are drawing them....and not just drawing them-- but putting them into "Looney Tunes" like situations?
To be honest, my first drawings of the teachers, I actually kept to myself and my friends. It was actually sheer coincidence I was drawing in History class and Mrs. Erb walked by my desk and discovered what I was doing. She asked me to show it to her.....and she died laughing :XD: She told me, "You have to show this to the other teachers- this is amazing, Marilyn!" I said I didn't want to because I was embarassed. She insisted though, so I did.
Every single one of them acted like it was the most beautiful thing in the world-- kinda like when your kid comes home from kindergarten and you want to hang their art on your fridge. They told me to "do another one" I did.
hahahaha it's still amazes me that Mrs. Erb was the one that broke the ice. I guess I have her to thank bigtime.

I see a lot of Mr. Hollingsworth and Mr. Shafer in your work; Why and how have these two come to represent your work so much?
Mr. H and Mr. Shafer are special- with all do respect to the other teachers, these guys were, and still are my favorite teachers to draw because both of them ooze with incredible personality. When I was still in school, they would be calling each other names back and fourth; and I'd hear them cracking jokes and making funny faces out in the hallway. Mr. Shafer always seemed to have a one-liner to drop, and Mr. H had a comeback ready to fire. Not only that, but the both of them implemented humor into the classroom, which really made school enjoyable for me. Their relationship provided so many opportunities to develop my own sense of humor.......I'll never forget the day I first showed Mr. Shafer a doodle of Mr. H falling backwards in his chair :laughing:
Not only did these two guys provide the most enjoyable school year of my life-- they also taught me more than science and reading and continued to support me throughout my tough times at home. To this day, I still seek their advice. Mr. Shafer's words enlighten and inspire me, and Mr. Hollingsworth brings me down to earth and motivates my ambition.

I took them both to the "Senior Impact Awards" at the end of my senior year of High School to thank them for what they have done for me.
Why they represent me? Simple. They are my favorite two dudes of all time :D I tend to lean towards Mr. H as a symbol of my work because he's probably the most unique person physically and personality I've ever met. It' only takes one word to describe him... quirky. But I cannot deny the EPICness of the Shafeman. The most awesome older fellow I've ever run into.

Now that we know a little about you drawing your teachers...WTF is with drawing them as cats???! Where did that come from? You have people teachers...and then Kitty teachers...and they are the same?
I think even after I was having fun with drawing them as humans, I started to run short on situations to put them in. Also, at the time, I was deeply involved with my Ting Tang Too story. It was my pride and joy....and I was finding out my teachers were high on my priority list too. So I made the decision to combine the two- and introduce my teachers into the world of Ting Tang Too. This is where my first experience with Anthro came into play. It took me 7 years to develop a final character design of each teacher because I kept revamping my design and trying to find a healthy balance between the teacher's attributes and a feline. I wound up making them into anthros...but at the time, I knew nothing about that term-- I thought of them as cartoons. (and I still sort-of do).
This also explains why my anthro work is pretty clean in the eyes of questionable material. I kept everything PG rated because for crap sake- I was drawing my dang teachers! :XD:
The book I wrote with the teachers involved has been discontinued at this point because I found that it wouldn't hold as strong and as wide of an audience than something more easy to relate to as 5 Days A Week has come to prove. But the characters will forever exist as my personal learning experience and I will continue to draw kitty teachers because they are still made of WIN in my eyes. :heart:

To Clarify, Why is Kitty Mr. Hollingsworth used to represent your work here on dA?
1. because he makes a cute fuzzy animal.
2. always was my favorite cat character to draw because he was the most difficult.

Who are all the characters in 5 Days A Week? Where can I read about their personalities?
<-- Right there.

Who is the Villain in your comic? Are you afraid to include a teacher or classmate you weren't on good terms with?
To be technical- there are no specified villians in the comic. The antagonist of every situation could be anybody. Every charatcer has good qualities, and qualities that can jeopardize their likability. It is only through behavior that one character becomes an antagonist and another, the good guy. Everyone has flaws so it is open for the reader to decide who is the bad guy. As for bad teachers and classmates of mine, I think I would feel a bit uncomfortable placing them in the comic under their real appearance. I've had only 3 really bad teachers-- If I had to put them in, I probably would create a character indirectly inspired by them instead of the real deal. Besides...bad teachers do not deserve to be in awesome comics. :smoking: and mean kids are smelly.

Is your comic published? Will you publish?
I would like to publish in the future but at this time, there is still a lot to be done. The only publishing that has been done is that off a computer printer at school :XD:

Do you have photos of the real teachers and the school you went to?
Absolutely! They are all here-->…

What was the event that led to the taking of this epic photo?
Mr. Shafer and his son (pictured) were at an Alumni golf tournament and they were messin' around. LOL

So does this mean you are going to be a teacher yourself?
Kinda...hahaha Well my real dream is to be an animator/ cartoon artist / designer or better yet- a director. But I am getting my Bachelor of Science in Art Education first-- and then I'll get my masters in something awesome like Communication Design. I know I can be a teacher but it's not something I want to do forever. My dream is to make 5DAW into a movie and make my teachers pee their pants ......well ok they don't have to do that but you get what I mean.

One random fact about anything to do with what we covered here
Mrs. Erb and I share the same first name. We are both Marilyns. :B

Chronology of Teacher Related Art

Here is a brief chronolgy of Highlights in my 7 year artistic career involving my inspirations- starting with the very first drawing my teachers ever saw from me.

March 2002 - November 2002  "The Early Days"
First Ever drawn 5DAW Teachers by ShaferplzTeachers Again- October 2002 by ShaferplzNovember 2002 comic Panel by Shaferplz
Starting in my second month of seventh grade and continuing into November of that year (entering eighth grade). The first image shown is THE very drawing Mrs. Erb caught me doing and made me share with the rest of the teachers. The second is an updated version I made a few months later. The last is a panel from a comic I did portraying how evil Mr. Hollingsworth and his coffee was. Miss Wagner screams her head off at him.

October 2002: Ting Tang Too Cameo Appearence Begins
Notebook days 1 by ShaferplzFirst Mr. H Kitty Drawings by ShaferplzNotebook Days 2 by Shaferplz
These were the draw everything in your notebook with lined paper and write a story about it days Good times. Well this all happened to be the time I made the bold decision to include the teachers in Ting Tang Too....and Mr. H and Miss Wagner are at it again. They often faught in my earlier work-- Shafer would come into play when explosives were involved later on.

December 2003: Gold Team Portrait Revamp
Gold Team Portrait by Shaferplz
I hadn't drawn them as people in a while so I gave this to all of them as a Christmas Gift that year.

2004....The Year of Anime Fantardism and Pointy Noses
Years of the Pointy Nose2 by ShaferplzYears of the Pointy Nose1 by ShaferplzUglyyyyy 2004 by Shaferplz
For some reason..this was one effed-up year for me. I don't know what the heck I was doing with the character designs- they didn't even look like cats anymore :XD:

2005-2006 - The Softer Years
Old TTT3 cover by Shaferplz
After taking a hard critique from my mom, I finally got myself in gear and started drawing characters that actually looked like cats again. Most all of the pieces were done in Full color pencil, and This was the period that I actually did backgrounds in.

2007 - Early Digital Days
The Platinum Collection by Katmomma
These were the days when I was just starting out with digital- and of course, I had only a mouse to work with. XD but I made do with what I had available and churned out some interesting work.

2008 - Digital Expansion, Anthro Recession & 5DAW Begins

These were the last days of illustration work dedicated to the Teachers involvement in Ting Tang Too. It was dying out here. On the Flip side, 2008 housed the birth of the 5 Days A Week comic concept.

2009-Present - Freelancing and Mass Eperimentation
5 Days A Week : Ugly Shirt by Katmomma
Nowadays, you get a little taste of the past with Kitty Mr. Hollingsworth, and a bunch of new ideas boiling over for the continuation of the Teacher comics I used to draw as a seventh grader.
ShaferPlz by be continued.

In Closing

If there is any question I have left unanswered, please feel free to ask. This concludes everything I can think of to say about my teachers and how they influenced my work and continue to this day inspire me.

Thank you for reading about one of the things that drive my motivation :heart:

  • Mood: Joy
Add a Comment:
Kahmira Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2009  Professional Filmographer
that's really cool to see how you've progressed! :wow:
Katmomma Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009  Professional Artist
:D Thank you! :heart:
Choedan-Kal Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009
This is an interesting read (I can now die with the peace of knowing what the deal with Shafer is ;) ), and it is amazing how fast your art has improved in just a few years!
Katmomma Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Artist
aww thank you :hug: Yeah what I was doing pretty much exploded. It was really wild because it seemed like every time I drew, I learned something new-- which is crazy for trying to hold consistency. But the fun part is looking back on how many different ways I drew the same characters and how they evolved. My drawing style seemed to change with every passing month :XD:
Thanks so much for reading :glomp:
PadawanLinea Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Very interesting read! I loved hearing about your inspiration. It's so awesome that teachers can inspire so much in one person!
Katmomma Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Artist
:hug: :love:
BombshellBoy Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I've NEVER said this about ANY journal, but I wish I could fave it. :heart: Never thought I'd run into another artist who's main characters were based on real people, yours even more so than mine. It makes them all the more lovable and real. Thanks so much for sharing!

Katmomma Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Artist
aww and thanks so much for reading :hug: I still can't get over how many different ways I drew the same people. It kept changing every time I'd draw. It's fun to look back on it- because every step along the way is a record of what "worked" in a design, and what needed to be improved. It' blows me away that I've come this far. And I would have never imagined I'd be working with the same people so many years later :)
Toranih Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009
Very interesting to read, it was neat to see how you got started and the chronology. :-)
Malumvolo Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009
Lol! I love how you ended it with the shaferplz and to be continued. xD
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Artist
lol :lol: Glad you liked that XD and I answered your question :giggle:
portheiusJ Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Artist
:D It's really cool to see the progression of your skillses. Cheers to the comic and the future! :ahoy:
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Artist
:beer: cheers indeed!
Pozem Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your art has changed and improved so much.
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Artist
Thatnk you :love: err....that makes you mad? XD
Pozem Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your welcome and no it doesn't make me mad. Everyone's art develops and improves differently. I didn't know the jealousy icon express being mad at someone.
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Artist
oh :giggle:
InpuUpUaut Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Student General Artist
Great! ^_^
Draenian Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely amazing. Yes I actually read the whole thing...I know :XD:!

I find how you became inspired through that particular school year with those teachers to be truly amazing. To see students, yourself and a few others at that time, so involved with your teachers is great. It's not often nowadays that many teachers will be as they are at your old school. I also had a couple of teachers during my later High School years I will never forget. Actually, a couple in particular remind me heavily of both Mr. Shafer and Mr. Hollingsworth, and I miss them. Having good humor in both the classroom and outside of class really motivates the students.

As for your artwork over the years, I tell you the change is incredible. I'm sure all your old classmates and the teachers must (and obviously do) love the improvement and can't wait for more. I, personally, love reading your 5DAW comic and seeing the concept work and hope to see more in the future ^-^!
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Artist
I think humor in the classroom is perhaps the one thing that can truly determine if you are going to like the teacher or not....because every dry dull teacher I've had...I never really liked XD
I'm really glad you like the comic- your support means a lot to me :hug: When I go back to see my teachers- indeed a lot has changed. (I think Mr. H has a few more gray hairs :giggle: ) Mr. Shafer has since retired, Mrs. Erb has moved upstairs, Mrs. Puleo and Mrs. Dombrowski(Wagner) have moved away.
Now that I'm in college and I've known them for so long, the way we communicate has changed too. Though...for some reason I can't find myself calling them by their first names to their face when everyone else who knows them can :XD:
Like one guy working for the alumni association asked me "Why do you still call Barry "Mr. Shafer?" He's not your teacher anymore, and you know him from outside the classroom now."
I told the guy "I don't know- I just can't see myself calling him anything else" :giggle: "He's always been Mr. Shafer for me."
But one thing stays the same and that is their support :heart:
Draenian Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree entirely, there's been teachers that people loath because those ones don't try and gain the students respect through anything, and the ones that do using humor are still strict but are respected at the same time.

You're welcome :hug:. You know I think it goes with many who have come to know their teachers well after they've graduated from their school. I'm the same one. There's on particular teacher, my old Mechanics teacher, Mr. Gregory that we always just called him G and to this day I would still call him G. Although I'm sure he doesn't mind. But the others that have retired are probably thinking the same. If you call someone by their last name for years, it's hard to just refer them otherwise :XD:.

And their support is great, since it'll inspire you even more to continue ^-^
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2009  Professional Artist
:glomp: Teachers are epic win!
Draenian Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I much agree :D!
lycanthropeful Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for including my question! It's nice to see all this effort poured into this project you're obviously passionate about.

I don't think I could do what you do. Chances are, my teachers would love my views on high school and things, since I'm not another slack-off student, but I'm too afraid to let them be known.

I love seeing all the thumbs as a progression of your work. Keep it up! =D
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Professional Artist
haha I too was afraid. I took Mrs. Erb threatening to show them herself to get me to show them my work. Until I got out of high school- i think all of them were flattered by what I did. But now in my college years, I think they are beginning to feel more serious :D

It's a little weird when you first show them something ( like I know I'm going to have a hard time showing Mr. Shafer that latest one I did with his crazy face) But every time I showed them something new and weird, they always picked the good things about it-- and as I explained my intentions, it kinda sinks in. I remember when I first showed Mr. H that comic of him spilling coffee all over Wagner's Math book and her getting pissy about it. He first said "heeeey my hair isn't black." So I told him- well I had a marker to work with XD....and he understood.
Years later I showed him that comic and he fell over laughing "oh god I remember this one! I told you I don't have black hair! hahahahaha!"

good times. XD
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